Lying on his sick bed, facing the ceiling and reminiscing on the journey of his life on earth, it suddenly dawned on Lawrence that his days were numbered. The doctors had told him that he had a terminal illness and he had two weeks left to live. At 69 he felt he had tried, even though his target was to live up to 75 years. Since he had just two weeks, he thought it wise for him to make peace with his Maker, which he did. After that, he called his lawyer and wrote his will. He also called his family together to bid them farewell and encourage them to live peacefully as one family. After going through these rituals, he thought he had fulfilled all righteousness and would finally rest in peace. But unfortunately for him, as he kept thinking about how he had spent his life, he couldn’t find the peace that he sought. He felt that by attaining such peace within, he would be happy to close his eyes and just translate to the other world. But that peace was nowhere to be found. Concerned with this unusual feeling, he began to search deeper. Finally it dawned on him that he wasn’t dying a fulfilled man.

He had money, he had the best cars, houses and other properties. In fact he was very famous, powerful and envied by many, yet he felt unfulfilled. Even with all of the achievements, awards and accolades he had amassed, he knew he hadn’t lived the life he was designed to live. In his heart he began to think, “What legacy am I leaving behind for my children? What will the next generation say of me? A lie or the truth? What about my business partners? What would God say of me? Yes, the world may have thought I was a great and successful man but no, they were deceived by the hypocrisy of my actions. Hidden in the smiles, influence and affluence was an unfulfilled man who kept hurting, cheating and trampling on people to get to where I am today. The façade of the title “philanthropist” was just one of the ways to make myself feel better. I know deep within that I am not dying a fulfilled man. The epitaph on my graveyard may read Rest in Peace (R.I.P), but would it really be the true situation?”

Imagine yourself in Lawrence’s position where you have just two weeks to live. Would you say that you are satisfied with the way you have lived your life? Would you boldly say that you have invested it, or would it be the other way round, that you actually wasted it? Oh hold on! Don’t be in a rush to answer the question. Let us dig a little deeper. May be at the end, you would have the right answers to give. The truth is you cannot rest in peace until you have left yourself here on earth even when you are physically no more. The act of emptying yourself into the hearts of other people is one sure way of attaining immortality. How do you leave a true legacy that even you, on your dying bed will smile and say, “I have fought the good fight and I have finished my cause. I am dying empty.” Let us examine the acronyms, R.I.P.

  • R- Relationships

Lawrence discovered that while chasing money and other desires of his heart, he had under his belt two failed marriages that had produced seven children. On further examination, he discovered that he hadn’t really been there for them. His children needed a father, but he was never around to play that role. They saw how he hurt their mothers and drove them to the point of walking away from the relationships. Three of his kids became victims of substance abuse and alcohol addiction. One of the daughters had gotten pregnant as a teenager. What a life! And that was only just on the home front. He had cheated majority of his business partners and employees and had hurt and oppressed many families along his path to “success”.

You cannot say you have truly lived without having built healthy relationships at least in your home, work and neighbourhood. There’s an African proverb that says,

“Relationships are the clothes that keep you warm in the cold dead winter season of life”.

Don’t live through life leaving bitterness in your wake. It takes character to build and keep great relationships, get some.

  • I- Impact

Do you know that you can live a life full of activities without making impact? To live a life of impact is to make a statement in the world that you were here. It is to put a dent in the world, redefine culture, build waste places and deliver it from its decadence through your gifts, talents and abilities that are guided by vision. In order to rest in peace and become immortal, impact must be the central point of what you do.

When I hear people use the word impact, I ask myself, how do we actually measure it? What are the indicators that add credibility to the impact we make in life?

In as much as our actions add value to the lives of other people, it is very important to always ask ourselves why we do what we do. Was the intention really to make impact or was it to make money, gain influence and become famous? I’m not saying that setting out to become rich and famous is bad, but the tendency to pierce your soul and that of other people is high when the motive for setting out was not really to change lives in the first place. So I would ask you again, why are you doing what you are doing? Why are you writing that book or article? Why are you organizing that training? Why that podcast, blog, song, business, NGO, job etc? What is fuelling that passion within you?

Dear friend,

[Tweet “it is safer to pursue purpose than to pursue the products of purpose.”] Unfortunately, many of us have lived life pursuing the products of our purpose in life rather than pursuing purpose itself.

Just like Lawrence, I have seen many who started well, with sincere intentions, but missed it when the products of purpose (money, fame and fortune) started coming in. Their motive for doing what they did changed drastically. Now they would do anything to keep the gains coming. Standards, quality and principles are now compromised. Impact and human lives are no longer the focus, but profits and gains. The world may see what they do and call it making a difference, but to their conscience and to God, they know they are merely running activities. Impact is not measured only by the results that you get, but also by what the process does to your heart.

  • P- Purpose

No one has ever lived fulfilled that didn’t live a life of purpose. Discovering the original intention of your life, your mission here on earth, the reason for your existence, is one of the most important things to do in life. This is because the discovery of purpose will determine the choices you will make at every stage of your life. It is the surest way to fulfilling your destiny.

[Tweet “To live a life of purpose is to walk the path of immortality.”]

This is where you will excel the most. In it lies your greatest influence.

At the tail end of his life, Lawrence found out that he didn’t really live the life he was designed to live. It was all activities. What a way to end life. He had so many regrets, he was a wounded soul. Do not be deceived; a life without purpose is a wasted life. Think about this, what will your name be associated with when you are gone? Is it pain, sorrow, heartbreak, wickedness, or love, joy, kindness, etc?

Unlike Lawrence, you have the opportunity to start all over again. You can begin the journey to immortality. There is a reason why you were created, discover and pursue it. Let genuine impact be your motivation and build healthy relationships as you journey along. This is how you rest in peace and leave an imprint in the hearts of many.

Leave a legacy that will make your world smile. 2016 is a clean slate. Build healthy relationships, be impact-motivated, live purposefully and become immortal.

Now you may answer my question.

You are the next big thing. Make it happen.

— — — — — — — — — -


This is a guest post by Chris Chukwunyere, a speaker, author, and a leadership and Spirit-Life Coach. He is the Principal Development Consultant of Insolar Consulting Services, a leadership and management consultancy service outfit. He is an Associate Pastor of Saints Alive International Christian Centre, Jos, Nigeria. He founded Inspire World International, a ministry committed to building people that are purpose driven, excellence minded and greatness personified. He is presently working as the Program Officer in Pro-Health International, Africa; an NGO that takes free healthcare to the poor and less privileged in the rural communities of Africa. He is a 24Karats Leader. Chris blogs at 24KaratsLife. You can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

This post is part of the #Last70Days Blog-Athon in 2015, a 70-day challenge toward the end of each year to help you to apply intentional approach to excellence in the coming year. If you want to follow the series in 2016, you can subscribe using the form below.

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