|Just before I turned 26|
Me: So how old are you?
Gina: I’m 25.
Me: Cool, what have you done with the first quarter of your life?
Gina: well, I just got a college degree and I’m praying to get married this year.
Me: (In absolute amazement) is that all?
Gina: Yes ma
Me: Do you want me to believe that this is all about your life in the past 25 years?
Gina: well ma, I don’t know what else is expected of me. At least I have gone to school and at my age, people would be expecting me to get married.
Me: Gina dear, There is nothing wrong in anyone expecting you to get married. There is also nothing wrong in your solemn prayers to God for a husband. However, if that is all about your life at this point, I am afraid you aren’t living life to its richest yet.
(She stared at me in amazement)
Me: Gina, do you have a vision for your life?
Gina: Yes, I want to have two children and own a big supermarket. So I can have time to take care of my husband and my children.
Me: That’s nice Gina. What if you never get married? What if the husband doesn’t show up until you turn 39? What would you be doing till then?
Gina: God forbid! Ah, Pastor Anne. How can you say that to me? I will get married this year o! Nothing can stop me.
Me: Amen Gina!
(Looking at her with a well of compassionate tears in my eyes, I said)
My dear, you are not ready for life. You are also not ready for marriage.
Gina: Why do you think so ma? I’m a graduate and I’m 25. I can cook; I can take care of a man and a house. What else is needed for me to be ready?
Me: Gina, so many things are missing in your preparation. From your responses, you think life always goes as planned. Life doesn’t. You also don’t have a plan for yourself in case the man doesn’t show up within your time frame. Since your vision in life is to get married, raise two children and a supermarket, what if you don’t have kids until after the first five years of marriage? What would your vision be then?
(She looked at me as though she could get the picture I was trying to paint.)
The first 25 years of your life is a sum of the first quarter of your life. Assuming you were to live for 100 years.
If you enter the 2nd quarter (26-50) of your life and you still haven’t got a firm sense of direction for your life? I can tell you that the other half of your life would be full of limitations and dissatisfaction.
My dear, Life is more than that. I pray for you to get married this year as you desire. In fact, I need to chop (pidgin word for eat) your rice. However, I must tell you 10 must haves before you turn 26.
A vision is a balanced, well rounded picture of a compelling future that you desire. A vision gives room for a strategic effort on your part. Now if your vision as you said, is to get married and have two children and a super market? You should ask yourself these questions.
· Is my vision balanced? A balanced vision is such that offers something of worth to your spirit, soul and body.
· Does it paint a compelling future? A compelling future is one for which you are willing and able to make sacrifices to have.
· Does it inspire others? A sound vision should be such that inspire others to succeed when you finally arrive at it.
2. Purpose Statement:
In the book Prothesis I said, “A purpose statement is the clear, concise description of the reason for your being”. You apparently cannot have a purpose statement if you haven’t found purpose yet. You need to know why you are on earth. You should know what you were created to fix. You should know your place and not exist like an accident.
3. A mentor:
When you finally have an idea of what you would love to do with your life, it’s time to get a mentor. Mentorship refers to a personal development relationship in which a more experienced or knowledgeable individual helps a less experienced or knowledgeable individual on a subject. Mentors make the journey to fulfillment easier and relatively shorter. Why get into the second half of your life trying out rather than knowing for certain?
4. A bank account:
A bank account says you are partially ready for financial productivity. It tells anyone that you are ready to initiate and respond to business transactions.
5. A stream of income:
I understand that you might want a white collar job or a supermarket like Gina. Whatever you want is okay. However, just before you get the license or education for a professional career; it is important that you have at least one source of income before then. Think about some business that doesn’t require a “formal education” and invest your time or money to get a financial return. You are about to enter the second half of your life. You cannot afford to get on without a business sense.
6. A confident personality:
Confidence makes you irresistible. Develop confidence in yourself and your abilities. Most times we lose confidence because we think we aren’t good enough. You honestly don’t need to be perfect. However, if you think you aren’t “polished” enough yet, then do something about it. Improve your skills, work on yourself and be on an ever improving path. The second quarter of your life would bring on challenges and glories and it will pay you to know how to appear confidently through those times. People recognize confidence when they see it and a healthy dose of confidence can get the world flocking around you.
7. A fashion style:
You are a confirmed adult. Now is not the time for you to try out a dress or a suit because your friend wears it. Your body frame is well defined at this point in your life and you should go ONLY for those things that fit your frame. A fashion style should efficiently represent your figure, personality and beliefs as best as possible. You are unique with a distinct identity. Choose or create a fashion style that enhances your unique identity.
8. A defined career path:
Sometimes people think its okay to wait till you are advanced in age before choosing a career path. They believe at that point you are well informed and mature enough to know what you want. That sounds a bit absurd to me. If at 25 you still don’t know what career path to take, then you are setting yourself up for a delay on success. I understand that eventually life leads people to a path they didn’t plan but you should have a defined path first, before life can lead you to its own. No one leads a man whose hand isn’t stretched out.
9. Sound relationship skill:
People are the greatest asset you can ever own. They are the ones who make dreams happen. They are the ones who build and sustain a dynasty with and for you. Hence, you absolutely need them. Before you turn 26, you ought to have learnt how to relate with the good, the bad and the ugly set of people. We cannot become experts at human relations overnight because humans are dynamic; but we can learn to relate with them in ways that enhances mutual benefits. You definitely need this one.
10. A relationship with God:
This should actually be at the top of the list but I wrote this “must haves” in no particular order; so figured It might as well be the last thing I mention.
Listen dear; no one knows how long we are supposed to live. Hence, we must be wise as ever.
Just recently, I was at a young man’s service of song to preach. He was only 36 years old and left a pretty wife and two lovely children behind. I said to me, “this man had just 11 years after he turned 25 to live”.
We definitely don’t pray to die at a young age but this is life where people die when they haven’t planned to die.
I encourage you not to enter the second phase of your life without Jesus Christ in your heart as LORD and SAVIOUR. He is the only one that can guarantee true success for you. He is also the one you will answer to after death deletes you from planet earth. Do you think it’s wise to continue to postpone your salvation?
You need an intimate relationship with God and that relationship is only possible through His Son, Jesus Christ. This relationship gives you a vision and a purpose -these in turn directs your life into a successful and noble end.
Gina realized how unprepared she was for life. She looked at me with the curiosity of a child and asked, “Where do I begin?” I replied, “Begin with a relationship with God.”
“Please help me”, she said.
I led her to say this prayer to God. If at this point, you desire a relationship with God, you may say this prayer too.
I confess that I am a sinner.
I believe that you died to pay for my sins and you rose from the dead giving me victory over sin and death.
I surrender to your lordship over my life.
Wash and sanctify me by your blood.
I confess with my mouth and believe in my heart that JESUS is my Lord and Savior.
I confess that I am now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
I receive your Spirit to dwell in my heart from this day onward, Amen.
Congratulations!! You now have a relationship with God through His priceless son JESUS CHRIST.
Gina was so excited and we scheduled to meet for a mentorship session geared towards helping her know God’s purpose for her life.
When you know purpose, everything else falls in place.