Monday, December 31, 2007

Count Your Blessings. Don't Discount Them - 2nd Edition

As the year 2007 draws to a close today, and the New Year 2008 dawns on us, I wonder what kind of a message the year 2007 leaves behind. Cast your thoughts on the highlights of the year 2007 and I bet there are a few things you will rather forget. There are also many things that made the year worth it. One thing if for sure, not many of us would bother to pick up a pen and write the bad things in red and the good ones in green to sum the year ourselves. Yet, I feel we ought to do it. You will be amazed at the result.

Cast your thoughts on the highlights of the year 2007 and I bet there are a few things you will rather forget.

There are more chances that you will consider more things that didn’t work for you in 2007 than those that worked. That is the natural inclination. You tend to look back at the year and consider the opportunities you missed, the money you didn’t make, the goals that are left unrealized, the pains of the year, the losses and what have you. I do not blame you if you are doing this right now.

There is a way to also look at the past year that I want to recommend. It is summarized in the song of a songwriter. It says

"Count you blessings, count them one by one.
Count your blessings, see what God has done.
Count you blessings, name them one by one
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done

The lyrics of the song are very instructive. If you learn to count you blessings, not discount them, you will see that it’s not been as bad as you think!

Can I tell you a story? I guess I have told the story before but it is very relevant here again. I call it the story of two buckets.

A traditional well always have two buckets. As one is going down, the other is on its way up. Long time ago, there lived two buckets in the same well. It was noticed that no matter what happens, one was always sad, whining and looking morose and melancholic. It was always complaining about the situation of things all around. The other however, on the contrary, was always happy and motivated. No matter what happens, it was always in a high mood. Both buckets used to wonder what was happening to the other when they meet somewhere along the line in the well. The sad bucket was always wondering “why is this guy always happy? Are we not going through the same situation? Are we not faced with the same difficulties? The happy bucket on the other hand was always wondering aloud “what the hell is wrong with this guy? Why is he always looking morose and melancholic? One day, they decided to talk to each other and ask why they are both going through similar situations but reacting differently. The happy bucket asked first “why is it that you are always looking sad and morose all the time? Is anything the matter? The sad bucket replied. “Everything is that matter! I am not happy here. Can you imagine, no matter how full I come up from this well, I always go down empty!! I am living an empty life!” “Waoh” replied the happy bucket. “Do you know what? This is the very same reason why I am always happy. No matter how empty I go down into this well, I always come up full!!!! I am living a fulfilling life!

The past year 2007 no doubt was a challenging year for me. Many things happened in the year that affected me both positively and negatively. However, as the year winds up, I can’t but thank God and the angels he strategically places in my life (my wife, my daughter, my friends, my colleagues at work, my critics e.t.c) for helping to make this year an eventful one for me. No matter how empty I go down into the well, I always come out full!

No matter how empty I go down into the well, I always come out full!

Many things worked for me in the past year. We celebrated our 3rd year wedding anniversary (check the divorce rates around the world to see why this is a positive). I changed job roles at work. I was nominated for the Nigeria Future Awards for the “Professional of the Year 2007”. Our precious daughter Moyosorelouwa was 2! Apart from that, she doesn’t seize to amaze me with things she’s doing at her age. She is so smart I can’t wait to see her grow up. In the past year, I also came across information that bettered my financial lot. I earned more money doing things I enjoyed more than the salary I got! Infact, I invested amounts of money that were only in my dreams 1 year ago. Right now, I am holidaying with my precious wife. Most importantly to me, I have received email, phone calls and personal “thank you” notes from those whose lives have been positively affected by mine in the course of the year. Some of these texts bring me close to tears. I can choose…and this is my choice…to concentrate on all these, or focus on the other part.

In 2007, my house was robbed and several valuables, including my international passport, my wife’s and our daughter’s were stolen. My wife and I also lost something very precious to us at a very difficult time of the year. We invested in stuffs that didn’t work and lost money in the process. Our planned vacation to the UK didn’t work out, partly because of our passports that were stolen. I had some trying times at work and we also had to work through some health crisis.

I am sure you also have both sides of the coin. The question is…which will you focus on? Will you keep crying over spilled milk? Or will you look at the things that worked for you, praise God for them, and plan to turn around things that didn’t? Will you choose to count your blessings? Or will you rather choose to discount them?



Laolu Ojed said...

It's always inspiring reading your posts.I added a link to the same post for 2006, and am going to add this my blog......everyone must read your posts. Thank God for the gift of you.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post sir. You are always a blessing. Reading your blog always make my day

Have a greater year ahead

Fola' said...

Very true, it's almost easier to rember only "the not so good" things, but I guess in this year too, as the months roll on, we need to remember above "the not so good", "the good" that happened in the month.

You are destined for the top of the topmost top! See you there!!