Welcome to January, the month of new beginnings. I bet you’re happy to have made it into 2021. However, are you wondering what path to tow? Wonder no more. This is why I chose this topic.

Everything in life is a choice and we are all choice makers. Even the decision to sit on the fence is a choice but one that I am hoping you will not be making this year. 2020 ushered us into a new lifestyle with the advent of COVID-19. I remember some saying that they couldn’t wait for things to get back to normal but I dare to differ because I see a new beginning. I see a life of simplicity and humility in the making.  I see a life of purpose arising. It can no longer be business as usual. Your life and my life must count for something in today’s new world. We are now forced to look inwards for answers and directions. No one seems to have the blueprint of life as it stands today. Change has come and we must adjust ourselves accordingly. Many of the things we overlooked as not being important seem to be gaining attention. Today, people are calling for the restoration of values. It has suddenly dawned on us that a life without values is a life lived in futility. So, what choices are you making today? How will these choices affect your expected outcome?

Life is full of challenges. It has its ups and downs just like a roller coaster. You can whine and complain but this will not stop the roller coaster of life. You may choose to deny the challenges and live like the ostrich that buries its head in the sand refusing to deal with the problem but this will surely not take the problem away. You may even decide to stick to your comfort zone and not rock the boat, telling yourself that not everyone will make it in life. You can also decide to find the silver-lining in that encounter and chart a new path for yourself. The choice is yours to make.

Oscar Wilde said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” So, what are you looking at right now? What is that challenge you have right now? Is it lack of finance to start a business, pay school fees or house rent? Were you hoping to be married in 2020 but he backed out telling you that COVID ruined his business plans? Were you hoping to travel abroad but denied entry? For every misfortune, there’s always a flip side that brings you gain if only you can hang in there and trust God in the process. I know a woman who thought she would marry a young banker she had dated but he left her and married another. Three months after the marriage, the man died and this woman who was jilted thanked God because she would have been made a widow at age 25. There’s also a story of a woman who lost her job shortly after she had her baby and was devastated. She wondered how she would cope without an income. A friend of hers visited and saw her making Akamu (Pap) for her baby and asked her if she ever thought of selling Akamu. Today, this woman who now has an Akamu business is making in one week, what she earned as salary for one month.

Change is Constant! Many fail to adapt to change because of fear of the unknown. But change always presents a choice…a choice in the way you perceive what is going on around you. It also presents a choice in the attitude you adopt towards what is happening to you. Change will present a choice on how you react to things said or done to you.

Ralph Emerson said, “Every wall is a door.” The one who persists shall break through the wall. It’s all about your attitude.  A positive attitude is not just about expecting the best to happen but also accepting that whatever happens; happens for the best. Your attitude shall determine your altitude. The ones that make it to the top never give up when confronted with challenges. I remember when I was trying to raise money for charity. Someone told me, “Jane, simmer down, these are trying times and people are saving their money at this time.” I must confess that I nearly gave in to what she said after all it made sense with the uncertainties that COVID-19 presented to us. But after a word of prayer and a moment of reflection, I decided to trust God in the situation and persisted with my project. I am happy to say that we received huge support and we donated generously to the home of ex-lepers. Nelson Mandela said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Whatever you intuitively feel; do it because it is the voice of your spirit, which is the real you. Some refer to this intuitive feeling as an inner voice or gut feeling. Whichever designation you give to it, just know that it can never go wrong. Therefore, learn to practice silence and connect to the source of all life and you shall receive guidance concerning that matter that presses you hard. “When the need is greatest, God’s help is nearest to you.”

So, I ask you today, what would you wish were different in your life? What is stopping you from achieving this dream? Each day you push back that thought to do something differently, you miss an opportunity to change your narrative. Why not step up to the plate and write your story in gold! The world is waiting for you to arise.

-Lady Jane Ndukwe