o it is possible for me to be as repetitive as possible about the subject at hand until we have it nailed in our psyche. I cannot find any other powerful connector to our purpose other than stewardship. This is because for the most part, our purpose is not discovered at a go…and even if it is, we never realize its full extent all at once. There always will be a lull, a gap, a process that has to be “endured” before purpose come to the fore.
Therefore, in the interim, we have to depend on the power that is brought forth by the discipline of stewardship so we can realize our purpose. It is that powerful. This realization has freed me from being on a “parking” mode, ostensibly waiting until my purpose is fully grasped before I can start deploying it. In retrospect, I choose to thrive “in the meantime”, with the responsibilities that are before me. Excellence is my call at all the things that I seek to do. Commitment and urgency dictate what I do daily. I have to be an excellent steward of the “seeds” that I have been given. It is only when I am “faithful” in the few that I can be entrusted with the “more” which is actually my purpose.
The Areas of Stewardship
You see, stewardship is what levels the ground for all of us. It is so easy to make comparisons with other people and find ourselves wanting. I realized long ago that I am a sandwich. There will always be that person that is way ahead of me. Then there will always be that person that I am way ahead of them. What levels the three of us is nothing but stewardship. We all have things that we can choose to be good stewards of. Over the past several articles, we have taken a look at the following areas of stewardship.
8 Stewardship Areas that Unearth Our Purpose [Part 1]
8 Stewardship Areas that Unearth our Purpose [Part 2]
3. Gifts and Talents:
8 Stewardship Areas that Unearth our Purpose [Part 3]
Today, we take a look at the 5th area where I believe we have been called to be good stewards of. As we continue being great stewards, I believe we inherently gravitate towards our God-given Mission, and purpose.
The fifth area of stewardship is with our minds. One of the most incredible assets that we have been given is the mind. Just like other areas of stewardship that we have mentioned, the mind is given to us not as it is complete, but it is given to us as a seed. No one comes on earth with a fully formed mind. Now, I need to make a quick distinction here before we proceed.
- I am not talking about the brain (the physical biological organ that is located in the head, which is the engine of intelligence for the body).
- I am however talking about the unseen, untouchable intellect that is comprised of our intellect, emotions, consciousness, memory, language, thinking, perception and judgement.
Importance of the Mind.
Virtually everything we do whether good or bad is through the application of the mind. Any alterations we do in life, whether good or bad, are powered by the mind.
- I cannot alter my financial status without application of the mind
- I cannot alter my relationships without the application of the mind
- I cannot get direction in life without the application of the mind
- If I were to fail and never get up, it is for the large part, the function of the mind
- If I were to be wayward and leave the correct path, it is because of the function of the mind
- If I were to win you over and convince you, it will be because I have affected your mind
- If I were to liberate you, it will be because I have affected your mind
- If I were to deceive you and chain you, it will be because I interfered with your mind
In other words, all change, all progress and advancement are made by the central participation of the mind. That is why it is imperative that we choose to be good stewards of the mind that we have been given. The good news is that there is no one alive who does not have a mind. We all have it. Perhaps the greatest investment we ever can make is with the mind. However, the biggest problem we have to day is the misconception that the only place were the mind can be trained and made better is at school. Why is it a problem? Because for the most part, people stop learning after “finishing school”.
Carter G. Woodson said the following profound words:
“Philosophers have long conceded, however, that every man has two educators: ‘that which is given to him, and the other that which he gives himself. Of the two kinds the latter is by far the more desirable. Indeed all that is most worthy in man he must work out and conquer for himself. It is that which constitutes our real and best nourishment. What we are merely taught seldom nourishes the mind like that which we teach ourselves.”
― Carter G. Woodson, The Mis-Education of the Negro
Enough said. [ictt-tweet-inline]Each person has their own responsibility, for as long as they are alive and well to be a great steward of their mind.[/ictt-tweet-inline]
How to be a Great Steward of the Mind
- Physical Exercises: Believe it or not, physical exercises do not just benefit the physical body, they also benefit the mind. I have had ideas upon ideas come my way when my physical body is stretched during exercises. Perhaps if we told people that one of the biggest advantages of physical exercises is a sharp mind, more people will get engaged.
- Thinking: Let’s get serious about this. How often do we really think? And when we do, what is the object of our thoughts? The mind grows by exercise and we exercise the mind through thinking. Paul Fix said that “the greatest reason why people get lost in their thoughts is because it is unfamiliar territory” All we need to do each day is set aside some time of serious thinking. This need not be eternal time, but as little as 10- 15 minutes. The sharpest people you have seen in meetings are those who think, and such are those that we need. Thinking this way has a way of opening up your thoughts to ideas related to your purpose.
- Memorizing: Remembering is a critical part of a healthy mind…although I am told that some geniuses forget every now and then. One of the ways of being good stewards of our mind is to memorize things that are important to us. Passages, comments, sequences and so on. The trick is to make this a habit. It is free.
- Mind Mapping: I love this. This is where we have a pen and a paper and we extrapolate a “problem” or an “idea” fully on paper, considering all the angles involved. If you learn to mind map daily, your perception and “smartness” increases exponentially. I learnt this from the ground breaking book, “How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci” by Micheal Gelb.
- Brainstorming: Someone said that they could use all the minds that they can get. Brainstorming is a powerful way of letting your mind grow by appreciating the input and different angles from different people. But how often do we do this?
- Projects: The mind needs a project, a problem or a dream. One of the most powerful ways of engaging the mind is to find a project and dedicate yourself to it’s completion. By the time the project is done, your mind has grown…and probably in the process, you have inched closer to your purpose or you have already discovered what it is.
- Problem solving: The more problems we solve, the more we get paid and the more we add value to humanity. At the center of problem solving is the mind churning away ideas, excellence and myriads of solutions. A good steward of the mind loves problem solving.
- Meditating: To the unlearned, this can be a very difficult thing to do. However, getting to the level where you overcome distractions in your surroundings or within you so as to focus your mind on important things is critical. It helps your mind to grow. A good steward of the mind will embrace the practice of meditation.
In conclusion, I believe that the stewardship of our minds is critical in ushering us into our purpose. [ictt-tweet-inline]You will never discover your purpose with a blank mind. Get it to work![/ictt-tweet-inline]