Find your place or you will be displaced
Archimedes, the legendary Greek mathematician and physicist once said, “Give me a firm place to stand and I will move the earth”. The “shakers” and “movers” of the world are mostly people that have found their place in life. There is a place for you! When Usain Bolt was asked to clear the ambiguity on who the fastest man is between him and Michael Phelps, he said, “I can’t, I won’t compare myself with Michael Phelps, I’m on the track; he’s in the water. We can’t compare too much. He’s best in what he does”. People that have found their place in life don’t only shake the world; they don’t compare themselves with anybody.
People who have found their PLACE in life will always employ those that are looking for a place to work. Bill Gates was not a too fantastic student while in school; he struggled with dismal grades and poor results. There was also a young chap in his class, apparently one of his closest friends, with top grades and fantastic results. To the teachers, the young chap was destined for greatness or so they think. Bill Gates eventually dropped out of school and became a fugitive for his passion. Everybody doubted the sensibility in his decision but, nevertheless, he found his place in life. The software guru has this to say many years after: “I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft.”
You will never find your place in the world by being like everyone else. Your life was never meant to be lived like everyone else. Your place will always be connected to an unmet need or an opportunity to do good to others. William Wilberforce found his place in seeing to it that slavery was eradicated in England. Nelson Mandela found his place in challenging the demeaning scourge of apartheid in South Africa. Rosa Parks, the woman that is mostly referred to as “the first lady of civil rights” found her place in a bus in Alabama when she vehemently refused to give up her seat for a ‘white,’ as stipulated by law. Martin Luther King Jr. found his place by fighting racism and bringing it to its knee. Bill Gates found his place in programming thereby unleashing and stretching the capacity of the computer. Steve Jobs found his place by putting the whole world into a phone!
To find our place in life, we must follow our PASSION, discover our Latent Gifts, discover and reach our AUDIENCE, find the right COMPANY and turn our EXPERIENCE to expertise. When we intelligently articulate all these five pointers then we have discovered our P.L.A.C.E.
PASSION: The easiest way to find your place in life is to simply find your passion. John C. Maxwell said, “People don’t need to follow the common path to be successful. They need to follow their passion.” The secret of fulfillment in life is in following your passion. Most people are playing to the gallery of people’s applause and not their inner satisfaction. You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough, so find your passion and live your life.
LATENT GIFTS: Myles Munroe once said, “To know the right places for people, we must know their area of gifting”. In life, you will only shine in the area of your gifting. Nike Okundaye, the living legend behind the Nike Arts Gallery in Lagos, Oshogbo and Abuja in Nigeria has validated the supremacy of self-discovery and human gifts. Nike evolved from an obscure village in Kogi State to become an international figure and expert veteran in the Art of Adire design. Nike’s gift has succeeded in carrying her far, where no formal education could reach. Before her advent, Adire -a traditional Nigerian Yoruba hand-painted cloth design- was just an ordinary brand, but she brought it to global limelight with her magical touch and dexterity.
Her amazing story of grace and gift ‘lumped’ together has projected her beyond the shores of Nigeria into global and international limelight, with her designs exhibited in countries like USA, Belgium, Germany, Japan, and Italy, among others. Her Adire painting was accepted at The Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum, in Washington DC, USA. Some of her artworks have also found their way into the White House. With barely any formal education, she has taught in several universities all around the world, including highly revered institutions like Harvard. She was once reputed to be the only woman that did not attend university, who lectures in Harvard University! It has become an obvious truth that when we discover our gifts, we find our arena of authority in life.
AUDIENCE: Lewis Howes said, “The most important thing to remember is you must know your audience”. Everyone has an audience. Your service is worthless if it doesn’t connect with the right audience in a relevant way. The more you know about your audience, the more chances you have at making lasting impact. Whether in business, ministry or in life assignments, knowing and reaching your audience is sacrosanct. Though I have general messages that impact everybody but I have always known that the youths are my target audience. This knowledge helped me significantly over the years as I took my time learning about the peculiarity of youths; I learnt about their language, their challenges, their needs and their ‘appetite’. This has actually helped in reaching them better, carving a niche for me as a youth coach and specialist. Stardom is nothing more than discovering and reaching your audience.
COMPANY: Some people will never find their place in life just because they are moving with the wrong people. You can’t find your place in life if you keep staying in the wrong company. Your company will ultimately determine what accompanies you in life. Brian Tracy said, “Your choice of people you associate with will have more impact on what you become than any other single factor.”
EXPERIENCE: What we are going through is always linked to where we are going. William Wordsworth said, “The education of circumstances is superior to that of tuition”. It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing and finding themselves. Our experience leads the way to our destiny. In the book, Long Walk to Freedom, an autobiographical work written by late South African President Nelson Mandela, he enumerated the central part played by his personal life experiences in the unfolding of his life assignment. His 27 years in prison became the crucible that eventually formed him in the fight against apartheid and tackling institutionalized racism and inequality.
When the late sage was being praised by journalists for becoming an extraordinary man, as the first President of South Africa, he quickly cut short the appraisal and said something worth noting. He said, “I am not extraordinary because I am the president of South Africa; I became extraordinary because I went through extraordinary circumstances”.
I would like to reach out to the youths out there to look inwards, stop ‘wasting’ away by following the crowd. Find your Passion, discover your Gifts, reach out to your Audience, stay in the right Company and don’t waste your Experience. The Bible says in Romans 8:19 that the whole world is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. The world is just waiting for you to find your place. Don’t ever forget that you have so much to offer.
There is a gift in you trying to find expression; there is a passion in you that is struggling to express itself; there are potentials in you waiting to be unleashed. You can’t fully live life fully until you learn to give expression to your passion. What is your passion? It can be music, writing, acting, painting, sports, fashion designing, teaching, arts etc. Normal Cousin said, “The greatest tragedy of life is not that we die but what dies in us while we live.” Don’t carry your passion to the grave!
The earlier you realize your place in life, the more fulfilled and impactful you will be. Have you discovered your PLACE in life? Find your PLACE and design your life plan. Jim Rohn said, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much”.
Finally, it is good for you to know that you were born to do more than just go to work, pay bills, and die. You’re not a liability to the government; you’re an asset to the world. Stop living casually, those that live casually end up becoming casualties in life. If you have not discovered your PLACE, you will be displaced. Life is too short to stay in the wrong places, find your PLACE.
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