The Most Important Thing In My Life

It was another drab Sunday afternoon, only this time, a friend called to ask very interesting questions – like she always does. We had the most unusual conversation into barely explored territories – philosophy and the essence of life.

Mobolaji (real name withheld) and I attended the university although I graduated a year before she did. We hardly spoke (over the phone at least), so you can understand why I was a little worried about why she was calling. Oh! “Maybe she wanted to extend New year wishes”, I randomly assumed.

Few minutes into our conversation, I figured out why.

She asked really pertinent questions – questions I really enjoy speaking on – which made me think critically. I wasn’t so sure why she asked or what she was battling with when she asked, but I’d learnt from my experiences with people that such conversations don’t just come out of the blue, and she was indeed going through a phase.

It was at that moment that it dawned on me that I had shared with her, and some close friends – a few days back about reflections at my recently concluded end-of-year retreat.

Basically, every year I set out time, usually 3-7 days, alone to think, reflect and plan. It’s usually in this period where I take careful stock of how my year went, where I screwed up, where I dropped the ball and where I didn’t do so badly, and subsequently decide what to stop doing and what to start doing. Really simple.

Last year’s retreat was different, in that, it lasted 2.5 days. I got interrupted because I had to quickly leave to host a number of friends for the holidays. Quite fortuitously, a mentor of mine had shared a number of resources with me earlier in the month to help with the process.

I spent a larger portion of the retreat listening to those teachings and workshop, and answering really philosophical questions like – what is the essence life? why am I here? and stuffs like that. Somehow, I was able to put my thoughts together and answer most of these questions – subconsciously.

Fast forward to Sunday the 4th when I got Mobolaji’s call – asking what is the most important thing in my life and why I did what I did, I realized I neither had the clearest nor simplest of answers. Yet, I was able to give a sensible response – although muddled together.

Immediately after our call, I started thinking. “Next time, I need to be a lot more coherent and convinced about my response”, I resolved. Soliloquizing, I quizzed, “Iyanu, what is the most important thing in your life?” I grab my journal and a pen then began writing.

First, I’m a recluse and minimalist; as such, the idea of owning so much stuff irks me, and I genuinely don’t think I’m doing great in the keeping-tons-of-friends department. This made my options smaller – I never really want to own so much stuff or be Forbes List kinda rich. Second, I don’t know what I’ll do with so much popularity and truthfully, I think my solitude and privacy is too much a sacrifice to pay for such. So a life of popularity or limelight is definitely not me. I want to live a very simple and quiet, yet extremely impactful life, I concluded.

After a few writings, jottings and random scribbling, I came up with the most important thing in my life – God, Family and Career.

That’s the one thing for me: “A God to please, A family to love and a Career to build.”

That simple, but too short. I needed to flesh it up a little, in a way that it will always remain motivational – or perhaps inspirational – to me whenever I get to read it. In addition, I thought it will be a lot easier if I wrote it more like a company’s Mission Statement and framed it so I’m reminded to live by those words daily.

GOD: that I live a life that brings pleasure to God daily.
FAMILY: That I lead my family with love, integrity and diligence.
CAREER: that through my career, I fulfil God’s calling on my life and leave the world better than I met it – for successive generations.

Till date, I can’t say with any certainty where these words came from, but beyond even a speck of doubt, I’m sure it has the imprint of One that transcends time.

In our world, where we often get engrossed in numerous activities, sometimes its best to take a pause and deeply reflect on what is really important. If such reflections are not done, one faces the likelihood of doing so many things which in the grand scheme of thing are mundane and utterly insignificant, yet time-consuming. You don’t want to get trapped in the rat-race.

You will never have time to do everything, just enough to the most important thing. Decide what you want that to be and pursue it relentlessly.

I remain thankful to Mobolaji for initiating the process that led to the creation of this statement, and in a bid to give back I have decided to grant The Print House the sole right to make a product out of this.

If these words resonate with you and will love to frame it, reach out to The Print House to place an order. All proceeds made for it will go towards giving back to a social cause on education.

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