"If a man is called to be a street-sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beeethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pase to say, 'Here lived a great street-sweeper who did his job well" ~ Martin Luther King Jnr.
No matter who you are, at one point in time you have been obscure. You started as a non entity...virtually, a nobody. Tell me of anybody who was never obscure. I do not think there is such a one.
I believe the message of the season right now has to deal with Obscurity. Obscurity in my own definition would be the state of being irrelevant to other people at any one point in time. Notice that we are talking about being irrelevant to others and not to yourself.
That should tell us something. I have always wondered how a man can be in prison for nearly three decades, come out and in the immediacy of being released, become the President of Africa's Superpower. How did he qualify for that? How did he know how to run a country while in Prison? Those are some of the questions I would ask Nelson Rohilala Mandela when I meet him.
The point however is that we need to radically change the way we look at our moments of obscurity. We need not to look at our irrelevance to others as a curse...or as a phase in our lives that has to be wiped out of our life history and forgotten.
We need to look at our obscurity first of all as a temporary phase. Next, we need to see our irrelevance to others at this moment in time not as a waste...but as a seed. We need to look at our obscure moments as an opportunity to grow. We need to look at it as a necessary phase for our development.
That being said, there are five things that I believe are an absolute must for all of us to know and do while we are yet obscure. These are what will hold us up when our prominence shows up...because one way or another, our moment of prominence will appear.
- Find your Why of Living: Moments of obscurity should provide for us opportunities to question the very reason for living. There is no better place to find our passion, vision and mission in life than in obscurity. It is seldom in prominence that such life defining questions are asked as to why we really are alive. It would be a great disservice to one's life if you come out of a season of being hidden without knowing what your passion in life is.
- Create empowering habits: Being obscure is not a ticket to check out on life and let it pass by as you wait for something to come up. Waiting is a pathway to death! Once you have your main defining vision in life, make sure that you have stocked up daily or occasional and consistent action points that lead towards that vision. The focus of most people in obscurity has always been to come out of it. It is how you come out of it that will determine how long you will stay out of it. You need to come out stronger, better, more focused, and more disciplined.
- Define What You Be remembered by: Again, there is no better opportunity to define your legacy than in an obscure phase of your life. Start by writing this sentence down... "I will be remembered as...." Write as many answers as possible. The one's that draw deep passion in you or even make you cry are those you need to focus on. This is critical...am told only 2% in the world have completed that sentence.
- Build a pictorial Portfolio of where you are going: Nothing is more inspiring than having a pictorial representation of where you are going with your life. Instead of looking for the exit door out of obscurity, take the paintbrush if you will and start painting the kind of life that you are heading to...the kind of person you will marry...the kind of house you will stay in...the kind of schooling your kids will have...the kind of car you will drive...the countries you will visit...the clothes you will wear and so on. Powerful stuff.
- Perform a thorough introspection of your ASSETS: Take some time to document both the tangible and intangible things that you have under your belt. This is seldom done...yet extremely critical. It helps idenfity your Point A...which is imperative information needed to get to your destination. Identify your Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. We all have our SWOTs. Herein lies the map to our acres of diamonds. Instead of looking for the exit door from your obscurity, use it as a cover to go to this all important quest. Know your strengths...what comes naturally and what you have been skilled in so far. How can you benefit from them? How can you serve the world with them? What are your opportunities? Anything you can always have done even when in an obscure phase? Great stuff.
Use the obscurity as a cover to develop...not as a season to curse and look out for breakthroughs. This is a radical approach...a faith filled approach...a hope building approach to mastering your obscure moments. One thing is for sure...you shall come out on the other side! What do you think?