Opinion

Opinion: Thriving in Trying Times – Part 2

By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“Until you are tried (pushed), you will not strive, if you do not strive, you may not thrive! To thrive is to lead, to lead is to overcome barriers or win. But our Trying-times may differ.” – Tolulope A. Adegoke

The aim of this write-up is to enlighten the reader on how to thrive, lead and conquer in trying times, and as well on how to overcome challenges and to benefit from unexpected changes in your life. This will be one of the very most important hours that you will spend reading. I, therefore, charge you to kindly invest it in yourself and I hope that you will take the contents in here to help deliver others around you too; so as to move them also to the higher levels of their life.

We must understand that living beyond just surviving is the point at which a man starts ‘living’, not merely existing in this earthly plane.

I have personally decided some years ago in my life that I was not going to be a survival, but a ‘thriver’. I wanted to be someone who will not live under any circumstances of life, but I will create my own circumstances. And this is where taking charge of your circumstances comes to play its vital roles through the power of personal leadership (response-ability) for effective and efficient lifestyle. A simple thought about thriving which also connotes leading.

I will be painting two unique animals on the canvass of the word ‘thriving’, which connotes Personal Responsibility for effective individual or corporate efficiency in trying moments that God Almighty- the Creator identified Himself with, in the Scriptures which are: i. The Lion and the other is ii. The Eagle. These two animals are important to be carefully studied because He identified Himself with them. He calls Himself the Lion of the Tribe of Judah; also He says, “I will bear you up as an Eagle bears her Eaglet”. Both of these animals are unique because they are both leaders in their areas of authority. The Lion is a leader in the Animal Kingdom, while the Eagle is the leader in the Bird’s Kingdom; so I am not surprised that God identified with them. He created them, and He knows their unique qualities and characteristics. He built into them certain qualities that cause them to continue to thrive come what may happen, rise to the top and become Heads of their own territories.

The Eagle

What makes the Eagle thrive, even in trying times? What makes it the king of Birds?

It is vision and ability (strength) to maximize the storm and gracefully glides peacefully, even to the highest mountains. It is the vision of the Eagle that gives it an advantage over other birds. An Eagle can see in detail what is over five to six miles away. There are several other qualities in an Eagle, but its sight (vision) is the most outstanding; its capacity to see from distance in details.

The Lion

Here is another mystery Dr Myles Monroe (of blessed memory) once said that: ‘an army of sheep led by a lion will always defeat an army of lions if they are led by a sheep’. The paradox here is clear enough for our individual, corporate and national comprehension and adoption. In other words, to thrive at any given time is to lead anytime, and to lead every time is to thrive every day. Leadership determines the quality of the followers. The Lion has the capacity to transform a Sheep into Lion-thinkers (that is, having a Lion Mentality) because leadership can transform cowards into warriors. Put in clearer words, followers cannot rise above their leaders. You become just like the people that lead you. So, if you desire to improve your individual lives, there is a need to improve the leadership that you follow; and you cannot lead people to thrive farther than you have gone yourself.

To thrive at all times, it is important to have a re-think on the kind of leader that you are following or yielding to; it could in any ramification of life (religion, finance, politics, friendship among others). Who are you allowing to influence you? this will determine how far you can go in life and how much you well you will surmount the hurdles in your trying moments. That is why if a football team fails, the Management does not sack the players but sacks the coach of the team because he controls the team and the team yield to his tactics and gimmicks. The coach is responsible for the team. This means that the followers or team are either retarded ore released by (who they follow) the quality of leadership. This is why leadership is the key to succeeding life, even in trying moments.

The lion is still a mystery because it is a rare example of leadership. The Lion is not the strongest in the animal kingdom, not even the tallest nor the most powerful, heaviest and most intelligent, yet the leader- which is an indication that there is hope for everyone who is currently termed a zero (nobody) or not-good-enough. I charge to kindly take a good look of those lists which you have been using as excuses not to become an effective leader or not to thrive in your trying times. The Lion cancels all of your excuses for not becoming great and effective. Why then does a Lion thrive as a leader despite its shortcomings? The answer is ATTITUDE!

The power of the right attitude matters in every aspect of our lives. The Lion is the leader of the jungle which comprises of the bigger, faster, tougher and taller animals just it possesses and demonstrates the right attitude. The Lion thinks differently! (the Lion-Mentality). But Attitude comes from something very important which is BELIEF; so, I suffice to say that ‘Attitude’ is a product of ‘Belief’, which can be likened to FAITH in the Hebrew language; and I call it the ‘Faith-posture’. The Lion believes in itself- this makes it control itself and deploys it towards life. Put in another word, Belief is another word for Self-Awareness (Self Knowledge). When you discover the truths about yourself- that is about who you truly are according to Scriptures, it changes your approach to life and the way you carry yourself.

No one can, therefore, live beyond the limits of their belief. A lot of people have been trapped as a result of their belief system. This is why I have decided to remind you of this principle for overcoming life and its fiery darts; while this is an eye-opener to others who have never seen life in this light. I didn’t write this to arouse your individual intellects, but to cause a change for a ‘divini-stic’ encounter by disrupting your mind to rediscover yourself, not just as ordinary, subordinate and natural man, but a Supernatural-unique being through the lenses of an overcomer. That you can surmount any height, that you can become anything as long as you believe and engage the Faith-posture in your trying moments to thrive and conquer.

Kindly come down from the clouds of excuses of lack of money, time and chances; what you may be truly lacking is the Sight-belief-system. So, the key to life is knowing and having a clear understanding of ‘how’ to live beyond your present belief. The word Belief as said earlier means FAITH, the word Faith means ‘Belief’. According to Dr Myles Monroe (of blessed memory), “Leadership is 20% Skill and 80% Attitude”. This is why majority across the world, even nations are followers- they wait for things to happen because they can’t make things to happen.

You can go to a university and obtain certain levels of degrees in leadership, yet be unable to decree in the leadership space as a genuine leader. Or obtain international certifications in Management, yet unable to manifest fully and thrive in trying times, because information does not necessarily change the Belief-systems. Beliefs come from your environment, the people you permit into you circle or caucus, those powerful enough to influence your thought-patterns, it could come from your parents, family, religious organization, educational system, movies that you watch and the Books that you refuse to read. Your beliefs come from your environment which you have resolved to settle-in, and have assimilated with the life-patterns or system therein; not until you break out of such system, you may never breakthrough but would remain retarded or restrained by the limitations which come from the system. As individuals, corporate organizations and nations, we all need a release from limiting-systemic patterns and that could be solved through visionary and effective leaders with efficient leadership structures and patterns. This connotes that, one careless error from a leader or head of a family, organization or nation would likely affect and inflict a majority, even across the world or the total structure of an organization or the destroy the family and also the individual in question. To thrive is to lead, to lead is to overcome barriers or win. But our Trying-times may differ.

Currently, humanity (across the world) is going through its Trying-moments and world leaders are coming together to find or proffer solution to a common (global) issue, called the COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Decisions from these leaders could affect the over 7billion of the world population.

 (Thriving in Trying-Times continues next week….)

Thank you all for reading.

Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (From Zero to HERO) by Tolulope A. Adegoke. Foreword by Dr Yomi Garnett (CEO/Chancellor, Royal Biographical Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A., U.K., Abuja, Nigeria.) Edited by Ola Aboderin.

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