know, I know. I now sound like a broken record about stewardship. This is the second last article on the topic (at least for this season, until inspiration forces me to come back to it). The subject matter though is absolutely important in purpose pursuit that I just won’t let it go. I have found out that without stewardship, not only can we discover our purpose, we also cannot be able to fully deploy it. Stewardship is what ties us down like an anchor for a ship so we stay the course of our purpose pursuit, or we fully deploy it with utmost excellence.
I have made several powerful statements on the subject and I will not repeat them today. What I can still say to sound like a broken record is that stewardship is the bridge that connects us to our purpose. It calls us to be faithful in what we have today so that we can grow and gravitate towards our purpose. We started off this series by talking about the importance of stewardship in purpose pursuit.
Thereafter we have looked at several areas where stewardship is critical. Areas where we all are not exempt from being good stewards:
We have been talking about the several areas of which we need to be good stewards.
Today, we take a look at the seventh aspect of which we are required to show great stewardship.
One of my all time favorite inspirational movies is based on a true life story of a young boy who died in his 20’s. The title of the movie? Chasing Mavericks. The movie is set up in a coastal region that is famous for surfers. There were few seasoned surfers though who had learnt how to time and catch the big waves–mavericks as they called them, and they would surf those once in a while. The key thing about surfing mavericks was timing, knowing and anticipating when they would come. Opportunities are the world’s stretched hand beckoning us to get engaged in an adventure that will reveal or release our purpose into the world.
Richard Branson is quoted to have said the following:
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
With that quote, obviously we might not be ready for all the opportunities that come our way…but that is good news. Why do I say so? Because the mere fact that you recognized it as on opportunity is a mightily major plus for you. What does that tell me about you and opportunities? You are poised, waiting, anticipating for them to come. You are always “all ears” so that when they do come, you are ready to ride the tide. That is the attitude that we ought to have with opportunities if we are to embed stewardship for them in our lives. Frankly, some of the opportunities that come your way have a possibility of ushering you directly into your purpose. The question is, can you identify the opportunities?
Getting so fixated on what we have right now can easily rob us of opportunities. Ask Nokia and Black Berry. I know, it’s easy to point fingers at them today because we have the benefit of hindsight, something that they never had. I have always said that my current level is a seed for the next level. This kind of thinking will force me to be in preparation mode so that when an opportunity comes, I am able to not only recognize it, but also grab it. Let’s face it, you will not always be ready for an opportunity. We are babes every time an opportunity comes our way, which is an awesome opportunity to learn to ‘crawl’ again. So as much as preparation is absolutely important, you can never be fully ready for an opportunity. That does mean of course that when the opportunity does come, at least you are in the “flow” and so you should not shun it. Rather, you embrace it and see where it takes you. Remember, taking opportunities is the first step towards being good stewards with them. Stewardship of opportunities leads to growth and ultimately to deployment of purpose.
Opportunities will come to us in different dimensions. In some instances, it might be very difficult to recognize the opportunity because of the discomfort accompanying it. In fact, very many people have lost opportunities because they were looking for comfort. There is this major quote on the subject:
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work”.
I have already talked extensively about ideas in the link shared above. You have no idea what the universe is offering you in terms of opportunities when an idea crosses your mind. It is important to exercise great stewardship with our ideas. A scripture that comes to mind is this: “The whole world is groaning, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God”…the world is waiting for us to exercise stewardship with our ideas. Let’s not let them down.
I talk in length about this phenomenon in my book, “Turn Your Setbacks Into Major Comebacks”. Do not just look at an impossibility or a hardship for that matter at face value. Hidden in there is a massive opportunity awaiting for you and me to take it and unlock it…and when we do, we cross over to a new realm, most probably the realm of our purpose. Two men from South Africa espouse this, but I do not have time to talk about them: Nelson Mandela and Elon Musk.
This is obvious isn’t it? And you would think that everyone would recognize the opportunities offered by a new venture…but sadly not everyone does.
So, we have talked about Nokia and Black Berry…we have talked about IBM and Microsoft and so on. Today, we have people who have built firms that manage social media pages for corporations. They do not have degrees in social media, but they grabbed the opportunity when it presented itself. I was one of those people, but I slackened off (read chickened out)
This is obvious, isn’t it? However, how often does it come? How often does opportunity puts everything to a stop in order to get your attention? You guessed it: only when you have proven yourself worthy by being prepared.
We are never exempt from this. When it comes our way, the only thing on our mind at that moment is “when shall this ever end?”, or “How do I get out of this?” A better question to ask would be: “Now that we are here, what is there to learn? What profit does it bring?” You will be amazed. Someone lost a child through a drunk driver. Before long, she formed an organization called MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). Pretty tough, but that was an opportunity seized.
Finally, opportunities come our way when we school ourselves. In other words, when we go out of our way to intentionally make sure that we grow, we are inherently inviting opportunities in our lives.
This is one of the major areas that can directly link us to our purpose. Let us exercise stewardship when it comes to opportunities.