Living a life of purpose


By Gideon Arinze

When I woke up today, some thoughts filled my mind like the River Nile and I felt it is pertinent that i share them with you all. I do hope and pray you will find them really helpful. Read with an intent to learn. Read with the insatiable hankering to impact your generation positively. Read like one who hungers and thirsts for righteousness. Read with the desire to change your widely held perception about yourself.

For the past one week or more, I have been reading about men and women who excelled greatly in their chosen endeavours. It is not as though I was formally disinterested. But it just took a new dimension. This time, I made it a routine. You could imagine that.

Why did I suddenly become so enthused about great men that I would not mind skipping my dinner, lunch and sometimes supper? Would not listen to calls from friends each time they want us to hang out? Let me save you the stress. The reason is not far fetched.

Like a journalist who is embarking on an investigative reporting, I was hell bent on( though not unearthing the excesses in government this time) discovering what made them all great.

I did not engage in a futile attempt as I discovered that though most of them grew up with pangs of poverty, lacking the basic necessities of life- good food, shelter  and the like, they  did not give up on the pursuit of their dreams.

In the media world, one name which stands really tall is Oprah Winfrey. She is an American media producer. She is highly reputed for her dexterity in the art of presentation. But it might interest you to know that she never had a solid background.

Winfrey was born to a teenage single mother. She was a victim of child molestation. She became pregnant at the age of 14. Her child died after birth. Her mother worked as a maid just to fend for her and her kid sister- it is pitiable.

But despite her exposure to the harsh realities of life, Winfrey never gave up. She had tall dreams which she pursued with every sense of handwork and grit. Today, she has risen to stardom by dint of handwork. She discovered what she wanted in life.

Paul Lepage, the 74th Governor of Maine, US, is another figure whose story would sure evoke tears from your eyes. His childhood experience was to put mildly, sad. He experienced hardship.

According to Wikipedia, Lepage grew up with 17 siblings in an abusive home. His father (an alcoholic) did not help matters as he always beat his children. As a result, Lepage ran away from home when he was just 11 and was homeless for two years. He lived on the streets. To earn a living, he washed dishes shined shoes and did a lot of menial jobs.

But guess what, Lepage had tall dreams. He did not allow his background to dampen his spirit. He struggled, went to school, got involved in politics and today, he is the number one citizen of Maine.

Let me bring it back home, precisely to the music industry. I once listened to Franklin Edwards as he told his tales of woe. His family lived in abject poverty. He and his mother hawked in major streets of Enugu.

Today, his name resonates throughout the country as far as the gospel music industry is concerned. He has also garnered international acclaim. He discovered his purpose for living and pursued it without considering his poor background. He was never willing to give up.

We can go on and on. The list is endless. If these great people had allowed their background to determine what their future will turn out to be, they would not have attained such enviable heights. Their names have been written in the annals of history.

Now listen, the fact that your parents languish in penury is no determinant to your success. The determining factor is you. The moment you discover your purpose in life and pursue it with every sense of vigour, you will do exploits.

Success lies in first discovering your purpose. A man who has yet to discover his purpose, what Oprah tags “calling”, is likened to one who sets out on a journey with no definite destination in mind.

Try to discover your calling and work towards achieving every bit of it. Remember, God wants the best for you. He has destined you to be great. But you just have to work it out yourself.

Remember, you have something spectacular to offer to the world. You have a part to play. Inside of you lie great potentials .Strive to Unlock them if you have not. Do not be a waste to your generation.

Never allow circumstances in life deter you from pursuing you dreams. There is no limit to what you can achieve. Keep striving, do not get tired. Do not groan. Always learn to rise each time you fall. You are not defeated except you fall and refuse to rise again.

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