Principles for Exponential Impact in Life and Business — Part 1 of 3

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Success in life and business is predicated on some basic principles.

I always get interesting questions on my email and social media from young people who are about to take the world by storm. In some instances, I feel like I didn’t give all the feedback I intended to. Hence, I have decided to write a weekly article that will answer some of these questions in details.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to listen to a dear gentleman give a striking sermon on the value of time. As I listened, I began to remember a fantastic movie I saw some time early last year. It’s called Lucy. Lucy is a 2014 science fiction starring Scarlet Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-sik and Amr Wakad.

In Lucy, Scarlet the main character was tricked by her boyfriend into delivering a briefcase to a supposed business contact. The once-carefree student was abducted by thugs whose intention was to essentially turn her into a drug mule. She was surgically implanted with a package containing tons of powerful chemical, but it leaked into her system giving her superhuman abilities including telekinesis and telepathy. She eventually sought out a neurologist whom she hoped could help her.

In one of her conversations with the neurologist and his team, Freeman (who played the neurologist) asked a very interesting question: “If humans are not the unit of measure and the world isn’t governed by mathematical laws, what governs all then?”

In reply, Lucy said something that has stuck with me ever since: “Form a car speeding down the road, speed up the image infinitely the car disappears. So what proof do we have of its existence? Time gives legitimacy to its existence, time is the only true unit of measure, it gives proof to the existence of matter, without time, we don’t exist…” She explained.

I think this statement is worth its value in gold!

This article is the first in three series, and it is my intention to help you see how you can take advantage of some vital success principles to steer your life and career in the right direction.

These principles are Purpose, Plan and Time.

Firstly, let’s have a look at purpose.

Is there such a thing as purpose? Can I really know my purpose for life? Are there examples of individuals who have discovered their purpose and lived it?

These are some of the questions I’ve received whenever I talk about this subject. The simple answer I’ve always had and still have is “Yes”.

At some point in our lives, we get to ask some of those valid hard questions. The truth is that you need to get to that point in your life when you discover what you live for, and perhaps what you will be willing to give up everything for. A person without a deep-seated conviction of what his/her life is about will surely settle for anything.

In 2010 en route Plateau State, Northern Nigeria, I met a bookseller who immediately became my friend. He eventually introduced me to Nelson Mandela’s iconic Autobiography; Long Walk to Freedom. I read the book as quickly as I could. It was humbling for me to feel so “personal” with the great Madiba whose story seems to transcend the world. One of the numerous portions which stood out to me was a remark in self-defense at the Supreme Court of South Africa, Pretoria on April 20, 1964:

“…During my lifetime, I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and hope to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die…”

This statement highlights just about everything I always have to answer the above questions.

Everything starts with purpose. No manufacturer goes into production without a set of objectives and goals. Your purpose defines your life, your choices, your stance, your goals, your aspirations. Nobody is supposed to be a jellyfish that floats to wherever the tide carries it. We ought to live our lives with intention, with a sense of direction.

So I ask you today; why are you alive? Why are you in business? Why are you working with that company? Why do you go to school? Why are you here and where are you going?

Unfortunately, there is no rule book in the sky that says; Tom-Chris, here’s your purpose. Live it. It beholds on us to find out exactly what this whole journey is about. If you haven’t found out what your life is about, I suggest you begin to find it. I suggest you look at the world with determination and find your place! As Steve Jobs said; like every matter of the heart, you’d know when you find it. You’d need no one to tell you that this is exactly what you were born for to do!

Benjamin Disraeli once said that the secret of success is constancy to purpose.

Your life is special. There’s no other human being, and science tells us there’d be no other, like you. You are complete, you are enough and you are God’s expression. Like Dolly Parton said, everyone has a purpose. So, find yours.

Second series coming next week. Let me know your thoughts by commenting below. Talk to me at tomchris@sfanonline.org. Thanks