Published On: Fri, Aug 16th, 2013

August Reflection

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What are you doing?

Sometime ago, I was alone in my office, thinking about my trip to Abuja over the weekend, for the wedding of my nephew.  A friend, Chiji, just breezed in, taking me by surprise. (My office door is always open so anybody can get in anytime.) “What are you doing?” he blurted. Frankly, I could not answer that question instantly. I just smiled and welcomed him, as he drew his chair near me.

He actually came to invite me to his company’s product launch, which he wanted Pharmanews to cover. After walking him to the gate, my mind flashed back to the question:”What are you doing?” Thinking deeply, my friend was implicitly asking me what I was doing with my life. You, too, should reflect on this simple but crucial question.

We are all engagd in doing something every moment of our lives. Even if you are not actively engaged but merely dozing, you are still doing something – dozing.  Sleep is a precious gift of God to refresh our bodies. But you may be sleeping at the wrong time. Lazy people sleep when they should be awake and working. This is why Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”You may ask yourself whether what you are doing is actually important. Does that activity add value or contribute to the quality of your life? Is it helping you to achieve your goals and become the person you want to be? Many a time, we engage in activities that are just urgent but not important. Such urgent activities tend to take us away from our destiny.

Unless you know where you are going, you will not know the right way to take you there. Therefore, the first thing is to discover what your own divine assignment is. What has God created you to do? What is your life’s purpose?Without this discovery, there is nothing meaningful you can achieve. Your activities may lead you in the opposite direction or even make you go round and round, like the children of Israel in the wilderness.  But with this discovery, you place yourself on the right track and move forward.

Many of us fall into the temptation to copy people we admire and do whatever they do. Instead of trying to be a copy of someone, why not be the original and let other people copy you? But there is something unique in an original which cannot be copied. God created every person as an original. That is why, with more than 7billion people on earth today, no two faces are the same. The fingerprints are different. Therefore, you make yourself a counterfeit by trying to be another person and thereby lose your uniqueness and identity.

If you take the time to identify and count the activities you undertake in a day, you may be surprised to discover that most of those activities have low values, while only  a few of them have high values. This is termed the 80/20 rule or the Pareto Principle, which says that 20 per cent of the things you do account for 80per cent of the value of what you accomplish. This means that 80per cent of those things you do is worth only 20per cent of the value of what you accomplish. Therefore, in order to be effective, you need to identify the vital few activities and concentrate on them while de-emphasising the trivial many ones. This is how you can enjoy a productive, successful and happy life.

When Chiji entered my office, he definitely did not know what I was doing. If I had replied that I was thinking, he might have asked further, “What are you thinking about?” Thinking is an activity that has far-reaching consequences in our lives. This is why we must have self-control and discipline in thinking. William James says that you can change your life by changing your thinking. Do you think positively or negatively? Whatever you dwell on grows and increases in your life. When you think and talk about the virtues and values that you most admire, you programme those values into your subconscious and they begin to operate in your life.

The Bible has provided worthy criteria for thinking in Philippians 4:8 which says: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Focusing and thinking on these things will make you truly prosperous and happy.

It is always beneficial to critically analyse the things you do. Do they have mundane or eternal values? Consider your profession, business or career. Whom are you serving? The immediate answer is your customers or clients. The success or failure of your business depends basically on how well you serve your customers. A business that accumulates satisfied and loyal customers performs well. The secret of having satisfied and loyal customers is simply service delivery. The truth is that if you serve your customers as if you are serving God, prosperity will be yours. Your business will enjoy divine touch and have eternal values.

One of my favorite verses is Colossians 3:23 which says: “Whatsoever ye do, work heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that from the Lord ye shall receive the recompense of the inheritance: ye serve the Lord Christ.”

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August Reflection