The longest distance ever travelled by a man is said to have been done at a spot. According to Bishop T.D. Jakes, a gifted preacher, author and filmmaker, it was done when the prodigal son came to the realization of who he really was – a son of a rich and noble man; and not a wretched, broke and busted man sharing meals with pigs. The greatest discovery in life is the discovery of self – who we were created or born to be.
Jakes is a living testimony of this fact: He grew up attending local Baptist churches. He spent his teenage years caring for his invalid father and working in local industries. Feeling a call to the ministry, he enrolled in West Virginia State and began preaching part-time in local churches, but he soon dropped out of the university. He took a job at the local Union Carbide and continued preaching part-time. Jakes became the pastor of the Greater Emanuel Temple of Faith, a small, independent Pentecostal church with about ten members. Today, he is a Bishop of a mega church with world-wide popularity.
He is a Nigerian billionaire and President of the Dangote Group, which has interests in commodities in Nigeria and other African countries, including Benin, Ethiopia, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, Tanzania, and Zambia. As of February 2017, he had an estimated net worth of US$12.5 billion. Dangote is ranked by Forbes magazine as the 67th richest person in the world and the richest in Africa.
He discovered himself as early as during childhood. He says:”I can remember when I was in primary school, I would go and buy cartons of sweets and I would start selling them just to make money. I was so interested in business, even at that time.”
Indeed, the greatest personal discovery on earth is worth more than gold or silver. When you haven’t found it, despite your material wealth, you are an internally unhappy bundle of emptiness, yearning, confused, and depressed. In other words, there is this inner feeling of unhappiness when you have not made your own discovery. Simple things like waking up for work and cheerfulness are difficult, but as soon as you do, boom! A light switches on in your head and sends signals of joy all over you. Things begin to change forever!
The greatest discovery on earth is to find your purpose in life. Let’s look at it this way. You go to the shop to buy a toothbrush. Back home you could use it as a paint brush, and some other things but that brush is most effective as a toothbrush, which the manufacturers made it to be.
If like me, you are amazed at how God created the human body, with every little part of the body as vital as the other, as purposeful as the other, it goes to reason that the totality of man was created for a purpose. Let’s take this point further: if all men and women had a common purpose, there would be no reason for God to set individuals apart. The fact that no two individuals are the same, not even identical twins, suggests that our purpose in life will not be the same.
Individuals are wired for specific purposes – given different talents or gifts. And maximum efficiency and satisfaction in life is achieved when the individual operates in his or her gift zone. Everyone is born with a special gift, and it only becomes useful when it is deployed in the area most suited. Life becomes meaningful and happy when career choice is decided by one’s gift.
Talents are God’s gifts to individuals. You don’t decide or determine your gift or talent; you discover or find it. In some cases the gifts are discovered by more experienced people such as coaches and mentors.
How you know
However, while some people seem to be born knowing what their natural gifts and talents are, and soon know exactly what they want to do in life, most people, like the story of the Ugly Duckling, don’t seem to know their gift until much later in life.
Experts say, you know what you are gifted to do by your love for it. And when you are doing what you love, “your eyes sparkle, you are happy and excited about life, you are full of energy and joy. You feel satisfied, contented and turned on.”
“Doing what you love rejuvenates you; it gives you more energy than it requires.”
You are at your best when you are doing what you are gifted to do. According to a recently-concluded research by Japanese neurologists, Brazilian superstar Neymar is so good that his brain is on what could be called autopilot, when he is at his dribbling best. The study suggests that Neymar’s brain activity is only at 10 percent of that of amateur players. He will be worse off in another career.
People who try to do things other than what they are wired to do go round and round until they travel that longest distance on earth – self discovery. The good thing about operating in your gift zone, is that you are not only joyous doing so, you easily excel at it without having many degrees like a thermometer. Bill Gates is a university drop-out.
Research has also shown that people who discover their purpose live longer. New research shows that at any age, having a sense of purpose could add years to your life.
According to the researchers, their results suggest that knowing a purpose for your life could promote healthy ageing throughout adulthood. “Our findings point to the fact that finding a direction for life, and setting overarching goals for what you want to achieve can help you actually live longer, regardless of when you find your purpose,” says lead researcher Dr Patrick Hill of Carleton University in Canada.