This is a continuation of the last post with the same title but IV.
Skills can be acquired in voluntary work which may not be far from home. It can also be acquired in service in the church. I observed my leadership skill grew serving in the church. In spite of challenges you should grow.
A lot of people tend to discard or underestimate ideas. Our formal education which somehow orients us to seek jobs after graduation hardly encourages us to create jobs. One would rather remain unemployed than risk acting on an idea that is capable of creating jobs. You may look back one day and one of your regrets may be that you did not act upon an idea. After a careful thought on what you can start small, you should meet the right people and ask the right questions. In taking risk do not be reckless. Calculate the risks and decide. Perhaps there is something God has deposited in you that He wants you to grow. Do not however run away from taking risks. There is nobody living that does not take risks. We take risks every day consciously or unconsciously. I boarded a vehicle one day from Ife to Lagos. Half way through the journey, I noticed that the left hand of the driver was missing. I asked myself, “What if this man had only one leg?” It dawned on me that I had trusted the driver without knowing him. How sure are you that the okada man who took you to your place of work or home is not riding that bike for the second time in his life with you on top? How well do you know he knows how to properly ride a bike? But you jumped on his bike. You took public transport to work and the driver who is a stranger to you drove you to your destination. You did not bother to ask for his driver’s license and you were relaxed the whole time you were in the vehicle with him on the busy road. You took a risk! Attempt not to take any risk and you take the risk of living an unchallenging and unfulfilling life. We live everyday with acceptable risks. After doing your homework, take a risk with that idea you have. Perhaps God has the answer to your prayer in that idea.
Before Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish to feed 5,000 men, he asked the apostles what they had. It was after the grossly inadequate loaves and fish were presented that he acted on what was brought and a miracle happened. Go to God for blessing with the little you have. It can be your talent or idea. Just do not go to him empty-handed for you were not created empty. Before you discard that idea, think it through. By doing nothing you cannot change your circumstance. Doing the same thing again and again expecting a different result is called foolishness.
The unemployed or underemployed should realize that hopelessness does not help. A good way to begin in getting out of this kind of situation is to define who you are. Retreat within yourself to discover the real you. Discover this and you are “born again”. People tend to run away from this and end up living purposeless lives. Self-discovery can unsettle you and until you discover yourself do not settle. You do not get to discover yourself in a day. It is a path and the success is made in steps. Notwithstanding, it is for the courageous. James Allen said:
Only by much searching and mining are gold and diamonds obtained, and man can find every truth connected with his being if he will dig deep into the mine of his soul. And that he is the maker of his character, the molder of his life, and the builder of his destiny, he may unerringly prove: if he will watch, control and alter his thoughts, tracing their effects upon himself, upon others, and upon his life and circumstances; if he will link cause and effect by patient practice and investigation, utilizing his every experience, even the most trivial, as a means of obtaining that knowledge of himself. In this direction, as in no other, is the law absolute that, “He that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”2
“The good news is that our sincerest desires are precisely what God wants. Our being truly ourselves is exactly God’s will. Selfhood is sacred, since God is the Deepest Ground of our being. In the core of our personality there is no opposition between God and us; that tension arises only on the surface, insofar as we drift from our authentic self. When we dodge the question of what we most deeply yearn for, we inevitably start searching out things which we do not really want,” said Peter G. van Breemen, SJ.3
Following the process of self-discovery is coming up with a vision. Even the unemployed should have a vision after defining who they are. This may seem unreasonable for them but it is necessary. The next step after that is to develop a plan starting from your present state to achieve your vision. As you act on your plan, your plan leads you slowly to your vision and gradually your circumstance begins to change. What can you do now? Your plan is not to get you to your destination overnight but to lead you towards it. I understand that it may not work exactly as planned but there is a forward movement. “If only I had capital,” is what someone would likely say. One can be given a million naira today and in the next three months the money would have gone down the drain. A woman inherited millions of naira from her late father. After six months, she could not account for the money. It was lavished. That is a person without vision and therefore without a plan. It has been said that he who fails to plan, plans to fail.
A person with a vision is ready to make use of resources and opportunities when they come. On the other hand, a person without vision wastes resources and opportunities. A clear vision has the benefit of giving your life a direction. It can prioritize your values and keep what is most important in your life always in your mind. You find out that those things that need to be uprooted out of your life give way to your values. They were standing in the way of realizing your vision and now you have a strong sense of direction so they give way. You have a clear vision and decisions are already made with it. Without vision, seemingly good things or good things keep you from achieving the best thing. Be sure to know who you are and what you want before creating a vision. Being unclear about yourself means that you are unclear about your future. If your vision demands more education or a new skill acquisition, make a plan for that. Reading is a means. If you can read, you can learn. Even the unemployed can learn through books.
- Peter G. van Breemen, SJ, Let All God’s Glory Through, 1995, St. Pauls, Bandra Mumbai, 35
Godwin Nwaokike is the author of Growing Through Life: The Pursuit of Fulfilment. Click the image below to find out more about the book.