More now than ever in this year 2020 we realise that life is wealth.
Two days ago it just seemed like there was bad news all over social media. A young lady attempted suicide apparently because she wasn’t recognised for her work, a body guard of a famous artiste died, a young lady and her two kids were killed in a fire. It all seemed too tragic. I am usually off social media on Mondays and I really shouldn’t have checked my feed that day.
In actual fact that same evening, God saved us from a fire hazard. Not too long after I had seen all the bad news, it was time for bed but I decided to praise God. As I was about to start my baby woke up to breast feed. Normally I would lie down and breastfeed him and probably fall asleep but that night I decided to sit on my rocking chair so that I could praise while breastfeeding. I was nodding off after awhile when my husband came into the room and so I asked him to hold the baby so I could go to the restroom. He did and after I was done I started looking for my air pods so I could worship. I looked and couldn’t find them so I decided to use my daughters and then went back into the room. At that point my hubby got up to leave and then just as he did we heard a spark. It happened like three times and I finally saw where it was coming from. It was a plug for our CCTV that was near so many other plugs, TV, cabinet, carpet etc. Thankfully my husband was able to fix it. I shudder to think of what may have happened if my son didn’t wake up and I didn’t hear the spark or if my husband didn’t come into the room or if I was asleep. Last month at the time when we should be in bed the fuse box at the entrance of our bedroom started smoking. Thankfully my husband and I were still awake. I started to pray immediately because I remembered that the week before I was praying with two ladies and one of them saw a fire and so we prayed against fire. The fix=we box stopped smoking on its own and went from warm to cool. I knew it wasn’t random. The next day when the electrician came I asked him if it could have caused a fire and he said yes.
I am so thankful for the gift of life especially in a pandemic when so many people have lost their lives.
Life is precious. Life is fragile. Life cannot be valued in monetary terms. It cannot be recovered if lost. You only get one chance at it. If you have life you are more wealthy than the richest man in the world that is in the grave yard. Whilst you may not have money, you can always get money once you have life but if you have no money and no life, you can never get life and your money becomes worthless.
We also don’t have control on when our life starts and we don’t know when it will end.
We must value our lives and put our lives as priority. We must invest in our lives. We must also use our lives very well and as some people say die empty.
I remember a quote that said that the graveyard is one of the wealthiest places on earth because it is filled with so many dreams that were not fulfilled. This is actually very sad to think about. Buried dreams have no value. We ought to live and die empty where we have poured out to humanity and to the world all that has been deposited in us.
You may think well there is nothing in me. I have nothing to offer the world.
Let me prove that you are wrong and show you that you posses so much more than you think.
If you have noticed most of the fruits we eat contain seeds. If you take an orange and cut it into two equal halves you will notice that there are at least a dozen seeds in each orange. Each seed has a potential to become a tree, bearing fruits which contain seeds of their own. So assuming an orange has a dozen seeds, this means this orange has the potential to produce a dozen trees with countless number of oranges and seeds in its lifetime. The same logic can be applied in other fruits like apples, watermelons, pawpaw etc.
In Genesis 1:11 God said “let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed and fruit trees yielding fruit whose seed is in itself, each according to its kind, upon the earth”.
Now if God took time out to put so many seeds in a common fruit, how much more would He do for us who are created in His image.
According to Genesis 1:27-28 “God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them: and God blessed them, and said to them, be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth”.
The first command or role given to man is to be fruitful and multiply. If God says we should be fruitful and multiply, it means he has deposited many seeds of greatness in us, just as he has done in the case of an orange.
When God created you, He blessed you and said you should be fruitful and multiply. It is a command that must be obeyed. There are hidden resources in you. You cannot even imagine the potential you have. Just visualize the seeds in a single orange fruit and imagine what your own seeds of potential are.
You are greater than that orange, you are not just greater, you are created in the likeness and image of God. Imagine the hidden potential in you. Imagine the great things you have been equipped to do. The greatest men that have walked the earth weren’t born with a cape, special DNA or two heads. The difference is that they were aware of their potential and did something about it. They obeyed the command to be fruitful and multiply. We are all gifted and our gifts represent the seeds of greatness God has deposited in every one of us.
Accordingly it is not enough to just have seeds in us, those seeds must be put to work. They must be sewn. Unless the seed of an orange is put to the ground, it becomes useless and dies with all its potential. There is a story in a book by Joyce Meyer titled book “A leader in the making”, that emphasizes the need to develop our seeds/potential.
“There is a gold mine hidden in every life. A young man found a vein of gold in a mountain. He tried to get it out himself but kept failing repeatedly. He felt like giving up, but instead he went into town and asked a mining agency to come take a look at it. The mining company surveyed the mountain and the vein of gold and wanted to buy it. They offered the young man a large amount of cash if he would sell it to them.
The young man thought about it and decided that rather than selling it to the mining company, he would keep it and learn all he could about mining. Over the next year he studied practically day and night. He read every book on mining he could lay his hands on, took every course on it he could find and talked to every person who would give him any information about it. He did nothing else for that entire year but learn about mining. He laid aside everything else in his life in order to devote his entire attention to learning how to mine gold.
At the end of the year, he went back to the mountain and began to dig out the gold, it was tremendously hard work, but in the end he had millions and millions of dollars.”
Truly, there is a gold mine hidden in every one of us. As we have started a new year, I implore you to take time out to discover your “seeds” and put them to work and to be fruitful and multiply in all areas of your life. You have the seeds in you to bear the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. God has deposited the Holy Spirit in you, to be able to manifest the fruit of the spirit. You have the seeds in you to be the best father or mother to your children and the best spouse to your loved ones. You have the seeds in you to make a difference in this world and achieve great milestones. It is up to you to obey the command given to you by our creator which is to be fruitful and multiply.
I would like to dedicate today’s post to someone who impacted my life greatly and who I would say used her life fully.
This year the world particularly Nigerian lost a gem. I don’t think we all realised how much of an impact she made in her life until she died. She literally broke the internet when she passed away and so many people expressed how much she impacted their lives. She lived intentionally as though she knew her time on earth was short. She turned her pain into purpose. She struggled with fertility and it was said that she had about 11 IVF’s. Even though she never conceived her own biological children she had a foundation that helped many women conceive. For her 40th birthday which was just about a month before her death, she had said she wanted to give 40 women the ability to conceive their own children. This was her last message to her friend and she died shortly after. Therefore her last thoughts on earth was about impact. She adopted two beautiful children that look like her own biological children. She had a thriving events planning business and made so many brides happy. It’s Christmas time and I can’t help but think about her because she used to decorate many of the major streets and it gave us all a sense of Christmas. She was absolutely stunning and took so many pictures. I remember when she surprised me during my 2018 Do It Afraid Conference. She came to the event without telling me and spent sometime there. She came to surprise me and it made me cry tears of joy because what she didn’t know is that I had been feeling a bit down because that particular year many of my old friends didn’t come because our relationship had been strained since I wrote my first book The Richer Woman. I had actually felt the vacuum and it was like her surprise was a gift from God to me. I was outside taking pictures when I saw her car drive in. Oh I would do anything to be able to call her right now and give her a big hug. I had planned to go and visit her but never got round to doing it. I wish I checked up on her more. I remember a message a fried of mine sent me that she sent her asking her to thank me because I stood up for her on social media when some people were saying negative things to her. I’m glad I got the chance to make her smile during her time here on earth. A few years before I had misjudged her based on third party information including information in media and after the first time we met, the Lord led me to apologise to her. I had apologise about two years via direct message on instagram but she never saw the message so I felt the Lord gave me another opportunity to apologise and she was so happy. I heard her story for the first time from herself at the event were we met where we were both speakers and I realise that she had been through so much. We truly must never judge anyone. I am comforted that one day I will see her again in Heaven and oh what a mighty big hug I would give to her. this gem we lost is Ibidun Ighodalo.
How do you maximise the life you have been giving?
I’m sure I have mentioned before how I love the quote that says “Where the purpose of a thing is not known abuse is inevitable”.
Do you just wake up every day and just go through the motions or are you aware of how your life fits into Gods perfect plan.
About this time 10 years ago I was going into the decade of my thirties and I wanted my life to have some kind of meaning. I wanted to fulfil purpose. I wanted to fulfil the purpose that I was created to fulfil here on earth. Purpose is now a buzz word and everyone wants to fulfil purpose. Prior to this I was just existing.
In my search I realised that we don’t have our own purpose in life contrary to what most motivational speakers will tell you or what most people think.
There is only one purpose in life and that is Gods purpose. God is at work on the earth and it is our duty to ask Him where He is at work and where He wants us to join Him. This is what I did and He showed me that He was working in His Childrens lives to ensure they live The Richer Life and so He gave me His vision for my life which is to inspire Humanity to live the richer life which includes a life of purpose and success in every area of life.
I started this journey after I resigned from my job in investment banking in 2013. I left my own purpose for my life and decided to follow God’s plan. I am on a mission to ensure that I inspire humanity to live the richer life and I have created a vision strategy document based on this plan and also business plan based on this plan.
What’s the point of spending your life climbing to the top of a building only to find out that you are on the wrong building. Sadly this is the case for far too many people. I remember a skit I watched based on the book “ Driven by Eternity” by John Beverly.
There were three characters. A mother, a successful accountant and a successful Pastor. In Gods eyes the woman was successful because His plan fo her was to raise her sons and she obeyed Him and her sons grew up to impact about a million people. In God’s eyes the accountant was unsuccessful because He was supposed to be a Pastor and the Pastor was unsuccessful because He was supposed to be an accountant.
My prayer for everyone reading this is that at the end of your life you die empty and you lived the life that God called you to live not the life that you wanted to live or that other people wanted you to live.
Tips to investing in your life
- Appreciate the gift of life no matter how dire your circumstances are. Many who have died would give anything to come back to life. You just never know what tomorrow would bring. It could be the day you have been waiting for all your life.
- Ask God to show you what His plans are for your life. Ask Him what He is doing on the earth and where He wants you to join Him.
- When God has given you the vision, write it down and then create a plan around it and set SMART goals.
- Be intentional about how you spend your time
- Life is like a seed that has been giving to you. Be determined to return adequate returns to the giver of life.
- Do it afraid. Don’t bury your God given talents. Fear is an illusion. It truly is the acronym for false evidence appearing real.
The moment you are born you are growing older. Time waits for no one. Your youth is the time you can use all your energy and efforts to create wealth. It is very important to plan ahead. Unless you are living The Richer Life, there will come a time when you would no longer be able to work and the investments you make now is what will see you through that time. The time is now and not when you are close to retirement.
One of the financial goals you should consider setting when you are young is to own your own house or houses. You should get to a point when you are no longer paying rent but earning rent. In your old age you don’t want to be thinking about rent.
Healthcare is another major expense during retirement age. You should have health insurance to cover your medical expenses.
If you are an employee, you should ensure that your employer provides a pension plan for you. This is where the employer makes contributions on your behalf into a fund that is invested on your behalf for future use. The earnings generate income for the employee upon retirement. In some countries like Nigeria, the workers are also required to make a contribution towards their pensions.
Typically, you are not allowed to access your pension funds until you retire however there are some exceptions for example in Nigeria if you have been out of employment for more than 4 months you can withdraw 25% of the value of your pension fund. You cannot access the rest until you are over 50.
If you are an entrepreneur, it is important that you develop a pension plan for yourself and your employees.
You can also decide to open a separate Retirement Savings account and save towards your retirement.
The official retirement age in Nigeria is 60 however many millennials want to retire much earlier. Some say before they are 40, some say by 30. Often times those that say they want to retire at a young age mean that they want to leave paid employment and start their business by 30 or 40. They want to begin to live the life of their dreams when they turn 30 or 40. The thing is when you love what you do, you will never want to retire. You see many old people especially those who own their businesses working way into their 70’s and even 80’s. Some even start businesses in their old age like the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. I personally would like to keep working till I die. This is because I am living the life of my dreams. The goal now is to ensure I take care of my body so that I am strong, healthy and able to do so.
Things have changed and this is good. We are no longer the generation who works to earn a living so that they can retire and live the life of their dreams. We are the generation who live the life of our dreams and never retire.
It is important to take care of our health so we don’t need health insurance and also important to do what you love so you never have to retire.
Declaration: I live the life of my dreams and I never retire.