As a pastor, there are so many demands on my time. As I was going about my daily routine today, a gentleman who was with me asked a question about why I don’t do much conference speaking anymore. My answer made him even more inquisitive. I told him that life is too short to spend it any old how. THE DEMAND AND SUPPLY OF LIFE.
What could be wrong with speaking to tens of thousands of people at the same time? Well there is nothing fundamentally wrong with this. But as for me, I need to weigh my options. I am either doing that or I am strategically and methodically preparing leaders in a more result oriented setting. The lessons that came out of the conversation are what I wish to share with my readers today. So today I am going to be talking about how you can live your life, not wasting it on the minor things of life, but rather investing it in the best possible way.
Life is spent by different people in different ways. My concern today is to help people find out how they can best live their lives to hit the mark almost every time. How can we live our lives in such a way that we are sure we are being productive, effective and satisfied in every sphere of life? Not too many people know how life should be best utilized. This is a millennial dilemma, that has troubled the souls of men for many, many generations. How do we best use life? How can we best spend our time on earth? How can we live in such a way that we are certain that we have derived the maximum out of life?
How can we possibly live a life of maximum impact? What are the decisions that must be taken every time to ascertain that we are getting the best all the time? What are the steps you must take to step in the right places? How can you live to avoid all the numerous minefields of life? How can we live in a way that would not leave us feeling regret after so many years on earth? How can we look back in old age at our lives and grin with satisfaction? How do we live such a life? What are the steps to take?
There are three basic things you can do with your life. The most common thing people do with their lives is to waste it. They waste life by wasting time. They waste life by jesting and joking away their time. Some waste away their lives by drinking, partying or by simply having fun and living for pleasure. That is probably the dream of many people today. If you go to anybody and ask them, what is your dream life? They would say I want to sit by the TV all day. I want to play with my friends all day and they think that is the best way to spend their lives. They do not know that what they have just listed is not living life but wasting life.
The second thing you can do with your life is – spend life. Many people are engaged in this activity. We do everything we can to make sure we spend our lives. As a matter of fact, people erroneously think that life is about spending it. They think they are here to spend life. Some call it enjoying life. Most people who spend their lives are dreaming of having a summer house somewhere in the suburbs of their city where they can lie in the hot sun all day long, drinking coffee and juice. They think they are enjoying life, but really they are just spending life.
If you conducted a poll with most people in our world today and asked them to tell you what their ideal life would be, most people would tell you that they are dreaming of having a house on an island, maybe on a Caribbean island, the Canary Islands, maybe in Miami or Hawaii. Most people would actually tell you, traveling to those exotic places is enjoying life, but really all they are doing is spending away and whining away their lives.
People who spend their lives like to go to parties and cinemas, sit at home and watch movies, TV series, TV dramas, etc. They think this is life. But this is spending life not living life.
For you to capture better what spending life is, if a million dollars were deposited into your account the only thing you would do with that money from morning to night would be to simply spend the money by going to Miami, Hawaii, Bahamas, etc. Well let me tell you what would happen. You would find out one morning that you are stranded on one of those islands with no money for a ticket to bring you back home. This is because whatever you spend thoughtlessly will disappear sooner or later. No matter how much money you have, if it is not being filled back up and is only being spent, you can guess what will happen, you will soon deplete it.
The third thing you can do with your life is to intentionally invest every minute of it. My message today therefore revolves around how we can make our life an investment on earth, rather than just spending or wasting it.
“The universe doesn’t give you what you want in your mind; it gives you what you demand with your actions.” ― Steve Maraboli
For us to be able to effectively address this question, it is important for us to pay attention to the title of this article – THE DEMAND AND SUPPLY OF LIFE. Why demand? What I mean is that there are things that life demands from every person living on the face of the earth. Life has its demands on each and every one of us. It does not matter if you know about them or if you don’t know about them. It doesn’t matter if you are prepared for these demands or if you are not prepared for them, but the consequences of the demands of life will keep on following you for the rest of your life. THE DEMAND AND SUPPLY OF LIFE.
Why the supply of life? Well, wherever there is demand, there must be supply. If life is demanding something from us then it expects us to supply the answers to those things it is demanding from us. Our supply is our response to life’s demands. Our life ends up becoming the result of the responses we give to the demands of life. These demands of life are so universal that whether we like it or not, we are going to come across them one way or another. The response we give determines how our lives turn out.
Unfortunately most people never really stop to think about these questions. Most of us never really deliberate upon this truth of life. Friends, whether you like it or not, life has a way of teaching us all these tough lessons. No matter who we are or where we live or our status in life, we will never really be able to escape the demands and supplies of life.
So what are the basic things life demands from each and every one of us?
1. LIFE DEMANDS FOR US TO STRETCH OURSELVES
What this truth means is that for you to really make it in life and not be defeated, life demands that you stretch yourself. It is a demand of life. Anyone that does not wish or desire to stretch himself will get nowhere in this life. That is just the way life is. You are meant to stretch yourself in life.
As a young man growing up in Africa, I used to look at the relatively wealthy families around our neighborhood. I always thought if I could only be from one of those families, I would not need to stretch and struggle in life. The impression I had was that those who enjoy life don’t stretch themselves. They don’t suffer, they don’t struggle. Well, I was wrong. I had thought that successful people, wealthy people and prosperous people, don’t stretch themselves and don’t live a life of pressure.
“The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability as opposed to resilience and hard work, we will be brittle in the face of adversity.” – Joshua Waitzkin
Today my opinion is different. I have come to discover that the reason why they are so wealthy and prosperous is not because they lie on the sofa all day. Their success came as a result of the pressure they exerted upon themselves. It is because they stretched themselves that they are able to live the good life they are living now. That is stretch – that is a demand of life. Life only favors those who respond accordingly.
Life only favors those who understand the demand of stretch and give themselves fully to it. One of the main reasons why obesity is now one of the top killers in the world, is because some of our young generation don’t know the demand of life number one, which is STRETCH. They live by the opposite philosophy that they can lie around, sit around, drink around and still live the good life. It doesn’t work sir. This contradicts the demands of life.
When you live contrary to this demand of life, life doesn’t work for you. Life rather works against you. So, ladies and gentlemen, the number one demand and supply of life is STRETCH.
2. LIFE DEMANDS CHANGE
The number two demand of life is change. Anyone who wants to live a successful and prosperous life has to know that life is wired in such a way that in order for you to survive and make it in life, CHANGE must be your constant companion. Life does not work for people who don’t like to change. Rather life works against those who don’t like to change. For life to work for you, for life to favor you, for life to go your way, for life to smile on you, you must equip yourself with the power of change. You must go to bed with the mentality and thought of how to change yourself the next day. You must wake up in the morning thinking of things you could change in and about your life on a daily basis.
“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” – Steve Jobs
Life itself demands change from every dweller on planet earth. Life demands change. Only those who are aware of this truth find that life is enjoyable. They discover that life is easy. They go through life with a smile on their face. Why? Because life favors those who constantly change. Because change helps you to adapt to circumstances in life. It helps you to adapt to various situations that will come your way. Change helps you to be flexible. Change makes you pliable. With change you can survive anywhere. With change there is nothing you cannot deal with. With change there is no task too hard for you. With change, life becomes an interesting ride.
Those who don’t want to supply what life demands suffer the consequences. If you don’t want to change, you are left in the back. If you don’t want to change, you are kicked out of the technological age. If you don’t like to change, you become obsolete. You are not able to live in a fast changing world. Life demands change.
Some people tell me, oh I don’t like change. I tell them, I don’t care, life demands it. If you want to live life and embrace it you have to change. It is not about what you like, it is about what life demands. It is the demand of life and you must supply it.
3. LIFE DEMANDS DISCOMFORT AND PAIN
Everybody loves comfort, but that is an illusion my friends. Life rather demands discomfort. That is the truth. What the advertisements are telling us on TV is not the truth. Life is not about comfort. God is not sitting in heaven thinking about how to make you comfortable. Your comfort might actually be His least concern. From my experience with God, and what I read from His Holy Book. I sometimes think that He is more interested in our discomfort than in our comfort.
“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” ― William Goldman.
This runs contrary to what most people will tell you, if you ask them about their greatest desires in life. Most people desire comfort and pleasure. The reality however, is that in order to make progress in life, we have to embrace discomfort. We must intentionally push ourselves out of our comfort zones, if we are to make any significant progress on this side of life.
Most people that I know who go to church actually go there to twist the arms of God so that He can get all the discomfort away from them. They pray to have less discomfort in life. Some people fast so that they can have less discomfort in life. Some of us read the Bible to quote God’s words back to Him so as to get Him to make us live a discomfort free life. But most of those prayers are left unanswered for some reasons. The reason is not farfetched – God is not interested in your comfort. He is more interested in your purpose.
“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” ― C.S. Lewis
God is never going to deliver you from all discomfort and pain. Then that would not be life, that would be heaven. God only promised that in heaven, not on earth. Life demands something else, discomfort and pain. Those who hear this solemn call of life and respond with the corresponding supply receive favor. They receive progress in life. They achieve greatness in life. They win in life. They gain in life and they prosper in life.
So friends, get out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of pain. Confront your pains. Let your discomfort and pain push you into something new. Let your pain lead you to creativity. Let your discomfort lead you into inventions. Let the demand of life, lead you into the abundant supplies of life.
4. LIFE DEMANDS GROWTH
Anyone who refuses to grow will remain in the past. It is a demand of life. There is nothing you can do about it. Self-education is the most important thing that can happen to you. There is nothing that can replace self-development. Schools do not replace self-development, certificates can’t replace self-education, degrees can’t replace self-development and diplomas can’t replace self-development. One of the most important gifts that you can give to yourself is the gift of self-education, that is the best way to grow on a constant basis.
“Formal education makes you a living, self-education makes you a legend.” ― Habeeb Akande
A continuous growth, a steady growth is a demand of life. Life itself demands that from us and if we respond accordingly, if we give the supply of growth, self-improvement, self-education, into our lives, life will favor us. We will smile through life. Life becomes easy for people who respond to the demands of life. But for those who neglect the demands of life, they live in perpetual pain and regret.
Those who refuse to grow, those who only finish school and call it quits live with regret throughout life. While those who continuously get themselves a supply of growth, smile through life.
“School education isn’t the end to your education. Living up to your true potential can only come by continuing to self-educate yourself for as long as you exist.” ― Edmond Mbiaka
Ladies and gentlemen, let us hear this demand of life and adhere to it. It would do us good.
5. LIFE DEMANDS DEATH
To live is to die. To die is to live. To avoid death, is to avoid living. Life demands that we embrace some forms of death. This could be a very dicey and difficult demand for most people to understand talk less to embrace. But if you are determined to live life to the full, if you are determined to conquer in life, if you are determined to win in life, if you are determined to soar in life then you must not shy away from this particular demand. Life demands death.
Life demands death to self. Those who love their lives too much eventually lose it. While those who are ready to sacrifice their lives for others gain it. Selfishness is one of the most destructive forces in man and that is why life demands for its death. The more you die to self on a daily basis, the more you enjoy life. The more you care for others, while denying yourself, the more pleasure life supplies you. Life demands death. Life demands death to ego – A state when we only think and care about ourselves. Life rather demands that we live to care for others instead of living to care for self.
It is only when we are ready to give up on some things in our lives that we can receive new things. Until we are ready to let go of some things, bigger things don’t come to us. At times, we need to let our choices die, for us to get a better direction in life. Life itself is an illustration of this lesson. A woman risks her life to give birth to her child, hence the child most of the time will outlive her. She goes on and dies, while the child she has given life to, lives on after her.
“Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s supposed to be. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to.” ― Mitch Albom.
Until a seed falls to the ground and dies, it does not become a tree that later yields much fruit and a multitude of seeds. We must embrace the thought of death in order for us to have greater lives.
Jesus was a great example of this when He gave His life for humanity. In the place of one life, today we have billions of people calling themselves Christ followers, Christians. Each time we choose to step down for others, that is a form of death to self. Each time we prefer others above ourselves, that is a form of death. Each time we allow our interests to take a back seat in favor of others, that is a form of death that life demands for. It is a form of death that eventually will yield an abundance of life. Life demands death.
6. LIFE DEMANDS RISKS
Those who don’t want to take risks in life end up being the losers. The greatest risk in life is not to take a risk. Life demands risks. Without risks my friends there is no progress, no advancement either in science or technology. Life demands risks. It is a risk to go out of your house in the morning, you could get run over by a car. Life is a risk. You might be afraid to sit on a chair because the legs might be faulty. It is a risk. It is a risk to drive your car. It is a risk to cross the road, even when it is a pedestrian path. It is a risk to go to McDonalds. It could be a risk to drink Coca-Cola. Everything is a risk. It could be a risk to marry even a pretty girl. It could be a risk to get pregnant. It could be a risk to give birth to a child. It could be a risk to go on an airplane. It could be a risk to travel to another country.
“…If there is no risk, there is no reward.” ― Christy Raedeke
But despite the fact that life is full of risks, without taking a risk, we take an even greater risk. We stand the risk of stagnation. We stand the risk of backwardness, we stand the risk of regression, we stand the risk of recession, we stand the risk of failure, we stand the risk of standing still. You stand the risk of a down turn. You stand the risk of bankruptcy. You stand the risk of misfortunes. All of these things come only because you refused to take risks. So life demands risks.
“Only those who play win. Only those who risk win. History favors risk-takers. Forgets the timid. Everything else is commentary.” ― Iveta Cherneva
It is a demand of life. If you don’t want to risk, life will be cruel to you. Life will be hard on you, but when you supply what life demands, you enjoy the beauty of life. Life demands risks.
7. LIFE DEMANDS DISCIPLINE.
Discipline is when we limit ourselves, put borders around ourselves. Discipline is when we delay our gratifications. Discipline is when we postpone the pleasure of today for the benefit of tomorrow. Discipline is denying ourselves in the present so as to prepare better for the future. It is a demand of life.
“A disciplined mind leads to happiness, and an undisciplined mind leads to suffering.” ― Dalai Lama XIV.
If you always want to have whatever you want anytime you want it with no delays, with no denial of self, you will end up ruining your life. A study of the lives of successful people shows that all successful people are disciplined people. Discipline is one of the basic and primary requirements for success in life. No one makes it big without discipline. Discipline is required in all human endeavors. Without discipline you will not go far in life. Those who despise this demand of life end up becoming beggars and slaves throughout life. Life punishes the undisciplined.
On the other hand, when you give the supply of discipline, life becomes easy for you. Discipline is a fast track to elevation in life. Discipline creates ways for the lovers of it. The Olympic Games are a celebration of discipline. Awards and ceremonies are all the result of discipline. All forms of achievements are all a triumph of discipline.
“Why is discipline important? Discipline teaches us to operate by principle rather than desire. Saying no to our impulses (even the ones that are not inherently sinful)
Why is discipline important? Discipline teaches us to operate by principle rather than desire. Saying no to our impulses (even the ones that are not inherently sinful) puts us in control of our appetites rather than vice versa. It deposes our lust and permits truth, virtue, and integrity to rule our minds instead.” ― John F. MacArthur Jr.
Ladies and gentlemen, the disciplined rule our world. Discipline, my friends is the master of excellence. Life does not despise the disciplined. Life decorates them. Those who decide to neglect this demand of life, cry through life. Discipline is needed in our eating habits. Discipline is needed in our lifestyle. Discipline is needed in our temperance. Discipline is needed in our pursuits. Discipline is needed in our family lives.
There is no aspect of life where discipline is not needed. It is a requirement of life. It is not a matter of choice. Live a life of discipline and live a life of celebration.
8. LIFE DEMANDS CONFRONTATIONS.
Most of us are nice people and hence don’t like confrontations. But that is not the way life is wired my friends. Life requires that we at times confront things that are wrong. Life does not only require that we confront those things that are wrong, it gets worse. Life demands that we confront people. As a matter of fact, confrontation could be a seed of peace. When you confront, you are trying to avoid a conflict. So you confront somebody with an issue before it becomes a conflict. Confrontation is not all bad.
“Change comes from confrontation. You have to be confronted or confront yourself.” ― Bryant McGill
One of the advantages of confrontation is, you confront people to find out if your assumptions are right or wrong. Confrontation affords you the opportunity to hear the other side of the story. Confrontation is better than malice. Confrontation is better than suspicion. Confrontation is better than speculation. Confrontation is better than insinuation. Confrontation is better than assumption. There are benefits of confrontation. Even though we don’t like it most of the time, people who obey this demand of life, live in peace more than others. They avoid conflict and fights, better than others. They are able to identify their friends and enemies faster than others.
“Remember, confrontation is about reconciliation and awareness, not judgment or anger.” ― Dale Partridge
Don’t shy away from confrontation. Yes, you might need to be tactical when confronting people and issues, but don’t run away from it. When you confront, it yields more benefits than disadvantages. You save yourself a lot of sorrow, disappointments and disillusionments. You live in clarity when you are able to confront. You know who is for you and who is against you. You don’t waste time on suspecting or second guessing. You are more focused. You are more result oriented. You are more effective. You get to your goals faster. Life demands confrontations.
“There can be no progress without head-on confrontation.” ― Christopher Hitchens
Ladies and gentlemen, life has its demands from every one of us who live on planet earth. Once there is a demand, it is our obligation to supply the answers, give the right responses for us to fully enjoy life. A lot of the points that were made above, are what most people never give serious thought to. We just tend to live our lives without even knowing that there are certain principles that could enhance a better passage through life. Sometimes we live as if we were blindfolded. Other times some of these lessons are learned through making mistakes, falling and rising.
How much easier things would be, if we would just know that these are the demands of life and wouldn’t argue about them. When we know that there is no getting around these principles, but that we should simply obey them, things will become easier for us in life. Life really can be an enjoyable experience, if we would only know what it demands from us.
When we respond accordingly, when our responses are healthy, when we are not trying to beat the system, life treats us well. There is nothing we can do about or against these demands of life. This is because life is based on fixed laws. The only response we could have towards laws is to obey them. As you know, we cannot really break God’s laws, we can only end up breaking ourselves. If you know these demands of life, you will gain a quicker success, at a greater pace, with less stress than others. When you live by the demand and supply of life, your life becomes easily predictable. Life stops being a mystery to you. It becomes a pleasurable adventure.
I hope this article will go a long way to make your life much simpler and much more enjoyable.