How to master this life – M. Afolabi

The worth of your life is in your ability to eventually fulfil purpose. It’s the ability to become everything you’re capable of becoming. It’s the ability to pursue your dreams and manifest great and uncommon feats.

What is life anyway? I define life as a season of individual consciousness to a world in dire need of help, progress and peace. Life for everyone, is purely about a season – a time to be born and a time to die. Having a different opinion or rejecting this reality is the reason behind the weird and abnormal behavior of some of us; behaving as though we’ll be here forever.

The desperation to have everything, to hold everything, to control everything indicates the delusion of a life assumed to never have an end.

On the other hand, a life filled with fear of losing anything, always playing it safe, not risking anything, not dreaming anything or pursuing a goal; a life of no vision, no mission or birthing solution to any humanity challenge reflects a life of a major waste of opportunities.

A long life of over 70 years, 80 to even 90 years with no significant impact in this world is such a waste of time, talent, potential and space.

A lifestyle of chasing everything and the opposite which avoids everything are both negative lifestyles. They are both extreme in reasoning and behaviors. It shows lack of understanding of what life truly is, it means we don’t truly know what potential is, what purpose is, what ambition is what real success is and how true fulfilment comes.

Go ahead and research this; the last days of anyone who lived a life of extreme greed or extreme ease are usually filled with regret. Such lives are usually denied meaning and fulfilment at the end of their days.

Dear friend, believe me I know how everyday challenges and pressures and trials can confuse you, upset you, scare you, frustrate you and make life appear aimless. When you lose a best friend, a spouse, a sibling, a parent or someone so dare to the cold hands of death, you’ll naturally want to just stop. Your zeal, passion and drive will just kind of evaporate and you’ll just see life as vain – all vanity.

When you invest love, attention, time, money, material possessions and everything you’ve got in someone or something you really care about and you’re suddenly repaid with evil you could hate yourself and hate life I tell you.

A career you love, a company you’ve served, and employer you’ve labored for, for so many years, day and night, through thick and thin suddenly say to you it’s time to go because the business is having a bit of a setback – wow, that hurts, it really hurts. Sudden loss of employment.

Ladies and gentlemen, too many things hurt so bad in life, too many people hurt us, we feel betrayed, sold out, oppressed, harassed, used, abused and misused by people more powerful, influential and better positioned. We feel entrapped in relationships and affairs with people we love desperately but who don’t love us back.

All these can cause an eruption of negative emotions and energy from within and some of us just shut down in life while others explode with a decision of a desperate desire to fight back. Many of us decide to prove to our critics, users and haters how wrong they are about us – we want to show them we can make it, we can succeed, we can survive and become really great without them, we want them to regret all the evil they’ve done us and we want to show the whole world how great we can become.

But I’ll want you to know this my friend, shutting down on life will bring you a lot of pain and loneliness at the latter years of your life, as if you don’t touch any life while you can, no one will remember you when you’re spent and old and you really need people.  Also reacting by chasing greatness by all means will never change the real opinion of your haters and those who don’t believe in you. If they don’t love you or believe in you now, it’s not likely they ever will. No matter what you achieve or become, they’ll say you’re just lucky. The best your achievement will bring you from haters and vile critics is hypocrisy, eye service and false friendship. Even as you bask in your success, the very people intimate with you are still the ones most likely plotting and hatching your possible disgrace and downfall.

What then should be your thinking ladies and gentlemen, how should you see life? Like I shared earlier, life is about a season; a duration of privilege and opportunity for you to be a blessing to the world – to humanity. A life of superiority is not a life that reacts, it’s a life that takes responsibility no matter how hard it is.

People being hard and mean and wicked and insensitive to you is not a reflection of who you are most times, it’s actually a reflection of who they are. You being hard and mean, and selfish and insensitive and wicked to others is also not a reflection of who they are, it shows the kind of person you are.

It is difficult to be mean, nasty, wicked and insensitive if you don’t have it in you. You can only dish what you have in this life.

Mastering life is hence in the ability to master yourself. It’s the mentality to see life and humanity as a responsibility. It’s a reasoning whereby you want to add value to people, to groups to communities and to nations whether they appear to deserve it or not. It’s the belief that love is superior to hate and that Godly, undiluted and unconditional love can draw people unto true repentance.

It’s the ability to see that the wickedness, selfishness, hatred and terror in men, are consequence, reactions or responses to negative pasts, bad experiences, misinformation or manipulation. They are all victims.

This however, is not an advocacy to tolerate nonsense, No way. It is an advice to help yourself become a better, more realistic, more objective, more peaceful and happy person.

The purpose of life is not to gain and gather everything, the purpose of life is for you to grow, be transformed and become better through time. You can hardly grow by spending time and effort in controlling others and reacting to life. You can only grow by mastering and controlling yourself.

Being wealthy is having charge over money, material possessions and people. But  no matter how much you have, no matter how many people thrive and survive through your empire, you will never be happy, fulfilled and satisfied without self-mastery.

The grace for self-denial, forgiveness even when your offenders don’t apologize, helping others without expecting back, delaying gratification, not seeking for vain attention, and remaining cool, calm and collected in the face of intense provocation are some indications of self-mastery and good growth in life.

The humility to apologize when wrong, the discipline to listen attentively to the opinion of others, not justifying your wrong doing by the wrong doing of others, not judging people without knowing them, being polite and respectful to people who don’t even deserve it are also reflections of self-mastery.

When you harness the inner strength to walk away from users, abusers and friendly enemies, when you resist the manipulation of erring religious leaders, family elders, killer employers and selfish lovers all using you to serve their personal interests, when you resist the  hard labour and worthless sacrifice for their selfish vanities and pointless pursuits, you are growing in self-mastery.

When ultimately you lose that personal sense of entitlement, and all you have is that sense of personal responsibility for the world and humanity, you have mastered yourself.

Self-mastery is the core of your purpose for being in this world. Aging with grace and dying peacefully is the sweet reward for anyone who successfully mastered life.

My dear friend, let go of the hate, the anger, the bitterness, the quest for vengeance, the greed, the desperation to prove and the ambition to suppress or oppress anyone in this life. Trade all that for real peace; that peace beyond the understanding of mere men. Stop reacting to life, start mastering life; start mastering you – that’s the only way to truly enjoy. This life is never complete without self-mastery.

 

Muyiwa Afolabi

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