This is part of the lecture I gave at the Edo East District Men’s convention in Benin City, South-South Nigeria, in October 2019.
Greatness, as a noun, means the quality of being great; eminence or distinction.
“Greatness is a concept of a state of superiority affecting a person or object in a particular place or area. Greatness can be attributed to individuals who possess a natural ability to be better than all others.” Wikipedia
The idea, “Stepping Into Greatness”, makes the issue look like a one-step activity; however, in reality, it is a complex and long-term process that involves various steps and principles. However, there is also a tipping point when people, who do not come from outstanding family backgrounds or circles, step out of obscurity into the limelight.
I recently hosted Mudiaga Onajomo, CEO of the fashion company called Mudi Africa during our October 1st Word and Wisdom Conference at our school, Petra Christian Academy, Ughelli. There were particular principles we got from his lecture and testimony.
We also had Mr. Tiki Yinyegha of Tikifish Enterprises from Ekure also speak to us about the story of his life. He is an outstanding young man with the same principles, but he has not yet achieved greatness in his industry. You can be outstanding now, but may have not yet stepped into greatness. Greatness involves size and scope.
Pursuit of Greatness
C1 – Conceptualization And Conception
For you to be great, you must first conceptualize and definitively visualise what you want to be in future.
When God told Abraham “as far as your eyes can see, I will give onto you for an inheritance”, He was asking Abraham to imagine it in his heart. God does exceedingly above what we can ask or think of.
Life, most times, is a multifaceted interaction of dreams; it also could be a clash of conceived ambitions.
Serena Williams has recently been in pursuit of winning a record number of grand slam titles to equal a certain record of wins. She was defeated by a very young lady who wept very profusely after her victory over Serena Williams. During her interview, she said she had been dreaming, since she was a child, of defeating Serena Williams. Serena Williams is an outstanding lawn tennis player, but the younger opponent stepped into greatness by beating Serena.
You must visualise greatness until it becomes a conception or pregnancy. A pregnant woman’s body, physiology, and psychology is overwhelmed by a pregnancy.
You cannot step into greatness without getting pregnant with greatness; else when the opportunities come, they will crumble you.
C2 – Content
You cannot step into greatness with only conception; you must have content.
What do you have inside you for safe delivery when the pregnancy of greatness is at term? There is a day called EDD—expected date of delivery.
When Mary was pregnant with Jesus, she did not know she will make a long journey to Bethlehem. God did not book a taxi for her to get to Bethlehem, it used to be a two-day journey. God did not inform her that she will suffer rejection even when she was carrying the Saviour and the salvation of humanity in her womb. God did not arrange for accommodation for her, and I’m not sure I have read anything about a midwife who attended to Mary. She still pushed her pregnancy out like any young woman by herself in a very unbefitting environment.
The angel was there, but invisible at the time Mary needed help most. It was after she delivered her conception that the angel broke the news of her stepping into greatness to shepherds, most probably, the owners of the manger.
The journey to the platform of greatness is a very stressful and lonely road. Your content will include the following: knowledge of what to do and knowledge to surpass those who have been great before you.
When Jesus went into the Sanhedrin, He did not go with His family or parents. He astonished His listeners by His questions and His answers. It was after then that He grew in stature and Wisdom, and obtained favour from God and man.
The week I was doing my oral exams in medical school, just before I was to be a medical doctor, I stood alone in front of old professors; it was the content of my knowledge that enabled me to step out as a medical doctor.
Mudi Africa told us that he signed for a six-month training period with a roadside tailor in Lagos, but that he had to sign an extra three months with the master, even though he could sew well. The extra three months contributed to his ability to sew very, very well. Those who stopped at knowing how to sew, stopped halfway.
Tiki said that he watched his parents smoke fish, and that even during his University days, every week saw him at home smoking fish. His knowledge of Physics which he studied in the University has helped him to professionally handle his fish business.
Most times, it is what you know, that your mates don’t know, that makes you greater than them. David stepped into greatness because he knew there was a death sentence on the uncircumcised male, because he was not covenanted to Jehovah then.
By wisdom is a house built, by understanding it is established, through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and precious things. Proverbs 24:3-4
Your content will include your skills.
Mudi Africa was the best artist then in his class at Government College Ughelli (GCU). In our art studio at GCU, there is a bold inscription that read, “Art is our noble heritage; hence, we are proud”. For him to be the best in his class at GCU, he must have been be very good. This art skill helped him to design very unique outfits. He acquired tailoring skills, but his talent provided an extra touch for his works.
I am naturally humorous, I read a lot, and I’m also a good orator. These have helped me in ministry in addition to the fact that I taught Sunday School for ten years.
The anointing usually does not amplify a vacuum.
Your content will include your endowment like your height, looks for models, your voice for musicians, and your physique.
Mudi Africa has a very fine physique, so he is a model of his clothes, first and foremost. That was what attracted Richard Mofe-Damijo to him, who later played a powerful role in his life.
C3 – Commitment
When you have developed and improved on your content, greatness comes from commitment to the conception you carry.
Mary and Joseph had to run in the middle of the night to Egypt. And even after King Herod died, they had to move to another town until that king died.
Mudi Africa told us that he always got to his office by 7 a.m. every working day. There was a day he got to his office later than 7 a.m., and an old man asked him if all was well. The old man said he had never seen him come late before. From that day he made up his mind to always get to his office by 7 a.m. every working day.
Tiki said that he does not go out or attend parties; he is always at his workplace. He hardly travels; he has only been to Lagos once, and he just came to Delta State for the first time.
I am always in my business place, unless I travel to preach.
Most people who step into greatness have spent time, money, and efforts in obscurity before stepping into prominence.
Greatness is not accidental, it is deliberate.
Greatness is very challenging, but poverty is very comfortable for many.
C4 – Choices
Commitment to your conception will help you prioritise. It will help you break Parkinson’s Law of Time (work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion) and Parkinson’s Law of Trivialities (an observation about the human tendency to devote a great deal of time to unimportant details while crucial matters go unattended).
You must also break a derivative of Parkinson’s law which concerns money and needs (your needs will expand so that you spend all of the money that you have available).
If you don’t, you will spend your time and money recklessly.
C5 – Character
Your commitment and choices will determine your character. Stepping into greatness without a good character is a sure recipe for disaster.
Donald Trump stepped into greatness, but his character and choices are increasingly becoming a great challenge to him. President Jacob Zuma stepped into greatness, but the character flaw he had previously is haunting him.
Greatness does not define you, but your character will define what happens when you step into greatness. Talent, commitment, skills, and even anointing can take you anywhere, but character will preserve your greatness. Character flaws plagued Mike Tyson. O. J. Simpson, R. Kelly, Bill Cosby, and many others had character flaws that brought shame to them after stepping into greatness.
Your character should include the following:
- Due process
Your character will eventually generate comments, commendation, and recommendations.
Your character is your reputation. These are discussions that regularly follow your actions and person, and this becomes your brand.
This brings you closer to greatness.
In the next post, Stepping into Greatness , we’ll look at other C’s necessary for greatness – Capacity, Competence, Confidence and Courage, Charisma and Chemistry, Contact and Connections.
God Bless You.