Listening to a music compilation called ‘The Hits’, I was struck by how many times God is mentioned by one of the most revered and controversial artistes of his generation. Prince Rogers Nelson was better known for his androgynous looks, sexy lyrics, amazing musicianship and outstanding songwriting skills. Few people knew of his conversion to Christianity or his mysterious visits to people’s homes as a Jehovah’s Witness.
Even the ultimate party song, 1999, is about the coming of Judgement Day: “The sky was purple, there were people running everywhere, tryin’ to run from the destruction…” Another dance floor favourite from the 1980s, Let’s Go Crazy, begins with a sermon: “Dearly beloved” and talks about “the afterworld, a world of never-ending happiness, you can always see the sun, day or night.” He covered a song, What If? by Christian artiste Nichole Nordeman, which questions those who doubt the existence of God. Finally, he re-recorded, What If God Was One Of Us, with the following chorus:
What if God was one of us?
Just a slave like one of us?
Just a stranger on the bus
Tryin’ 2 make His way home”
Maybe it was Prince’s flamboyant image and outrageous lyrics that made it hard for most people to associate him with anything godly, but I believe that there is something deeply spiritual about taking your talent, perfecting it and using it to touch the lives of millions of people. In fact, I believe that this is what we are all meant to do, whether our audience is large or small. How many of us believe in our gifts so strongly that we are prepared to dedicate ourselves to their development, instead of following the school-university-job pipeline that stifles the joy out of so many promising lives with its assurance of security, predictability and anonymity?
At a young age, I knew I had a talent for writing, amongst other things, yet I yearned to be good at sports or music – because they led to instant popularity, especially with the girls. At 16, I discovered photography, a lifelong obsession, but I never had enough conviction to become a professional in the field. Somehow, the ‘pipeline’ was more supportive of ‘proper’ jobs and I never summoned the courage to forge an independent path for more than 12 years. During that time, my career consisted of what were considered ‘good’ jobs, until one day my brother and two friends (who were brothers also) threw me a lifeline – a chance to launch an event management company together. It was a part-time endeavour but it was the start I needed.
I clung to a couple more jobs for the income security until, finally, I jumped. It was scary and exhilarating in equal measure. My faith was tested many times but the freedom of self-determination far outweighed the uncertainty and tough times that followed. Looking back, I should have figured out how to do it sooner. However, those were the days when you needed a lot of capital to start a business – making it quite daunting for would-be entrepreneurs like me. In recent times, technology has been the great equaliser, allowing access to powerful tools and a global marketplace for almost any start-up enterprise.
If you are determined to do more with your life than work for a living, you should nuture your God-given talents and polish them until they shine. Design the life you want and figure out how to create value for others that will more than sustain you – it might even make you wealthy. Even if it doesn’t, you’ll be far happier doing what you love and bringing joy to the lives of others.
So, look deep inside and don’t be afraid of what you may find. It might just be the God within you.
What if you’re wrong
What if there’s more
What if there’s hope
You never dreamed of hoping for
What if you jump?
Just close your eyes
What if the arms that catch you
Catch you by surprise?
What if He’s more than enough?
What if it’s love?
From ‘What if?’ by Nichole Nordeman
Michael D. Williams is the author of number one bestselling book, The More3 Formula, a practical guide for entrepreneurs to create exponential profits through superior customer service. He is an international marketing consultant and senior manager with extensive experience of creating successful marketing campaigns, developing organisations and building partnerships. To book Michael Williams as a speaker or consultant, contact him at: email@example.com or +234 703 335 7123. The More3 Formula is available on Amazon.com
13 thoughts on “Find the God within you”
Another thoughtful piece Michael. Many if not most people follow the supposedly safe path of the “proper” predictable job that more or less guarantees paying the mortgage. But in my experience by daring to dream and conquering your fears it’s possible to achieve great things in terms of job satisfaction and financial rewards. Again you have offered an excellent perspective on how to achieve success.
Thanks Charles. This may be the fastest response ever to my blog! I’m grateful for your support.
I sometimes wonder about the what ifs in my life. I can’t for one moment regret how things have turned out however. The family I was gifted with justifies for me any decision or non-decision I may have taken along the way. It is true that the only achievement I craved, and this from a young age, was to be a professional singer. Times were different then and it never quite happened. Fortunately I have had moments of joy in that regard when the dream becomes nearly, nearly real. But I don’t pine, I am content. So congrats to you Michael for working hard at your dream and on the successes which continue to happen. Keep writing. As you are aware I do my little bit too. Love and blessings.
Knowing your children (and grandchildren) as well as I do, I would say that you’ve made some great decisions. Some of us may have a talent for self-fulfilment, while others are great at bringing out the best in others. When a great team wins the championships, often the coach is the the most influential person. Manchester United was unbeatable under Alex Ferguson while superstars came and went over the years. When he left, they collapsed, despite having all the same players. Don’t underestimate the power of what you have achieved. M xx
This article resonates with me Michael! For years now I have wanted to fully branch out in my creative design business, however the day job pays the bills! I have everything I need the Universe has delivered what I have asked for but still I hesitate, what is stopping me from making that final commitment? I am surround by people that can help, but yet still I hesitate? Why do not take that final leap of faith?!
Hi Sandra! Listen, you’ve got to find a way to do whatever you really want, even if it starts out part-time. Take small steps, grow in confidence and then jump. Don’t be surprised if He catches you.
Aikya62 is me Sandra Moore Michael not sure why it is showing my Twitter name.
Most of us are guilty of following the ‘safe path’ at the expense of developing our natural gift(s). While some of us eventually look inwards, others never do. I think the key lies in having the courage of our convictions to make the necessary sacrifices to reach our full potential. Thanks for sharing Michael. I will be meditating on this for a while.
Eche, I always look forward to your thoughtful responses. Meditate but don’t take too long. Take action, even if they are just small steps. Eventually, your stride will lengthen as you grow bolder. Blessings.
Great reminder Michael of how much each of us has to offer to the world. I’ve come to discover that the great deceiver is fear. Fear stops us from pursuing our dreams, from fulfilling our potential. Fear of loss of job security, because of the monthly mortgage and bills, seems to wield so much power over our decisiveness and courage.
I completely get it, because you spent years encouraging me to step out and conquer my fears. Finally a dire set of circumstances caused me to jump and fortunately God was there to catch me. I faced fear head on and now I’m living the dream I’ve had for many years. On the other side of fear now, I’ve realised that it was just an illusion. The reality is that if you seek to serve mankind with love as your motive, the universe will support you in your endeavours. The abundance of God is everywhere, especially within our hearts if only we would open up to the possibilities He has in store for us.
Wow, I love this response! It’s good enough to be its own blogpost. The things we fear are sometimes real but only temporary. Sometimes, what we want is in the other side of challenges and we’re not prepared to go through them to get what’s on the other side. We forget that we build our strength and resilience from adversity and gain valuable lessons. The great institutional deceiver is the school system – it fails to recognise and nurture talent because it’s not geared to preparing young people for ‘unconventional’ careers based on creativity.
I used to feel sorry for people who go with the security, predictability and anonymity a “good” job provides. I don’t anymore as they are a requirement for people like me who cringed at the idea of “a job for life”.
Hi Fadajoy, it’s good to see a comment with this view. You’re absolutely right – for many people, the jobs that creative people would find dull or boring are the ones that they crave. We need, doctors, teachers, accountants and secretaries. One’s talent can lead to a relatively safe job, it’s just that the security itself shouldn’t be your main goal. You should try to find the path that’s most fulfilling and deserving of your talents. One of my best friends found his calling as a lawyer and, later, a judge. He’s doing his dream job, trying to make the justice system in his country better because that’s what he believes he’s been called to do. He has a talent for logic and reasoning, tied to a passion for fairness, so it’s the perfect role for him. That’s the type of career satisfaction we should all strive for – someone else’s opinion shouldn’t matter at all.