Opinion: Rising Above Obstacles

By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” -ChristianD. Larson

Never underestimate your power to cope with whatever problem or challenge that may confront you in your life’s journey. Moreover, chances are that the same problem must have been surmounted by others before you. So, rather than being overwhelmed, find ways to turn your adversities to opportunities – then harness such with practical wisdom!

I have seen a lot of people turn their challenges into creative experiences, through a positive mental attitude. They turned their scars into stars, and then beautified and brightened up the world with it.

This reminds me of a friend of mine. After graduation, he went for the one-year mandatory National Youth Service. After the Youth Service, all his efforts to get a job proved abortive. He decided to pursue his master’s degree in a bid to upgrade his knowledge and enhance his resume for better job offers. But getting the funds for the programme was a major challenge. And there was nobody that was willing to help him out. In fact, when he told his uncle, who he was living with of his intention to pursue another degree, the man simply smiled and asked him, “So how do you intend to fund it?” When he replied that God would provide, his uncle retorted, “Okay, let God provide for you!”

Steve – that’s my friend’s name – dragged himself into his room, knelt down and cried unto God with groaning. Thereafter, he resolved to resume classes anyway. A few weeks to examination, however, he was issued a notice to pay his fees or risk being prevented from writing the examination. Somehow, he was able to gather half of the school fees but, the school did not permit part payment of fees (including departmental charges). So, he kept on struggling, believing and maintaining a positive mental attitude. He kept on saying, “My God will provide in full for me.”

Two days to the examination, he received a call from someone who indicated interest in blessing him financially. With that, he was able to conclude his programme in flying colours. He soon got a job with one of the para-military forces in Nigeria and within a short, his financial struggles were over.

Steve’s testimony is a demonstration of the triumph of positive thinking. It all looked impossible at the beginning, but he was able to maintain being positive in the storm till God calmed it in his favour. God is always willing to favour us but He must see our determined actions before He steps in.

Working While Waiting

In harnessing your potential amidst obstacles, there is always a time for patience – a time when you are waiting for the intervention of God to turn the tide in your favour. We saw this in the story of Steve that we have just considered. This is similar to what the farmer does after planting as many seeds as possible.

However, as it is with every serious sower, the time of waiting is not a time of idleness. Patience is not a virtue if you sit back and wait for your problem to solve itself. If you are unemployed, for instance, you cannot expect the phone to ring or an employment letter to miraculously show up in your mail box. Nor can you just expect the government or a union to call you and offer you a job or a company to re-hire you.

Of course, miracles happen. But merely waiting for a miracle could be the worst thing to do. Besides, most challenges have the in-built capability to grow more serious with the passing of time. To wait without making the necessary moves or preparations or taking steps of faith, is to waste time and opportunity. And to wait may be to surrender empowerment (leadership) to the vicissitudes of life.

Moreover, if you really want to solve your challenges, do not wait for others to pick you up.  Pick yourself up and save your destiny from within. Tackle your life’s issues yourself by rising up for yourself. Understand that you are the one primarily responsible for your life.  Do not expect anyone else to do it for you. Lift up your eyes to God and stretch your hand to your own capabilities (your empowered zero).

If you wait for or expect people to rescue you, you are likely to be disappointed. The worst part is that you may become bitter. And it takes much time and divine intervention for bitter people to get better! They end up hating themselves and blaming others, forgetting that everyone has his or her challenges to contend with.

Take Charge, not Take Care!

It is common these days for people to add “take care” to their “goodbyes”. I however consider it better to say, “take charge”, “take chances” or “take control”! This is because people who “take care” are often over-sensitive to the issues of life which mostly end up demoralising them. They end up being weak; they don’t go far!

Taking charge means harnessing your “empowered zero” by maximising opportunities so as to successfully manage life issues successfully. You need to take charge. You need to take chances. You need to take control! Life itself is a risk! But when you consciously and positively take charge, you easily manage and profit from the risks. When you take control, you consciously and unconsciously manage your life’s issues.

Taking charge is a decision you have to consciously make, not only to harness your empowered zero but to ultimately make a success of your dreams.   It is the force that propels your endeavours to success, then, to greatness. Never lose control of your life or relinquish it to someone else! Always have the rugged belief that your problem or challenges can be surmounted when you take the responsibility of taking charge!

Thank you for reading.

Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (Awakening The Giant Within You!) 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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