Discover your P.A.T.H
Williams Arruda said, “What makes you unique makes you successful”. The key to success is discovering your uniqueness and significance. Socrates said, ‘’man, know thyself.’’ The secret of success lies in self-discovery. There is a PATH that has been designed for everyman. The Bible captured this succinctly in Proverbs 4:18: “But the PATH of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day”.
The reason why some people may never shine in life is simply because they never discovered their PATH. Every man has a path unique to him and even customized for him. The journey of life becomes adventurous and impactful only if we carefully discern and follow our PATHs. You are specifically designed for a purpose, you are not mass-produced. The only time that failure is guaranteed is when you are trying to be someone else, when you are trying to walk in another man’s path. Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
One of the most fascinating stories that support the fact that everybody has a PATH to follow in life is that of the screen goddess and media giant, Oprah Winfrey. Oprah’s path to stardom and prominence was smeared with rejections, abuse and self-esteem struggles, but she held tenaciously to her passion and path. Oprah Winfrey once said, “Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.” Born January 29, 1954 to a single mother, Oprah Winfrey could have been anything other than the glowing titles she rightly deserves. Raised in poverty on a farm in Mississippi, United States, she suffered abuse and molestation, ran away from home and was sent to a juvenile home.
Oprah discovered her passion early in life; she began her broadcasting career at the age of 17 and she started hosting talk shows in 1978. The year 1984 signaled Oprah’s major breakthrough when she relocated to Chicago to host ‘A.M CHICAGO’. Under a year, the show’s rating dramatically improved and it was renamed to THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW in September 1985. The talk-show was later named the highest-rated television program of its kind in history.
Dubbed the “Queen of All Media”, she has been ranked the richest African-American and the greatest black philanthropist in American history. Several assessments rank her as the most influential woman in the world. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the former American President, Barack Obama. The height to which Oprah attained was not a sudden flight; it was simply because she consistently nurtured her passion, natural ability and talent. Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls”.
There is a PATH (Passion, Ability, Talent, Holy Spirit) that is peculiar to your way to stardom. People that will ultimately make maximum impact in life and eternity discover their PATHs very early in life with ardent commitment to stick with it. Your Passion, Ability, Talent and Gift coupled with the leading of the Holy Spirit are your effortless ways of blessing the world. Frederick Buechner said, “The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and world’s deep hunger meet”.
Passion: The easiest way to find purpose is to find “passion.” You will rarely succeed at anything unless you have fun doing it. John Maxwell once said, “People don’t need to follow the common path to be successful. They need to follow their passion”. Your passion is your purpose! Passion is the only effortless path to discovering your purpose. Nothing great was ever achieved without great passion. When the Founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, was asked about the secrets of success, he quickly responded, ‘’Find the thing you are super passionate about’’. Your passion is your effortless way to stardom and limelight. Many people will live long and die unknown just because they never discovered the one thing that they are passionate about.
Discover the one thing that you were created to be and be willing to pay the price to be it. The things that we were created to do excite us, while things that we were not created to do exhaust us. Wealth eventually comes to people that make their passion their profession. Your wealth will always come from what you enjoy doing. There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart, pursue those. Oprah Winfrey said, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you”.
Ability: Stevie Wonders said, “We all have ability. The difference is how we use it”. We are differently abled in some things. We must nurture and grow our ability to impact the world. As a personal development coach, one of my core beliefs is that: There is no disability, people are just differently abled! Your education is important but the discovery of your areas of strong ability will take you far in life. One of Rome’s greatest minds, Cicero, said, “Natural ability without education has more often raised a man to glory and virtue than education without natural ability”. You’ve got to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through. Zig Ziglar said, “Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that we have”.
Talent And Gift: The meaning of life is to find your gift; the purpose of life is to give it away. Myles Monroe said, “When you discover your gift, you find your arena of authority in life”. You could get fired from a job but you can’t get fired from a gift. Find your gift and you’ll always have work to do. In life, you will only shine in the area of your gifting and to know the right places for people, we must know their areas of gifting. Brian Tracy said, “The very best way to develop yourself is in the direction of your natural talents and interest”. Until you discover and nurture your gifts, you will continue to travel in another man’s PATH. Wealth does not come from your job; it comes from your personal gifting. Never desert your line of talent. Be what God intended you for and you will succeed. The key to personal success is the discovering of your personal gifting. Leo Buscaglia said, “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.”
Holy Spirit: People that walk with God always reach their destination. The Holy Spirit is our perfect guide in the journey to destiny fulfillment. The Bible says in Psalm 32:8, “I will guide you along the best PATHWAY for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Henry David Thoreau said, “When it is time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived”. Many people are living a life that is not theirs. Our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is paramount to discovering and staying on our PATH in life. It takes the leading of the Holy Spirit to walk in the right PATH. Many people sympathetically spend the whole of their life walking in another man’s path.
A combination of your passion, ability, talent and the leading of the Holy Spirit is your unique recipe to living a productive, impactful and fulfilling life. A fulfilled life becomes elusive without a healthy blending of these four. There is a genius inside everybody because everyone is a genius in one area of life or the other. Life’s major assignment is to discover that area of your gifting, talent, ability, passion and to consistently do those things that bring that gift to peak performance. Then a genius is formed!
Maya Angelou said, “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you”.
Have you discovered your PATH? Are you sure you aren’t walking in another man’s shadow? Those that never discover their PATH in life always fall apart. They fall apart in their career, marital life and in their ministry. That journey that you have started might send you into oblivion if it is not your PATH. It doesn’t matter how far you have gone. Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life”.