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THE S.P.I.R.I.T of greatness: The trade-off – 2

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”  -Matthew 13:44-46 (NIV).

Every time you see someone who is living in the reality of your present dreams, you would normally express a desire to be like him. The hard truth however is that each time you come across such a person, never ask what they have or express a desire for it until you know what they had to trade for it.

I am sure you have heard the expression ‘Winners don’t quit and quitters don’t win”. You have also probably read about Winston Churchill’s famous address to a group of young school leavers at their valedictory ceremony. It is reputed to be one of the shortest addresses at such event. He was quoted as saying, “Never, never, never ever give up!” and promptly left the podium to take his seat.  Well, that is not the total picture. Winners do quit and quitters do win. In life, to go up, there is always a time and something to give up!

Sometime ago on this page, I ran a series titled, “It’s OK To Quit”. The school of life as taught by great men whose lives I have had cause to study or whose books I have read has however taught me that quitting or giving up is never the problem. The real issue is what you are quitting or giving up and why.

A great life is about making essential trade-offs. To achieve His dream of salvation for mankind and make sons of men, God had to trade His only Son, Jesus Christ. Everyone who must partake of that grace and continue in it must also of necessity give up his sinful nature!

Someone has aptly defined focus as being in the same place emotionally and physically. God gave you two eyes and for reasons best known to Him, He fashioned them to both look in the same direction. And He conveniently “forgot” to put any eye at the back of our heads! To look productively in any direction is to turn your head – and eyes – in another!

Since your name is not omnipresent, you cannot be everywhere and since you are not omnipotent, you cannot do all things. The job of a great leader is not do everything but to see that everything necessary is done.

Over the next few editions of this column, we will be examining what it takes to have the spirit of greatness by looking at the acronym S.P.I.R.I.T to understand the things that everyone who desires to be great must sacrifice if his dreams would not become nightmares.

When you have no clue about what you desire out of life or when your daily routine is all about gathering with friends in a nightclub or any other place where banter and popular gossip are the norm, anywhere would serve that purpose.

Consequently, the first thing that anyone who desires to be significant must be willing to sacrifice therefore is Space. More often than not, success is environment or location-sensitive. Geography does affect outcomes. The location will often determine the allocation for every vision.

Several years ago, my spiritual father and mentor, Pastor Tunde Bakare, preached a message in our Ibadan church. He titled it “Locate, Relocate or Suffocate”. When it becomes obvious that where you are currently located is no longer capable of producing the outcomes you desire, you have two options to choose from. You either create the outcome in spite of the location or when that is improbable as it often is, move from that location.

Many people migrate into certain environments goaded on by mass appeal or peer influence. The fact that your friend or your mentor prospered in a particular place does not mean that you will find your own prosperity there. The wisdom of nature teaches us that not every seed grows on every soil or in every climate. Plants that thrive in the vagaries of temperate regions will die in no time in a tropical environment. And vice versa.

In the scriptures, God called Abraham and promised to make him the channel through whom the nations of the earth will be blessed. But first, he had to follow the instruction to leave his extended family and the town he had called home for seventy five years of his life to a place that would only be revealed after he had set out! He obeyed and the rest is history! When there was a famine in the land where he dwelt, he moved to Egypt. He prospered there. Several years later when his son experienced a similar scenario in the land of the Philistines, he wanted to do exactly what his father had done. But God stopped him and made him understand that his prosperity was tied to that same environment where he then was! He obeyed and the famine had no effect on him except to put his success in bold relief compared to the experience of the rest of the environment.

Many people are so comfortable in their present location that asking them to move is like asking the Himalayan mountain to move to Africa! When you are very settled in a place with a semblance of comfort, you easily forget that present comfort can be the greatest enemy of future achievement.

In the last nine years, I have relocated twice, first to Lagos from Ibadan and later to Ado-Ekiti. To say that on both occasions, I drew the ire of people who believed that I had lost my mind was an understatement. Not a few of them tried to dissuade me. And with good intentions too. Many of my friends believed, and some still do, that I moved as a result of frustration.

Perhaps they are right! Maybe I was frustrated at the fact that the vision God was giving me was not going to find adequate fulfillment because the environment I gave up was stifling it at a certain level. When the same begins to happen in the present place, I will be ready to move again! Relocation must never be confused with dislocation.

For every man of destiny, PURPOSE is the only thing that qualifies to connect him with ANY location. Not CONVENIENCE. Not mass appeal. And definitely not peer pressure. If Bill Gates had stayed on in Harvard beyond the time he left, he probably would not be one of the world’s richest men today!

When the music changes, the dance steps must follow suit… continued


Remember, the sky is not your limit, God is!

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