How To Get What You Want
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
THE surest way to get discouraged is to compare yourself with others. The scripture says don’t compare yourself because some people will look like they are doing better than you and you will get disheartened, while others won’t be as effective as you. The best is for you to concentrate on doing your best. That way you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and won’t need to compare yourself with anyone.
All the apples on a tree don’t ripen at the same time. Apostle Paul says: ‘Knowledge and understanding take time. When I began writing, I found myself fumbling. But I want to become a writer and get three books published in a year and get good reviews. It can take years and many challenges in any new area before we can confidently say to others: ‘‘I am what Jehovah called me to do.” Don’t wait until you are successful, start now by saying you are what you want to become. Yes, you have much to learn and you may not be an expert but you don’t have to be an expert to write. So push ahead, cut yourself some slack for you are a work-in-progress.
Thus, the way to defeat your detractor is to confront him. You are not unique, because your temptations are no different from what others experience. Goliath was not always a giant. He was fed and nurtured until he became one. Our detractors are usually little sins we overlook and indulge until they assume a life of their own and come back to haunt us. Even then, you cannot do it alone. Your detractor will defeat you anytime you tackle him by your own strength. David told Goliath: ‘‘This is Jehovah’s battle and He will give you to us,” 1 Samuel 17:47. This means, you need divine help to overcome old habits and establish new patterns of behavior.
Therefore, you must confront your detractor head-on. As Goliath moved to attack, David quickly ran to meet him. Which is why you don’t run away, don’t negotiate, don’t compromise; no excuses. Force your detractor out into the light and don’t let him get back into your life. Establish boundaries and make yourself accountable. Stay out of wrong company, above all, don’t look at your detractor in the light of the divine. Place all things according to their limits.
For you to gain what you want from life, you must have a cause greater than yourself. That was why David could stand up to a Goliath that everybody was running away from. Because Israelites were being threatened and everybody around was afraid to tackle the problem. David submitted himself into tackling the menace. When you are confronted with a situation that needs to be changed, you just must take up the gautlet. Having a cause greater than yourself forces you out of a trapped lifestyle. A survey among people who lived to be over 100 years was conducted. Now you might read about health diets, miracle drugs and strenuous exercise. But what these centenarians had in common was purpose. They had a compelling reason to get up in the morning. For you to get the best out of life, you must have a cause greater than yourself. You must have a cause great enough to focus your energies and strong enough to keep you going when the odds are stacked against you.
Jehovah created you for a mission. At 12, Jesus said I must be about my father’s business. Twenty-one years later, dying at the stake, he announced: ‘‘it is finished. Those statements framed a totally fulfilled life. Until you fulfilled your purpose on earth, you are not ready for a transition into a higher dimension of existence. Asked how long it would take to bring a ship to a stop, a captain replied: ‘‘A good captain thinks at least a mile ahead.” Your success in any venture is determined by how important it is to you and your ability to prepare for it. ‘‘Any enterprise built by wise planning becomes strong through common sense and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts.” Alexander Hamilton, a founding father and America’s first secretary of the Treasury said: ‘‘Men give me credit for genius, but all the genius I have lies in this: when I have a subject at hand, I study it profoundly,” so if you want to get what you want, prepare adequately.
Our champion this week is Niccolo Machiavelli, the Italian writer and statesman, an original political theorist whose principal work, The Prince, brought him fame. Born and died in Florence between May 1469 and June 1527, this Florentine patriot hailed from a wealthy family in the city, on occasion holding the most important offices in Florence. Machiavelli’s father was a doctor of laws but among the poorest of the city’s lawyers. However he lived frugally, administering his landed estates near Florence. Niccolo became a historian, humanist and philosopher during the Renaissance. He was for many years an official in the Florentine Republic. He was a founder of the political ethics genre of modern political science. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs and poetry. He was secretary to the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512.
Machiavelli retired to his estate in Percussina and devoted himself to study and the writing of treatises that earned him a place in the intellectual development of political ethics and philosophy. Machiavelli died in 1527 at the age of 58. He was buried at the Church of Santa Croce in Florence. An epitaph honoring him is inscribed on his monument. It read: so great a name. it has neither adequate praise nor eulogy to such a name. Machiavelli’s book, The Prince is thought to be based on the life of Cesare Borgia, whom he served as an adviser. The Prince is a manual to acquiring and keeping power. He introduced a break between political realism and political idealism. In contrast with Plato and Aristotle, Machiavelli insisted that an imaginary ideal society is not a model by which a politician should orient himself. Machiavelli’s thought has had a profound impact on the politics of the modern world and it is reflected in the hate campaigns and thuggery in Nigeria’s 2015 elections.