As I celebrate my birthday, my 45 full years on earth and the beginning of my 46th year, the probability that I have lived more than half of the days assigned to me on earth is closer to one, than to zero.
I may look young, but I have increased in years. I have seen life to some extent and have accumulated some valuable experiences, and I have many precious memories. Nevertheless, I would be mistaken to think I still have time, and I seriously do not want to make that mistake.
So, everyday, I try to tidy things up and to live as if each day were my last. Trying to live this way has been truly liberating. I try to hold on to nothing – not wealth, fame, culture, companies, status et cetera, though I value them and I try to use them gracefully. I try my best to “owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” – Bible. I am working hard to die empty, with a big smile and close to no regrets.
However, while I am still here, life goes on, its teaching curves go on and I must learn my lessons in order to enjoy life. I would like to share some of my life lessons, as advice, and as a form of sharing my life journey with you.
However, before I share them, I count it my holy duty to thank my Creator – my Beginning, my Lord, my Life, my Rock, my Strength, my Teacher, my Savior, my Redeemer, my True Love, my Guide, my Comforter, my only God, my Eternity…Thank you, Lord, for my journey on this earth thus far! Blessed be thy everlasting name!
I also thank my parents; my “earthly gods,” the people God used to bring me to this earth, the people who most expected my arrival onto this planet Earth and received me wonderfully when I finally came, the hands that carried me when I was little, and cared for me in my most vulnerable days and years. Thank you, daddy and mummy. Thank you for all the sacrifices, prayers, and just for always being there for me.
Special thanks to my invaluable husband, my blessed children, my supporting siblings, relatives, my brothers and sisters in the Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God Church, my friends, acquaintances, and well-wishers. I’m so deeply grateful to you for everything!
Lastly, I must thank my critics and enemies. Thank you for helping me become stronger.
Back to my lessons:
- We are not flawless. We make mistakes. We make a lot of mistakes unintentionally. We are not always as good as we think. We do not always deliver or perform as planned. Just like your first draft is not always the best manuscript, your first-time decisions won’t always be the best path. So, be conscious and take precautions. Check your works before submitting whenever possible. This will improve your deliveries and make you a better person.
- Do not have low confidence nor become overconfident. Maintain a good, balanced confidence level. Know your strengths – you have them. Own your limitations – you also have them. This is a good risk management strategy. Believe in yourself. Draw your self-esteem and belief in yourself from your relationship with God.
- When you make mistakes, allow your mistakes to make you and not to break you.
- Remember, on this earth, no one can finish all that can be down or arrive at a final destination. Our final destination is in heaven. We will only arrive there after death. So, on earth, we are always on a journey; we are always in a process. So, keep going, keep moving. Never give up!
- There is no one you cannot do without on this earth, and there is no one that cannot survive without you on earth as well. When we lose a person to death or to other things, we are forced to adjust to living without them. Yes, we may miss them from time to time, but our lives would still go on. People will come to your life unexpectedly and they will leave unexpectedly. You too will come into people’s lives without notice and leave them without notice – that is life, and that is okay. We only need to value the time we have with the people in our lives.
- You are not alone on this planet. So, value your relationships as much as you can, but still, do not walk on eggshells in them.
- Receive people into your life with grace, and release them with gratitude.
- Overcome all forms of rejection, from yourself, or others, by accepting yourself and the things you cannot change. Do not trade your positive mentality for any situation.
- Forgive quickly and easily – learn to get less irritated and offended. Let your offenders handle the offence – it is theirs, not yours. Put yourself in their shoes, to help you to understand them better, to pity them and to thank God more, even for your debtors.
- Death is inevitable – so exercise “dying” daily! Imagine that you are lying down and cannot do anything. This will help you to make better decisions.
- Believe in God. Have a relationship with Jesus Christ. This makes life easier. Life is always a burden but Christ’s burden is light, and His yoke is easy. Don’t allow the burden of life to overburden you, accept God’s help!
- God has put all human beings on earth in a position that they cannot do without Him. The earlier we accept this truth and humbly follow His advice and commandments, the better for us.
- Practise spiritual disciplines, like praying, reading the Bible, biblical meditation, abstinence, solitude. Make them your regular habits.
- You do not know tomorrow – do not be boastful!
- Enjoy life, nature, and your location; explore fully the advantages of your city, state, county et cetera. Get the best from all the areas you can go to visa free. Love history, geography, take an excursion. Find time for having fun and for resting, rewarding yourself at the end of every major successful project.
- Everything comes to an end. No condition is permanent, so enjoy the moment. Once it is gone, you won’t always be able to bring it back.
- Be creative in all you do. It makes life easier, disclosing, adventurous and interesting. Creativity helps us to grow, to learn new things. There are so many things to learn in this world!
- You cannot live wholly in life with giving. Your first and greatest offering is yourself through service and ministry. Seize every available opportunity to serve and give gifts to people. Serve reasonably, wisely and effectively with everything you have; your life, money, experience, wealth, smile, positive disposition, example, to mention just a few. The more you serve and give, the more shall you be served and given.
- Everyone has a gift but you have to let people see you exist, what you have and how you can help them. Otherwise, you will be mismanaging God’s gift and doing a big disservice to your world. What you have is not only for you. It is also for as many people as possible. So, let them know.
- Value your peace. Don’t give it away at any cost! Be at peace, you need this to remain sane.
- Always make money, always work. Money cannot solve everything, but it can solve a lot of issues. Practise budgeting. Manage your money well. Be financially literate.
- We have many chances in life, take advantage of the most that you can of them. We do not always know what could be the last chance, so value every chance. Any chance and opportunity to help a person or to be kind must be maximized, since you are not sure if there will be another chance. You may never see him or her again.
- Try to be good and to do your best always, and when you fail at this, try again. After a fall, bankruptcy, failure…pick yourself up, help your heart beat again, and try again. Try many times, until you attain proficiency.
- Do not count your failures, count your efforts. Count how many times you have risen above your failures.
- Always wish all people well, sincerely. Wish them to have what you have and even more than that. Help them to attain greatness whenever possible and reasonable. It is very boring for you to be the only great “one.”
- Never look down on anybody even when it seems obvious and tempting to do so. Never assume a person cannot do certain things, learn certain skills, or attain certain heights – it might take years, but he or she may become able to do it, and then you will not be proud of yourself.
- You cannot drag a person down, or make him successful, permanently. You will not have absolute power over anybody, only God has that supreme power and He manages it the best. People have more power over themselves than you do; they decide to remain at the bottom or to remain successful – not you – fortunately or unfortunately.
- Life is all about love; it is about discovering love, learning to love and accepting love from others. Love is a continuous adventure!
- Everybody has his or her inner world that you are most probably unaware of. People see things, say things, and do things from their own point of view and to their best understanding and personal interest. You can never change a fly or an insect, not to mention a human. So, do your best and leave the rest for God to decide. Do not waste your time trying to change people, they are the only ones that can change themselves.
- You cannot say you know a person very well; even if it’s your spouse and closest friend. Constant waves of thoughts move in their minds and you do not know the ones they succumb to. It may only manifest to you after a while. So, be cautious of being overconfident regarding a person. People will always be people. And you and I are also imperfect people.
- We can never know anyone thoroughly. When we see a person we see them as one single entity, but every person actually consists of so many worlds: their relatives, businesses, friends, aspects of their character, goals, on it goes. There are so many facets of one’s life you can never know. Help people as much as you can but at the same time be as wise as Jesus demonstrated, in John 2:24,25: “ But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.”
- Know that two well-meaning people could have different opinions on the same matter. Respect other people’s opinions. Try not to criticize, whenever it is avoidable. Always give people the benefit of the doubt. Criticism is similar to passing judgment. So, when you are forced to criticize, criticize the act, never the person. Criticize in a constructive way. If you have to criticize, show the more favorable alternatives, and offer a helping hand. No criticism is easy to take. Always bear this in mind.
- When you have to judge, as a leader, judge very critically and carefully. You may still not have all the facts! So, always show mercy and compassion, even in unthinkable situations.
- Have a healthy life style. Value, tend and keep your health – it is a prominent asset to lose, especially when you can keep it. Respect yourself in your health choices, pay attention to your physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social and occupational health.
- Constantly work on your character. When you stop, you start losing it.
- Always improve your skills of effective communication. You are responsible for making sure people hear what you are communicating to them.
- There is a limit to how much the soul, body and spirit can bear. So, when God is silent, be very careful to humbly stick to His principles, trusting Him.
- Do not play with your or other people’s emotion. It may lead to shameful and expensive consequences. Emotions are stronger than pure desire or will. Avoid avoidable temptations.
- Your problems are really your own. Many may sympathize, comfort, or vow to help, but it is natural for most people to solve their personal problems before handling yours. Many will not keep their promises to you, not because they are bad, but because they are overwhelmed by their own challenges. So, you can always rely on only two forces: God and yourself.
- Tough times make us stronger and they come with new, and sometimes rare, opportunities.
- Marriage is not everything in life, it is one of the things we may have and one of the schools we may or may not go through in life. Therefore, be rational and do not allow your emotions or feelings to drive you crazy and to cause you troubles. Do not lose yourself to marriage – few partners are able to appreciate that high a sacrifice. Do not lose your constructive relationships due to your marriage; they can save you later.
- There are no perfect partners, nor perfect relationships.
- Know what you want in life and steadily and systematically pursue it.
- If we do not work on our weaknesses and overcome them in our childhood, our adolescence or young adulthood, then they will follow us into our old age. And these weaknesses, in old age, may complicate an already complicated life.
- God is everywhere and He can make you prosperous anywhere you are.
- Ask for help when it is needed, but when denied, do not be discouraged. Continue asking, seeking or knocking for help, until it is found, or until you figure out that you can help yourself.
- All the things that God allows in our lives are not accidental. It is part of our history and a trajectory to greatness. Only when all the dots are connected will God’s meaning become clear.
- Be thankful in all things and at all times, to God and to people.
May the Lord bless our days and years!
Thank you for your attention!