Life is full of many treasures and acquiring them has always been man’s goal, the main reason why we pursue these treasures (cars, houses, relationships etc) is because they come with promises of making us happy. But do they really make us happy?
Take delight in the lord and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4
Some of us might have experienced situations where everything is great in our lives our bills are paid, we have food to eat, good clothes to wear. we probably just acquired something we have always wanted but for a split moment we realize that we feel empty and it’s like there is a huge hole in our hearts that needs filling and most of us go out of our way to get things and people to feel that vacuum.
For single guys or ladies they may decide that the vacuum is caused by a lack of an intimate relationship in their lives and hence you hear statements like I feel incomplete, but before long they find out that people and things can never complete us only God can.
Come everyone who thirsts, come to the water; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come; buy wine and milk without money and without price. Isaiah 55:1
Remember the Samaritan woman who had been married five times and was co-habiting with a man, what exactly was she looking for? Take a good guess, fulfillment! She was looking for something no human, man or woman could give her and that’s why Jesus offered her living water so that she would thirst no more. Jesus recognized her need, she was thirsty for completion and satisfaction and Jesus offered it to her.
My victory and honor from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. Psalm 62:7
Achievements are great but they don’t give everlasting satisfaction, many times I have found myself striving to get a lot of things a new phone, dress , top grades and when I do get these things am happy for a while and then I discover that something else is bothering me and tries to steal my happiness. But my happiest moment have been at times where I have great fellowship with God such that no matter what is happening in my life I have peace within me because I no God is my source and that his love for me never fails.
But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:14
And that how the cookie crumbles people, nothing can give you everlasting happiness, only God can fill that large vacuum in our lives because it’s so big you need something greater than the vacuum to feel it.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.james1:2”
Pain is an excruciating feeling, there are different kinds of pain, the pain of watching a loved one battle with a chronic illness like cancer, the pain of failing after trying so hard, the pain of a break up or divorce. Some events carry more pain than others; pain has the ability to put the human spirit down but in the end if we can overcome them we come out victorious.
Watching an episode of one of my favorite TV series the Big Bang Theory one of the series character Sheldon cooper made an insightful statement “pain is evolutionary. Many people would testify that pain teaches us more things than we can hope for; people have risen from failure, poverty and all kinds of pain to become better people. Remember suffering also builds character
Like a little child learning what is good and bad, pain teaches even the immature what to avoid, imagine a child that touches a hot object and withdraws from the pain the child learns to not touch such object in future. Humans as a race have used disease outbreaks, famine and natural disasters to improve the choices they make and protect themselves from such disasters.
Even the bible teaches us to rejoice even in pain,
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.james1:2”
SIX WAYS PAIN HELPS PEOPLE EVOLVE
1) We have seen many artist perform better when they feel hurt, Taylor swift sings better songs each time she is heartbroken, same goes for Adele and many other successful artist
2) ln business adversity helps you become a better entrepreneur, you learn what risks to take and which ones to avoid.
3) In relationships no matter how painful breakups might be they tell us what we are doing wrong and how to adjust ourselves to become better partners.
4) In academics, failing a course can be devastating but if you stay strong and focused you would discover your areas of weakness and use it to improve yourself.
5) In personal growth, pain and suffering helps you become more aware of yourself and your environment.
6) In sports, athletics or anything worth pursuing in life the pain of failure and rejection has helped people realign their purpose and what matters most to them.
Pain is only useful as a tool towards success and personal development when it is channeled into positive energy but pain also has negative outcomes such as alcohol abuse, depression and anger. Life should be pleasing and full of joy but sometimes we face pain, sadness and rejection, what we chose to do with these feelings is what matters the most.
Being single can bring feelings of loneliness at times, but ever you ever considered that you could be in a relationship and still experience loneliness, I didn’t consider this until I experienced it. Over the years I have always shied away from being in a relationship. I was always afraid that it might not work out, am waiting for God’s perfect will for my life etc. The truth is I was afraid of disappointment and feelings of failure if the relationship didn’t work out.
So in other to prepare for a relationship and marriage, I had armed myself with countless literature about relationship from numerous authors, listened to numerous teachings on the subject. So when I finally said yes to a relationship I felt prepared to handle anything that came my way, but boy was I surprised at what I discovered?
1). Relationship books can serve as guiding systems but they don’t answer all relationship questions.
2). Relationships do not cure all forms of loneliness; you have to sort that yourself.
3). No matter how knowledgeable you are in the area of relationship you will still have lapses you have to work on.
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare everybody will respect you” Lao Tzu
Comparison is a huge word these days, it is a killer of self-esteem and a doorway to depression here are five ways comparison can ruin your life.
(1) Comparison can ruin your self-esteem
Usually when people are comparing themselves with others they usually make unfair comparisons, take for example when you feel bad because the girl or guy next door is better looking than you are, you forget that genetic makeup makes a person. The fact that he or she better looking than you doesn’t make you less desirable or less attractive it just means you should find what suits you in terms of clothes, hairdo etc. Wear a positive self-esteem and you would be just as attractive as the guy or girl next door. Many models have dropped out of modelling agencies, became addicted to drugs and alcohol because they couldn’t deal with the fact that another girl or girls could be more good looking than they are. Comparison makes you focus on being an exact copy of another individual instead of being a better version of yourself.
“Comparison is the death of joy” Mark Twain
(2) Comparison is a joy killer
Unfair comparison is a joy killer a lot of people are in metal clinics because they compare themselves unrealistically with others, some go as far as comparing themselves with celebrities which is really unfair to themselves. If you open most social media pages especially a social media page like Instagram you would be depressed if you don’t have a positive self-esteem. There are flashy lifestyles being displayed on social media pages and you would be astonished at how many of them are unreal and staged. Aside social media, on a daily basis we see some of our friends and co-workers living expensive lifestyles and you are wondering where did I get it wrong, how come I don’t have as much money or drive the expensive cars these people drive. The truth is not all that glitters is gold this isn’t about hating or being envious, not everyone around you does legitimate businesses and even if they did, you should only be spurred to work harder by their success not sitting in one corner brooding over how everybody seems to have a better life than you do.
(3) Comparison is a body changer
Now unfair comparison in this area has led some people to the cosmetic surgeon’s table and we all know the after effects of plastic surgery if the cosmetic surgeon gets the procedure wrong, you come out with worse looking features than your original features. Let’s talk about light skin for a bit, you know how people feel light skinned individuals are more attractive, some individuals have taken it upon themselves to play God with their skin color. They apply numerous cosmetic products that promise to lighten up their completion, personally I have seen this go south ways on many individuals who tried to change their completion by bleaching. Aside having skin burns and discoloration there is also cancer of the skin to consider.
(4) Comparison is a destiny changer
So people aren’t so confident of their decisions in life, comparison can lead to feelings of envy which then leads to doing whatever you think the other individual is doing. People get this from wanting to be like their friends, colleagues, classmates who is seemly better than them. If the a friend decides to enroll in a particular school they are off to apply for that same school. Has it ever occurred to you that we were all created to walk different paths some people’s path might seem more rewarding at the moment but if you are patient enough you would find out that yours is equaling rewarding and most importantly fulfilling because it was meant for you.
(5) Comparison gives the green Monster an open invite to your house.
My personal experience with comparison, early hours of one beautiful morning I woke up and checked my phone as usual, I had notifications from almost all my social media pages so I opened Instagram, scrolling through pictures and videos I came across a video of a classmate that had just gotten married. Sincerely that video was on point, you know how they shoot such videos they showed the bride, her dress, her shoes, how she was being made up, suddenly I didn’t feel so good this was not the first of such videos I will be seeing on social media pages but for some reason this particularly video got to me. I wasn’t jealous of the bride but I just felt like all my mates had married except me which was totally untrue but thoughts just kept running through my head. To cut the long story short I was saved by words of wisdom from the various motivational speakers and Christian leaders I listen to. Your joy should not come from how well your life is in comparison to others but what God is saying and has said about you. You must always believe you are on the right tract irrespective of setbacks.
You are a unique individual with God given potentials focus more on improving yourself on a daily basis and less at what those around you are achieving.
How to stop comparing yourself to others
Be content and grateful with whatever you have right now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work hard to have a good life.
Focus on your positive traits and talents.
Learn to be happy when good things happen to others.
Power has always been one of the most craved commodities throughout history from the cave man to the screen swiping man. Time has not depleted man’s thirst for power. Robert Greene the author of the book “The 48 Laws of Power” doesn’t just give us a peek into the minds of some of the most powerful people in history, he is generous and explicit about the workings of the canny , intelligent, ruthless and crafty minds of this great men and women . The book has a rich cultural diversity as the author regales the reader with stories from different parts of the world.
Sincerely when I first saw the book the title alone put me off, it sounded like a book for power crazy people who only seek to control and manipulate others. But soon enough my perspective changed and I decided it would be good to equip myself with this knowledge. Human behavior is complex and sometimes unpredictable; as I read the book I began to understand the behavior of those around me in relation to power and manipulation and most importantly the motives behind those behaviors.
Be mindful how you use the information in this book, it’s quite unfortunate that good folks might be skeptical about the book and not read it. I beg you! open your mind and equip yourself while still holding on to your core values, use it as a defense because while you ignore books like the 48 laws of power, someone out there is not only reading The 48 Laws of Power but also developing strategies to outwit and outsmart you.
People who need to read this book
People in politics, Civil servants, Corporate executives, Entrepreneurs, Anyone in people service (Nurses, sales men etc), Religious leaders.
EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK
LAW 1: “NEVER OUTSHINE THE MASTER”
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite that is inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.
LAW 4: “ALWAYS SAY LESS THAN NECESSARY”
When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say the more common you appear and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it would seem more original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.
Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in our brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3 NIV
So I have had these words stuck in my head all week “The Plank In My Eye” , it’s pretty obvious what this post should be about. Ok! let’s take a walk down the corridor of criticism, hypocrisy and being judgmental.
Someone once said we are repelled by the things we see in others because they are somehow a part of ourselves that we dislike or are trying to repress, this might not be true in all cases but I have heard gossips say things like I know I gossip but that girl’s own level of gossiping is too much.
The truth is according to the bible a little gossip is as sinful as a lot of gossiping unfortunately these things happen in the church where a group of gossips are gossiping about the church gossip ironic right.
“He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone”. John 8:7
Aside doing the same thing we consider offensive in others remember when Jesus defended the woman accused of adultery in his own way, he reminded the people that they too had different sins in their lives.
You might not commit adultery or fornication but that doesn’t let you off the hook of sin whether it’s having bouts of temper ,unforgiveness, laziness, stinginess or greediness as far as they are contrary to what the word of God expects of us as Christians, it is a sin and no different from fornication, adultery or murder.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8 NIV
God is continually refining us and we all are at different learning curves in our relationship with God, I was listening to a sermon sometimes ago when the preacher said he just found out something he had be doing for years that he considered harmless was actually a sin, he actually was very remorseful about it and thanked God that he shed light to that part of his life that needed change.
Change is a progress and that is why God guides us poco a poco so as not to overwhelm us, we should do the same, give that neighbor of yours a break maybe they are at a point in their lives where they are still learning. Even in the house of God, the church should show grace to one another.
God is shedding light on areas of our lives that need improvement or pruning off, he is doing the same for all believers. So just because a believer is struggling in an area you have conquered doesn’t make you better than them. Show grace at all times, encourage one another and most importantly we should love one another.