Every time I’m working I need some background noise to drain out other background noise.
Monday evening, I happened to come across Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian author whose best seller is The Alchemist.
By the end of part one I had rewound the podcast over 10 times listening again and again to confirmations of my truths and realities and conclusions of life and purpose thus far.
On a grand scheme nobody knows me, for those that do, they know I am spirit led and purposeful. I know what has brought me to this point in life and I can see and at times even experience where I am going and what it is going to look, feel and smell like.
Often when I am interviewed I’m asked, ‘What brought you to Ghana?’. My first response ‘It was a spiritual calling’, which I then support with a combination of ‘things’ which happened to me, all driving towards the point of me being able to hear, accept and obey the calling which was for me. I remember a key turning point for me was when I realized I have a choice.
In the UK, we are brought up in a system, of which a majority of people are part of, it is the norm. The system is like a huge wall that has caged everybody in and sells you a right now at an expensive price’. I remember one Thursday morning, I took a step out of my car as I was going to get the 8.25am train to work, at the young age of 26 and I said to myself ‘I cannot do this for the rest of my life’. It didn’t suit me, I knew I could not and would not conform and if I did I was not going to be happy. So from that day I decided to be true to myself.
The World’s Greatest Lie
Going back to the podcast, one of the questions that Oprah asks Paul Coelho is ‘What is the World’s greatest lie?’
Coelho responds; ‘You lose control of your life, that there is a system, an establishment, that tells you that you cannot control anything. The moment that they tell you, you cannot control your life and you have to obey rules which are not your rules…that is the World’s greatest lie’.
I concur, being true to myself and knowing that I am free to make choices and take on the consequences albeit good or bad for my choices. I felt my freedom was required in order for God to work inside me, and the Good Book speaks about when we realize we have the Holy Spirit and we are free, not to use the freedom for bad, but for the good of God’s work on Earth.
I often get asked, ‘How do you know you are doing what you are meant to be doing?’. The last time one of my staff asked me this, I responded ‘Can you imagine me as a receptionist?’ and she started to laugh and said ‘No, not at all’. There is nothing wrong with being a receptionist, or a janitor, or an Actor but to each their own. When I look back to Nadia at 8 years old and Nadia today I have been very consistent with my interests and my line of work. I have always loved entrepreneurial activities since being in junior school, without realizing that is what it was. My journey over the past 8 years have been me refining and defining my calling in life, connecting the dots between my channels and my purpose. I began to realize that my greatest fear in life is not dying, that is inevitable, but rather not achieving or becoming the person God has destined for me to be in this life. I dread the day when God breaks down my life for me and shows me when I slowed down when I should have been speeding up, when opportunity was knocking and I refused to open, when he showed up and I refused to look, the idea of me looking back and seeing time and time again when He was telling me it is ok, but I still had fear!.
Your Personal Legend
Within the interview Oprah speaks about your Personal Legend
Coelho says ‘Personal Legend or Personal calling/ THE REASON We are here/ the thing that gives us enthusiasm/ you betray your personal legend when you are not enthusiastic about what you are doing/ not everybody is going to fulfill their personal legend as they bury their dream.
Oprah goes on to say, her greatest fear is not fulfilling what she knows is her full potential/ her own Personal Legend. Coelho feels the same! Again I concur.
In 2017, I realized that my life in Ghana for the past 7 years has been like a game of Snakes & Ladders. I now realize that before I could start life I needed to be broken down and be rid of any limitation a system had imposed on me about my colour, my race, my culture, my beauty, my belonging. Before I can even start to think about what I have to offer and how I am going to successfully do achieve my personal legend.
You know life is a journey, to be married is a journey, to be successful in business is a journey, to get the nice car is a journey, to impact people and create change is journey. We never arrive and then stop! People rush to get to each of these destinations and they pay a harsh price for it and often feel a sense of lack of fulfillment, as they do not understand that the journey is necessary. The journey is life! We know too many people who are quick to get married, then it doesn’t last long. Because they saw marriage as a destination rather than a journey. Having a large business just appear, without going through the hard work of starting from humble beginnings and building up, rids you of the trials and errors that you would go through to learn, therefore increasing your chance of failure. The lessons you learn along the way prepare YOU for the greater things.
Coelho says ; `You have innocence which is not naivety… The language of signs, are everywhere all the time. You cannot teach the language of signs, you can only learn. You only learn by making mistakes and paying attention to what is going on. The universe is teaching us the correct signs and sometimes we take the wrong step but then it corrects us. When you start paying attention to life and you realize it is not all about you, and only you exist you start to see the signs.’
The Race is not to the Swift
My fear of not becoming who God destined me to be became pronounced in 2016 or 17. I realized that there are no guarantees in life and that everything starts and ends with me! Alot of people like to play victim and would use that as an excuse for not becoming who they have been put on this Earth to be, but guess what we have all had a handicap start in life, whether we realize it or not. A favorite scripture which speaks to this is;
Ecclesiastes 9:11: I have seen something else under the sun; The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise for wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happens to them all.
The Good Word also speaks to us about Faith without works, which became more prominent in my day to day thoughts. I have realized that there are four things which need to be at play in your daily musings;
- Courage to be bold and take that first step in what your Personal calling is
- Works governed by the spirit
- Signs/ opportunities which we need to take our time to see, decipher and translate into our own world
Coelho says; Courage is the first speech or quality that we need to have / to have an understanding of the world. It is the quality most essential to understanding the quality of the world, otherwise you try to reduce the world to the things you can explain. If you do not fear the unknown, the unknown will be kind to you – Courage!
One of the things I struggle most with in life is structure and boundaries. When I feel restricted that is where I am more likely to break the mould. I do not like being defined by constraints of which society places on me. I like to know that I am in something or I am doing something because I want to. I would call myself a free spirit! Yet what I realized is that I could be a lost spirit if I do not apply discipline every now and then. As I mentioned earlier, for me to achieve things which I can see, it comes with works. Works need to be intentional and purposeful, the only way to achieve this is to be disciplined and be allowed to be guided in life – Not by man, but the Greater Power, God, The Universe which is conspiring to bring to me all the things I am thinking and feeling.
Coelho says; When you want something the whole world conspires to get it for you / the universe does not think, so based on your energy, thoughts and what is in your heart is what you attract
Coelho goes on to say;
There are two pillars that we need to have;
- Discipline – We need to have discipline at certain points of
- Compassion – we need to be guided by life, if we want something we should step aside
Oprah summarizes with the following; ‘Will power, desire, enthusiasm and then surrender to the flow – Listen to your heart it knows all things’
In all honesty 2016/17 were crap years for me in so many ways…where 2016 was tough, 2017 became what I would say is was my worst year ever, in all areas of my life. Yet at my lowest point I could hear my spirit telling me the goodness of every situation that I was in and the lesson to take away. A friend said to me, ‘Despite what life is throwing at you, you keep on smiling and laughing’. I did cry, I cried plenty and that was ok, but I kept on going because I could hear the Holy spirit, my provider and comforter with me along the way. Plus I saw opportunity and I learnt things which actually granted me access to people and places that I would never have seen, had I not gone through hardship. In those times, the feeling of gratitude was also very strong. I felt grateful for every single thing in my life and started live my life with absolute appreciation.
Coelho says; Before a dream is realized, the soul of the world tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this, not because it is evil but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we have learned as we have moved towards the dream. When the real test comes that the point that when most people give up.
Remember, life is a journey – Fight a good fight and do not lose your faith!