Remember some of those staunch Christian Union (CU) / Young Catholic Society (YCS) / Catholic Action (CA) leaders/officials in high school or campus that seemed closer to heaven than you? The ones whose faith you admired or were perplexed at their level of spirituality at their tender ages and in this “modern” time? ………… 4 years down the line you come across them as high as one of President Trump’s buildings or caught up in scandals dealing with fraud, bribery and all manner of misdemeanors.
Remember that young classmate you once had that you looked up to in one way or another. He/ She seemed to have everything going well for them. Excellent grades, probably popular across the genders, trendy when it comes to fashion or gadgets and other factors that seemed relevant to you. This reminds me how in primary school, every closing day we had a class party where we were allowed to dress down and I had to ensure i had a bandanna to be cool back in the day. Anyway, I digress…… 10 years later, that classmate seems to have messed around with his life and it portrays a sad or wasted life.
What happens to some/most of the great leaders that makes them fall off the success track? What causes that CU leader to fall off from his/her values and ends up more intoxicated than a pharmacy? What causes a leader with a solid history of achievements to lose all his accomplishments based on probably weak moment? I am sure you have a couple of possible reasons. (I just hope it’s not a cliché idea such as a person skipping a stage in life so he/she has a relapse). I choose to step away from that paradigm of thought and talk more of “What can one do to finish well and manage success“.
Last weekend was a great experience and quite different from how I normally choose to spend my weekends. Loreto Mary Ward Center in Karen became my home for the weekend. Something I realized is that the Bible is not a story book for entertainment. One needs a systematic approach to it. Otherwise, you can end up reading snippets that suit your moods or circumstances and maintain a status-quo in life. I digress…….. We had a speaker, who really enlightened my approach to life and the content below is as a result of the talk. His approach leaned on core aspects that we should focus on as young leaders to ensure we finish well. Just to place it in context: finishing well involves living a life that will outlive you. The seeds that you will plant in your faith, family, society, career etc shall live on even when you are only but a memory.
How Do You Finish Well:
- Have a life perspective that enables focused living:
Who doesn’t want to be rich and wealthy? Where your problems are not “how can I get a….” ,but rather, “why should I get another…”. Who doesn’t want to be successful in their career, family life, relationships and even in Faith? Success has many definitions but I like one that states that success is not an end-point but a continuous journey.
Therefore in a journey, you need to have the “Big picture in mind” , thereafter have a focused living. We tend to view our lives and make choices based on a narrow view of life and present circumstances. So what’s your big picture in your spiritual life? Why are you in that office? What’s your end goal as you try to finish your undergrad or masters? What’s the long-term goal of that relationship you are in? Or are you just passing by life for fun.
Once you have your end game in mind, identify the necessary steps to achieve the goal. I admit that it is easier said than done but you have to be intentional to achieve beyond mediocre. Some may think it’s taking life too seriously and we should just go with the flow. Sometimes you are not in the mood, tired and other reasons but you constantly have to remind yourself of the big picture. Verse 2 states that “ He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.” 99% of the times when we lose track of our goals it’s because of the simple fact that we fail to do it wholeheartedly. Is your faith based on how good things are in your life or maintaining an image? While you should be focused on God’s will in your life.
- Enjoy intimacy with Christ:
We were told to switch off our phones and have quiet time of prayer from 3 pm to 6 pm during the weekend retreat. Naturally, I got shocked since I wondered what would we have to discuss with The Man Above for 3 hours. James 4:3 states that “ Come near to God and he will come near to you“.
God never leaves us, we are the ones who move away trying to find our own answers yet He is the Answer. Life will hit you hard sometimes, other times you may be at the peak of things. In all those times, keep Him close and you will never regret.
- Maintain discipline in important areas life:
You know yourself best. You might have best friends, bfffffffssss, close parents , brothers from many other mothers and siblings but at the end of the day you know yourself best. You need to make small, smart and calculated choices DAILY in your life to finish well. Every day is a battle on its own with regards to career, studies, friendships, hobbies, habits, purity, money, adultery, fornication, sexuality, drug abuse, pornography etc.
We are all vulnerable. Just that it’s easier to think of others as being weaker compared to ourselves. We were given an example, in a work environment, it is great to have qualifications, CISA, CPA, CRISC, CEH, LLB etc as a strategy for promotion and growth. However, after the first natural promotion, the others are based on character and integrity. I would rather employ a CPA II with character to manage my accounts than an Msc, MBA, CPA, CIA that will steal my money.
You may think that as a young man, having multiple girlfriends is a fun way to life and something that you will stop when you “finally find one worthy of being yours”. Hhahahaha.. my brother that view only graduates to adultery when you grow up regardless of how hard you might try to stop. The small habits (both good and bad) that we cling on in our youth end up affecting/impacting us later in our lives.
- Develop & maintain a network of godly mentors and coaches:
We all need someone to coach and mentor us in the various aspects of our lives. You can have more than one mentor/coach depending on the area of interest. The only caveat should be that, one should be specific on what you would like to be mentored on. I cannot approach our president Uhuru Kenyatta to ask for mentorship without being specific on what area I need help in. Otherwise it would be a disservice to myself and a waste of time for the mentor.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a political endorsement but just a simple example :).
Amaziah stopped listening to the prophet’s advise and decided to seek advise from his counsel. This led to his downfall. Who do you listen to? Do you validate what you hear?Do you just follow blindly or act on impulse?
- Maintain a posture of learning:
For anyone that has done computer programming, having the skill of Pascal, C, COBOL is great. Just that in 2017, it may not be as relevant as it was back then. The reality is that life involves changes and you need to keep learning.
It’s amazing you got an A in K.C.S.E. Kudos!!!!! 10 years later, that might not guarantee you much. It was important that you passed at that stage, but life did not stop there. You have to keep refining yourselves either through informal learning (the goal is not a certificate but personal development) and the formal learning for accreditation.
It’s great to strive for success and to enjoy the steps of success. However, it’s a crime to live your life on the glory of the past.
- Know your life statement:
After you have now become the CEO of your own company/ bought that dream car of yours/ built that residential palace/ Married that lady (Gotten married to that guy)/earned that 7 figure salary….. so what next?
What was your life statement? What was the CEO title meant to impact your life with?
What’s your mission, purpose and drive to do what you do everyday?? We are all unique and have different goals in life. Make the world a better place than you found it. Make a positive change in your family, relationships, friendships, society and environment.You don’t need to stress yourself changing the world, just do small things in extraordinary way. The impact in one person’s life is enough.
Ever taken a selfie? Yes even if you won’t admit.
“It is very easy to filter a photo that had a good focus than to filter one that had little or no focus. Filtering is fun and easy but the hard part is obtaining the right focus. Make great effort in focusing your “life Selfie” so that you can enjoy your life “filters”, Lione Alushula
The focus represents your values that define you , the photo is you and the filters are events , circumstances and people around you . Once you have values , events or people only add good things to you , but without those values (focus) then whatever happens can’t help you much ….
God bless you always……..