THE ULTIMATE DISCOVERY
“The discovery of self is the beginning of success.” Hilton Etakoh
Of all the discoveries and inventions the world has ever witnessed, which is the greatest? To some it’s the discovery of electricity, to others it’s the discovery of the printing press, and yet to others, it’s the invention of the aeroplane. The answers are as varied as the discoveries are numerous. But what really is the greatest discovery of all time? It would not be in the discovery of electricity or in the discovery of the printing press. It wouldn’t even be in the discovery of the aeroplane, rather it would be in one’s discovery of himself. In other words, self discovery is the ultimate discovery of all time because it is the discovery of self that makes other discoveries possible. But what is self discovery? It is the knowing of who you are, who you were created to be, and what you are made of. It means knowing the source of your being, it means discovering the magnitude of the stuff you carry in the inside of you, it means discovering your passion, gifts, talents and abilities. In short, self discovery means knowing what your life is all about. Do you really know much of anything about yourself? To know who you are, you need to spend time exploring yourself; your passion, gifts, talents and abilities.
There’s a popular story of a certain beggar who died of hunger. But while it may be normal for a beggar to die of hunger, there’s something really striking about this story. Sometime ago when he was still alive, the beggar was given a nice little coat by some donor, which he (the beggar) wore all his life until he died. But at his death, the coat was taken off his body and in it was found hidden, several thousands of Dollars in large denominations neatly sewn between the linings. The poor beggar wore this coat until his death without discovering the riches he had within him. How painful! He was so rich, yet so poor. Many of us parallel the sad story of the poor beggar. Riches which we never imagined are right within our grasp, yet there seem so far. When you see yourself in the light of who you were intended by your creator to be, when you have a glimpse of the latent and immense power, potentials and extraordinary abilities resident within you, then no one and no situation will be able to hold you down.
The knowledge of self will help you see things differently, it’ll help you begin to see yourself as that great leader, millionaire, businessman, inventor, preacher, musician, politician, writer, scholar, doctor, sportsman, activist, etc, it is possible for you to become. The problem with most people is that very often, there spend too much time listening to what people have to think or say about them. They tend to allow people’s opinion of them to influence their perception of who there are. But does it really matter what any body thinks or says about you? Does it even count what people’s assessment of your abilities and possibilities are? Certainly not! What matters is your ability to explore yourself and discover who you really are, and the magnitude of the great stuff you carry in your inside. When you’re confronted by obstacles and doubts, you don’t have to become fearful and turn away from your goal. All you need do is reassure yourself of who you are, what you’re capable of doing, and what you’re capable of becoming. Declare it upon yourself, and when you do this, you stir up certain powers that you never knew you possessed, and these powers will ultimately leap to your assistance.
When you come to the knowledge of who you are, you’ll be able to know exactly what you’ve been called to do. When a man doesn’t know who he is, he readily accepts whatever life hands him. When you see a man who knows for sure what he’s been called to do, he always insist on what he knows is best for him. If you want to know what you were created for, spend time exploring your passions, talents and abilities. What is it that troubles you deeply? What are those wrongs in your society you always wanted to right? Those mistakes you always wanted to correct? That message you always wanted to preach? That might just be what you’ve been called to do. Peoples’ callings are often connected to the things they’re most passionate about. Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was so deeply troubled by the injustice, enslavement and oppression of African-Americans in his days that it became the most important cause he wanted to live for. So he began to preach, organized thousands of people and protested, and eventually the Civil Rights Movement was galvanized. The same is true of Nelson Mandela of South Africa in the days of apartheid. Thomas Edison was another man who knew just what he’d been called to do. He wanted to do nothing else than to keep coming up with as many inventions as possible, so he set himself the goal of coming up with a major new invention every six months and a minor one every ten days. When he died, he had about 1,093 patents registered to his name.
Your calling is more than a job, it’s a passion; it’s the fulfilling of a destiny. That’s why it’s not just enough to take up some job. Is your job compatible with your passion and natural ability? When you find your rhythm in life, you won’t need anyone to tell you, you just know it. It comes naturally. You just experience a certain fulfillment, a feeling of overwhelming joy that tells you yes! You’re doing the right thing.
The story is told of Rich Steams who graduated from Cornwell University and later took an MBA from Wharton. Work came easy and over time, he rose to become the CEO of Parker Brothers and Lenox China. Life was good; he had a big house, fancy cars, nice family and a secure job, but he lacked fulfillment. Something kept telling him there was more to him than budgets and flow charts. When in 1998, World Vision invited him to be their CEO, he saw it as an opportunity to apply his gift of management to his calling. But he still had to be persuaded, and eventually he accepted the offer even though it meant a 75% pay cut and moving his family across the country. But looking back, Rich Steams exclaims, “This is the fulfillment of who I was created to be…I’ve found my stride…I wonder why I waited 23 years”.
In the game of football, players don’t just play anywhere they like. Each player has his own role or position of strength. When a defender leaves his primary role of defending to play in the attack, he plays out of position and things don’t go well. In real life, a lot of people are playing out of position, that’s why they don’t achieve great successes and fulfillment. But it’s never too late to fall back in position, and play in your area of strength, gift and passion. Who really are you, and what would be your success story? Get to know yourself.
Hilton Etakoh is a writer, speaker and author of You Are Too Gifted to be Poor. To find out more about him, please visit his personal website at http://hiltonetakoh.com/