12 UNFORGETTABLE LESSONS FROM MY EXPERIENCES IN 2021.
First of all, let me say a happy new year to you.
Thank you for staying with me in 2021 and I believe we will roll together this year, yeah? Today on the blog, I’ll be sharing my 12 unforgettable lessons from my experiences in 2021.
1. When God reveals a vision for your future, there will always be processes that’ll come with it.
At the beginning of 2021, I received powerful, definite, weighty words about my future in my personal devotion, at church and during prayers with my friends. It was so exciting hearing those words until the dealings began. I learned that God provides the training manual and determines per time what is necessary for my alignment to the big picture He has revealed to me. I cannot run off with an instruction no matter the rush of emotions I feel. I must stay and listen for details and direction.
Some of those processes were not funny! I almost jumped out of one of them. My findings? The words God speaks are weighty and weight must align with capacity and capacity comes with discomfort and sometimes pain.
It’s not every painful situation that God will take you out of. I saw that practically in 2021. Some capacities are developed in very uncomfortable situations and if you step out of them, you’d have lost a chance to build something pivotal for the next phase of your life.
2. You will never know prosperity with tightfisted hands.
Last year, sowing and harvest was an emphasis…and yes, seed sowing is biblical. 2 Corinthians 9:8-9 clearly explains that. If you don’t have seeds in the ground, how can you look forward to harvest? The life of giving produces abundance. You can shout, ‘The Lord supplies all my needs…Glory to God!’ while living a calculated life, hands holding tightly to every dime you earn. You will not see financial increase.
One of the ways God trains his children with trusting him is by making demands on their finances. You’ll receive a certain amount of money like this and just as you finish analyzing how to spend it, that still small voice would whisper a name that the money be sent to.
In 2021, I saw what it means for God to make a man His distribution channel. I have seeds in the ground…plenty of them. I have experienced a measure of harvest and I know there is more to come.
This is me saying, Give consistently this year. Give to your local church. Pay your tithe or offerings regularly. Give to your spiritual parents and those who have become a blessing to you. Respond promptly to releasing that cash when the Lord prompts your heart in a particular direction. Don’t eat your seed.
3. You can become significant with a growth mindset.
Proficiency is possible at every level of growth! I saw this in 2021. Growth is how I have become a prolific writer. I’m still not where I want to be but I have seen a lot of improvement. Last year, I stepped into a new expression that scared and excited me. When I searched out those who have gone ahead of me, I almost lost courage because of the seamless flow of their work. Then I remembered how five to seven years ago, I wondered if I’d ever be a good writer but baby girl grew. I am doing pretty well with my craft because of a growth mindset.
Last year, I tossed away the fixed mindset and embraced the desire to learn and pursue knowledge. I am becoming! yes I know and if I do the work and sit with the right knowledge, I’ll keep getting better.
4. A structured life breeds consistency.
I want to scream this word to the roof top. ‘Structure!!”
I’m not sure I would have escaped bouts of depression in 2021 without a structure in my life. The demands for my time skyrocketed last year. I felt like I had been presented with a hundred things at the same time. Thank God for the knowledge of structures and systems. Routines have become a huge part of my life. With structure, life became easier. My prayer and study life got more solid.
I have a small notebook that followed me almost everywhere. In that book, I wrote down unfinished tasks, redefined my priorities and evaluated my progress. Structure is the reason I hardly dashed on facebook and scrolled my newsfeed for hours whenever I liked. It is the reason I never started my day watching a movie or checking out whatsApp statuses.
I have noticed that consistency became easier because I lived a structured life. Am I perfect at creating schedules? believe me I’m not but I have made progress in that area. I’ve seen greater consistency in my study life. I have also been able to read more. My thinking retreats have been more fine-tuned. My life in general has improved drastically.
5. Reading books with purpose is a path to improved personal transformation
In 2021, I didn’t read books because I wanted to hit a ‘I read 50 books’ goal. I’m done with that style of reading. It personally did not profit me much. While it’s okay to do a book challenge, I believe the best way to build knowledge is in surrounding yourself with materials in the area of your transformation. For instance, when I needed to build routines, I sat with Atomic Habit by James Clear and 5AM Club by Robin Sharma. For consistency, I read, The Principle of Compound Effect by Darren Hardy and later Mindset by Dr Carol Dweck. At the time I needed to deal with a behavioural pattern, A search for Significance Robert McGee came in handy. I read some other books but most of them were books that provided solutions for some answers I needed. I didn’t feel guilty for not finishing books and I wasn’t bored because I read intentionally.
Have you heard about Productivity Game? It’s a Youtube channel that summarizes books in about ten minutes. It helped me decide what personal development books I’d need for the different seasons of my life.
6. Transformation Goals are a life changer.
Before last year, my focus was on my writing goals, my blog, screenplay and my other expression but last year, I set personal transformation goals and built a structure around them. Since I started my 90-day goal plan, many thanks to Debola Deji-Kurunmi(DDK), I have included a personal development plan and I must confess, it excited me more than other goals. These transformation goals could range from building better relationships, speaking more confidently, emotional stability, meditation practice, dealing with the crave for approval or validation.
I believe that personal transformation changes you and when that happens, a strength of character that can sustain the outcomes of the projects or assignments will be built.
7. God cares about my career too.
I was stunned when the Holy Spirit led me to read a book that was not bible related and that book so changed my perspective to life. There was also another time, while I was praying, I felt a nudge to watch a movie, not faith-based, and it inspired a story series that’s now brooding in my heart. I shared more of this in my blog post, Why is God not giving me the clarity I want?
God wants to be involved in every area of my life not just when I’m reading my bible or praying. Inspiration, wisdom principles, creative ideas for career and business can be developed from the place of intimacy. You think the Holy Spirit cannot give you mind-blowing ideas?
8. Old addictive lifestyle can resurrect.
One of the lessons I learnt quickly in 2021 was that a good structure will keep addiction buried forever. It may leave you for some months but when the temptation returns and there is no process put in place to resist it, yielding becomes easy.
I had these processes and I also realized that I had to keep reminding myself about them because there is a strong likelihood to forget. For instance I know that when flashes of sensual images hit my mind, It’s not the time to read the bible quietly or listen to a song or message. I must speak God’s word about who I am in Christ while praying in tongues. That’s when I find my way to Romans 6:1-14 and I stay with this until the thoughts are dispelled.
I also know that even with these confessions, if I neglect my daily devotion, I might fall flat because a life of confession is powered by consistently praying and staying in God’s word.
I know that once I start to watch a movie and I see that it carries a certain level of sensuality, I delete it immediately. Many times, the Holy Spirit has restrained me from watching some movies and I believe He is protecting my eyes from trouble.
Another reminder of a process is keeping condemnation and guilt banned for life. May the day never come when the devil would make me believe I am rejected because of a mistake I did or that I am no more a son. I will always be accepted in the beloved!
There is something about maintaining victory by the Holy Spirit. I know the devil never rests and the biggest deceit is to think I can never fall into a lifestyle I’ve been delivered from. A regular communion with the Holy Spirit is my safe place.
9. Honour your covenant friends
I take the subject of honouring my spiritual leaders seriously but last year I became more deliberate with doing same for my covenant friends. We can play and jab ourselves but once they switch into the area of their graces, I get serious. I don’t take their words for granted.
As vulnerable as they have been to me, I avoid familiarity as much as possible. This action alone has saved me from making wrong decisions. Their words are gold in my heart. While they are speaking, I’m there with my journal and my pen or my audio recorder. I don’t talk down on their words and I listen attentively. They are in my inner circle by the critical roles they have played in my journey and I honour them for that.
They are not perfect. They have flaws but it does not change the honour I have in my heart for them. I won’t be pressing my phone and chatting while words are released over me. They have my rapt attention. I say thank you and take their words back in prayers.
I don’t have up to five of them and they have come into this position because over time, they have been God’s voice of confirmation to me.
I’m glad that they honour my words too and in fact I learnt this deliberate act of honour from one of them. I love and respect them. They’ve been my wiper on foggy days, helping me see clearly when sentiments try to set in. I am blessed.
10. Don’t force friendships.
Last year, I allowed a friendship go. It was tiring and stressing me out. I just knew it was time to let it go. Do I still love this person? Very much, but I had to take that decision for my heart’s sake. Some friendships are not meant to last forever. There are seasonal friends and it’s okay to let them move on once it’s becoming a drag. I learnt that when your value is not appreciated, prayerfully release such people.
11. Adjustments to times and seasons.
Last year, I could conveniently spread my time over my writing career, my personal development initiative- Elevate Transformation Clinic, spending time with my proteges and spiritual activities. I had more time for communion but gradually as the year unfolded, I came face to face with more responsibilities. I found myself in seasons that required more commitment and stricter scheduling. I was at first disturbed that my already established routine would be disrupted but I gave myself sense and sat with my routine and made necessary adjustment. Structure changes as we step into different seasons of our lives. For instance, I can’t give the same advice on building spiritual structure to an unemployed single lady and a nursing mother.
12. When the Holy Spirit says stop, stop.
I saw some of my plans scatter. I came to the consciousness that I can only move with the leading of the Spirit. I learnt much more that my schedules and plans must remain subject to the authority of the Holy Spirit. I must not cherry-pick His leading. I stop at the last place I heard God and until he says move, I remain there.
How did 2021 go for you? Did any of the lessons I shared resonate with your heart? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comment below.