DRIVEN

Before I wrote this, I was watching a YouTube video. Was it the best use of time? Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that.

The subject of this particular video was Elon Musk and if you know much about this enigma of a man, you would understand the awe poured so lavishly into the language that was used.

However, one word jumped at me.

Driven

I have come across this word too many times in my short life and I do believe that it stirs up the same stereotype in most minds – the individual walking as though blind to the world around them. Consumed by passionate zeal, they pursue some goal almost to a fault. When they are successful, they lead humanity to a new frontier and when they are not successful, they become a cautionary tale.

Driven

However, what struck me in thought and compelled me to write this is the more literal iteration of the word.

To be driven in more literal terms assumes one very important thing – the loss of a will. 

It implies that something or someone else is in control. Thus, you are DRIVEN by a DRIVER. I believe this concept is not in any sense novel to most people because it is obvious, but I also believe it is so obvious that its essence is missed.

We attribute the word as a descriptor for high-achievers and purposeful people in our society without realizing that if success would be an ideal, then there is a compulsory need for one’s will to be so lost in someone or something that it dictates how their life will be lived.

Driven

I hope this should cost you a moment of conscious thought because most of us would agree that we wish to do something great with our lives. I want that for myself too and in considering this word, I remember that great things come at a cost no less than surrender.

The word “surrender” may feel like old English in this century but I believe it is quite the perfect synonym for “driven”.

To be driven is an act of surrender.

It might not seem obvious in our day because cars do not have a will. Thus, if living things are the only entities with a will, how can we operate as non-living so that we can attain goals that are otherwise unattainable?

At this point, I turn to words I have trusted for most of my life.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:1-2

I find the concept of a living sacrifice to be odd and I cannot claim to fully understand but it does help us, in this case, to give language to the idea of being driven despite having a functional will.

Basically, to be driven is to be alive but to live as though dead. The great thing though is the next verse presents us an action point to being living sacrifices (aka driven) and that is to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Two things to note in this verse include the acknowledgment that this is a transformational process and that the solution is an ongoing activity. Put in perspective, the verse insinuates a need for a change and emphasizes that this change can only happen through repetitive and consistent action.

Driven

Armed with the knowledge that we are not born with the ability to be driven and the need to acquire this status by consistent action, one would assume that I can now go ahead and be the best I can be. The unfortunate reality though is that even though I can, I do not necessarily engage.

I think many would read this and understand how crippling this thought can be. Apostle Paul, who wrote the scripture above actually confessed to this same struggle just a few chapters before this one.

The vicious cycle of wanting to do your best and flaking out when the work comes thus leading to the need again is one that is familiar across time and place. It is why we look at the likes of Elon Musk and say with utmost certainty, something else must be in control.

Driven

We could go down that lane and discover some great gems, but I would like to infer something I think to be quite interesting. Remember that from the portion of scripture quoted above, we know that one has to engage the consistent action of “renewing the mind” to undergo the transformation necessary to become a living sacrifice (aka driven).

My inference is that some activities which we would consider as being driven are in fact how we can get to be driven. By this I mean, that “renewing the mind” can often look like the car (you) is already in motion (driven).

I think renewing the mind is necessary before you are driven, and it is how you stay driven. Let’s call it the fuel.

Driven

I would like to end this with what I believe “renewing the mind” looks like. Glory Aimufua, a dear friend of mine once communicated a concept that struck me as odd. In her words, she believed that to do anything well, one had to “brainwash” themselves by engaging consistently with it. I think this is similar to what I believe “renewing the mind” to be.

To undertake a proper brainwash, one would have to be disciplined enough to regularly have intentional contact with that concept or context. In essence, renewing the mind is providing your mind the opportunity to access the thing you desire to be driven by.

I like the terms “renewing” and “transformation” because it points to something very important and that is as you create these intentional instances of contact, you are in effect giving your mind a newness and/or a different form.

It then makes sense that after making a habit of renewing our mind, you seem to be a different human – one that is possessed by an all-consuming passion.

Driven

I hope you see that to be driven, much like a car there is a very important need to first build the momentum to at least start. I also hope that you are aware of the very real risk that whatever you do this with, will drive you.

This is a good thing because to make the journey to success you cannot drive yourself, you must be driven by something or someone else.

In summary, it is an illusion to imagine you are the driver. I am more inclined to say, you are the car, but you can decide what or who sits in the driver’s seat.

Driven.

– EZEONYEKA GODSWILL
(c) 2022

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL TALK || EP. 06

It’s Impossible To Serve/Please Everyone

Seek improvement and receive wisdom when it is presented, but digesting every opinion and attempting to conform to every ideology will leave you unhappy and unfulfilled in your spiritual and general life.

Be sure you are pleasing God and your heart. (Proverbs 15:31, John 12:43, Proverbs 29:25)

HOPEFULLY HELPFUL TALK || EP. 05

There’s No Shortcut To Excellence


Yes, you can learn quick strategies for smarter work. No, you can’t skip the process of growth.

For Spiritual life and general living, consistent small steps are required for growth.

Fruits don’t just show up on a tree, babies don’t just walk, grey hair do not just appear, excellence doesn’t just emerge.

The end of the process is most times guaranteed, you will eventually finish well. (Galatians 7:8, Proverbs 21:5)

Yes, I can! I have no fear

Like a goat strutting along the green path
Looking left and right as it goes
Believe In your dreams, do not give up
Raise your bowed head and aloud declare
Yes, I can! I have no fear

Like an eagle spreading its wings soaring high
In the deep blue sky above unperturbed
Spread out your wings and aim high for the sky
Pursuing your goals with a little sigh saying
Yes, I can! I have no fear

Like a lion devours its prey unperturbed
Refusing the distractions so much around
Surmount your oppositions doggedly
Leaving behind no excuses, be reminded-
Yes, I can! I have no fear

Like a man pursues a beautiful maid unrelenting
Set your mind solely on your goals, be determined
Let your eyes look straight ahead unwavering
Forget your failures, they are passed, rise and say
Yes, I can! I have no fear

Try again, yet again and once again
When failures stare at you in the face
Striking you its numerous vicious blows
Let in your mind like water, these thoughts flow
Yes, I can! I have no fear

Every success comes with a story
Containing failures untold, part of the glory
Visible to the eyes often is the triumph
So when life pursuits bring setbacks so rough and tough
Get up and say yes, I can! I have no fear.

2nd Timothy 1:7 “God has not given us the Spirit of Fear, but that of power, and of love and of a sound mind”

Every success comes with a story
Containing failures untold, part of the glory
Visible to the eyes often is the triumph
So when life pursuits bring setbacks so rough and tough
Get up and say yes, I can! I have no fear.

Ajegbomogun Olufunke
©2021

Gifts

When life maze feel so twisted
And hope looks bleak and faded
That all you think of is giving up
What is your hands?
And I’m not just talking about the lines!

When you have searched for help
Looking for job here and there
With no success story or record
What is in your hands?
And I’m not just talking about the lines!

When you desire to help that neighbour
But alas silver nor gold you have not
Nor them have you
What is in your hands?
I’m not just talking about the lines!

Only when we look again, we see
That the creator left no man empty
He gave gifts to all
So when next you face a crossroad
Look again to see what is in your hands

Ajegbomogun Olufunke
(c) 2021

STEWARDING OVER AN IDEA

Isn’t it exciting when an idea pops into your head unplanned like an unexpected lighting flash? You are excited, you feel so pumped up and ready to go only to realize in few days that you don’t really know how to go about it. Excitement dwindles, frustration sets in, and the next thing on your mind is giving it time. Sometimes, weeks, months, and years go by with you still deliberating or totally forgetting all about it. Imagine the unpleasant feeling you would have when you see someone else executing the exact idea you had a few months back. I am guessing the flashback wouldn’t be as exciting as it was when the idea dropped. You can liken an idea to a crayon – colourful, beautiful, but static on one spot – if you don’t get a hold of it and paint the picture you see, of what good is it?

An idea is many things. One thing is, it definitely is unfinished. It speaks to a possibility, but in itself, it is just a promise. It does not look like much, may not feel like much but an idea is worth a lot because it is the birthplace of tomorrow. It is kind of a paradox because although it may seem inconsequential today, it has potential to be indispensable tomorrow. As exciting as this may seem, an idea comes with it a very important note of responsibility. Like a baby, an idea is fragile, loose and full of mystery, but it is precious and anyone who is lucky to get one is supposed to take care of it and nurture it into something that is strong, definite and distinct in expression. Just like conception, an idea is not always expected but every parent knows that “not being prepared” is no excuse to not “do the right thing” and be responsible. So, do you have an idea? Well, you need to do the right thing.

Just like money, I can bet we’ve lost a couple of ideas every now and then, some you can’t even recall, some you still have regrets about. You are not alone. It is not a function of you not being good or skilled enough for the execution of the idea, but a human struggle we must all deal with. It is not something to beat yourself up about, but rather, choose to brew on your ideas a little more, trusting each step even when you can’t see the full picture. You don’t have to sulk or stay in the confusion of not knowing how. There will be more ideas to come and some you might still not follow through. A good thing to do now is to have a resolve not to let your next idea slip through your fingers.

This is the reality – the end of an idea is the best part of every idea. When you get to reap the benefits that come with stewarding over an idea, I hope you realize that results come at a cost. It is not always a straight forward path, but it is one you must take to get to where you want to be. First, you need to acknowledge the presence of that idea; write it down, ponder over it intentionally, brainstorm. Then you need to carefully cultivate a space for it; share it with people who can possibly expand it and work with you on delivering it successfully – truth is, rarely does it take one man to do all of this. Now that you have created an enabling environment for your established idea (this might take a while) you need to give it time and capacity to grow. This means you MUST grow and let the idea metamorphose as you go. There are many specific steps that go under this over-generalized schematic, but you can bet that the key to all of this is RESPONSIBILITY. You need to watch over your idea like a mother does over her children and give it all it takes to grow, and mature, and take on a life of its own. At the end of it all, you get to sit back and be grateful that what was once a figment of your imagination is now existing before your very eyes.

Godswill Ezeonyeka
Imani Dokubo

(C) 2020