Aligning Purpose to Planning, By Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua
It’s a truism that the most tragic thing in life is not death, but living a life without purpose. Purpose therefore is the main essence of life. The purpose here refers to the one given by the creator. It is the one described in Proverbs 19:21 – “many are the devices of a man’s heart, but God’s purpose shall prevail”. Success in life is thus synonymous to establishing that purpose in one’s life time. On planet earth, not in heaven. Heaven is another matter.
Two fundamental forces of nature that one must manage in other to establish God’s purpose for one’s life here on planet earth (in other words, succeed), are time and change. In fact they are the most important forces on earth, because they are the only ones guaranteed in life. Everyone has to deal with time and change, you may not have complete control over them, but can manage them. Handling time and change is therefore the key to establishing God’s purpose (kingdom success). Remember time will move with or without you; change will happen whether you want it or not. They are both given by nature equally to everyone; everybody has 24 hours daily, while change happens to everyone wherever he or she is. Change cuts across communities, nations, culture, economy and even social and religious spheres. In November 1993, the European Union (EU) metamorphosed from the Maastricht Treaty, and today, nationals from 28 European countries have to play by new set of rules in politics and economics. In Nigeria, the Treasury Single Account was introduced by Government in 2015, thereby re-defining new rules for Government ministries and agencies, and most commercial banks in the country. These are examples of the change in question.
The ability to manage time and change successfully is thus the principal key to success in life. To successfully manage time and change, one requires a special tool called planning. According to the late Dr. Myles Munro, Planning is the only key to regulating and controlling change. Failure to plan is an invitation to the forces of time and change to cause chaos in one’s life. Don’t forget that life is simply changes through time. Like they say, failure to plan is planning to fail. A plan according to the Marian Webster dictionary is, a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. Planning therefore is the process of making plans for something. A plan tells you what you want to do as well as what you don’t want to do. It in fact protects. Planning is what happens between the beginning (birth) and the end (death). It is in fact a roadmap to reaching your destination (finding and establishing your purpose). Finding the most optimum route to fulfilling God’s purpose for your life.
God’s strategy for mankind to manage and guarantee its future is planning. This is exemplified in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. For one to establish that future of prosperity that God talks about in that passage, he or she requires a plan. It is for this reason (Planning), that the Creator made us as Homo sapiens (thinking man). He gave humans brains to think. This ability to think is the singular differentiator between us and animals. The birds, fishes, and land animals (dogs, lions, hyenas, etc) are impulsive and reactionary by nature. They act based on impulse and instincts, and circumstances. They don’t think. But man thinks. He is expected to think, plan and create the circumstances the animals respond or react to, and not live by reacting, like God. Remember we are created in His image.
Every living soul God created, He gave a Purpose, and equipped him or her with resources (mind power, land and capital) to find and establish that purpose. Unfortunately, most people, owing to inability to fully explore and deploy their mind power to cultivate and dominate the environment (land and capital), live life without finding that purpose, talk more of establishing it. They end up as bio-masses, or at best impulsive and reactionary people. Those who form opinions based on what others say, those who simply follow the crowd. These people abound everywhere, all over the globe. They represent over 60% of world’s population. Over 90% of the world’s problems, failure, and regrets are attributable to people in this group. People who don’t use the heads.
Thank God for the few who exercise mind power over the factors of production, and dominate their environment, find and establish God’s purpose for their lives here on planet earth. The true leaders. Movers and shakers of society in the positive sense. These few are the ones who plan, because they know that planning is the greatest demonstration of faith, not hope, because hope just like wish is empty. These ones do more than hope. They spend time to think, plan, and execute their plans. These ones plan, and follow up with action. They key into God’s words that say, the just shall live by faith, and not by hope. They turn their ideas and thoughts into a design, and in faith put the designs into action. Ultimately, they win, succeed in life, and find their purpose irrespective of the obstacles they face in life’s journey.
Start planning today to find your purpose, it’s never too late. Do not leave your life to chance, otherwise the forces of time and change will beat you black and blue, and may end up a bio-mass. Live a life of purpose, that’s God’s plan for His children, don’t settle for less. A life without a plan is impulsive, instinctive and reactionary. That’s animalistic and not human. God gave you a mind, use it. Plan, and you shall fulfill purpose.
Engr. Dr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua (FNSE, PMP)
The author currently serves as a Director at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)