It is my birthday today. I have too much to be grateful for. The reason why I celebrate life is more so because of how precious life is. The very fact that I can think about celebrating life, is in itself is a miracle I do not take for granted. When you consider the tens of millions who live on this same earth yet do not have the luxury of thinking too far into the future nor the privilege of looking back at where they are coming from simply because their every waking moment is spent running, fighting, struggling to stay alive in their war, poverty, terrorism or crisis-torn region of the world. I can be grateful today, that is a miracle.
I am grateful for family, though I many times take it for granted, I am conscious of the fact that where I was born and to whom I was born to has provided me with the life opportunities I have today. I had parents who were educated, had a passion for education and Godliness, and brought me up to be responsible in both. Today I can look back and be grateful for my family. It is far from being a perfect set-up, but it is perfect for where I am going. I am grateful for my siblings, being the first of 5, I have had the honour of learning leadership by being an example rather than being abusive or a screamer. It wasn’t always this way. We had fun growing up, and with parents always out working, I was the head of the home many times, I used to scream and hit and shout. I learnt how that doesn’t work. I learnt to speak sense and live as a light and an example. I am grateful they even see me as an inspiration. We have had our fights, joys, fun, and crazy unbelievable moments, (wish I could play some video for you all). As we transit into having nephews, nieces and in-laws, etc; it gets more fun, interesting and a fantastic learning curve. Family is everything! I am grateful.
I am grateful for God kept me! I don’t even know where to start here. The many road trips, the many flights. Those turbulent flights and yes, that horrible flight to Calabar? Those many close shaves on my road trips, that time the car wheel came off at high speed? The robbers you took care of before i got there? Unbelievable strength and health it takes to be on the road or skies almost half of every year since 2012? The times i fell into the hands of strange and familiar women? How you protected me from going into business with the wrong and diabolic crowd? How you have consistently reset me when i messed up?
I am grateful for friends. What more can I say here? God has consistently blessed me with people who have my back even when they know I am not as perfect as they come. I am an initially shy, kind of person who can become the life of the party a short way down the road. I love meeting people and my business involves making money from meeting people. The names are too many to call up, but from my secondary school days at Delsu, Abraka to my university years at UNIPORT, all the years of social work in Sapele, to my service days in Ekiti, my amazing years in Lagos, not forgetting my many travels around Nigeria, I have been able to clock up a small group of friends that really do love me like I am perfect. The plan is to show myself worthy of your love and sacrifice.
I am grateful for spiritual intelligence. Having grown up with parents who were born-again SU and my dad later becoming an Anglican priest, I was exposed to God and a deep library at home. I read and search all I could about God and this moved me into conservative Pentecostalism when I got into university, then after one year I moved into a more liberal setting and explored all I could. I remember the saturation point I got to and kept being hungry for more, when God brought pastor Fanny Ekpekurede my way in 2004. I got exposed to a better understanding of what I was seeking for – the kingdom of God in practical terms. I’ll talk more about my relationships shortly but i have been led to connect with amazing teachers – Tarry Rufus, Christabel Onuoha, Poju Oyemade, Tunde Afe, etc. My journey with God is one that trumps all else because it gives me perspective. Kneeling down to worship God yesterday and not being able to say much, I was deeply overcome by the realization that my entire life would make no sense if I didn’t operate my life from the paradigm of the kingdom of God.
I am grateful for mentors, helpers and role models. The story of my life, every step up I have made, everything I am associated with that people consider to be something to celebrate, I look back this morning as I write this, laying on my couch, listening to the rain drops hit the floor outside my window, and all I can think is, “my life has come up this far simply by meeting the right people”. I still remember the circumstances that first brought made me fully relocate to Lagos, I didn’t know where I’d sleep that night, but from sleeping on my friend’s sitting-room floor, to getting a job the next day to squatting with a friend, to going for service and returning to Lagos, to getting into serious business and then getting a better home to squat at, to writing my first book, to blogging those wonderful business Ideas to renting a house, to speaking at conferences to consulting and training organizations, churches, individuals, etc to building a track record in sales, marketing, strategy, business and financial intelligence coaching, travel and tours business, etc; I can say just that same one thing, “my life has come this far by meeting people”.
The plan is not to bore anyone, today is my birthday so I am celebrating God, celebrating myself, sharing my heart and thoughts; so permit it to be a bit long. As I move into a new and interesting phase of my life, I am just all too grateful for the foolishness and disasters I have been involved in, they make me better, they make me who I am today. I am grateful that I can be grateful, and with all I have set in front of me: A2W Nigeria, http://www.travelbay.co, #LIFEwithYomaVictor, etc; I am reminded that God has made all grace abound unto me, that in all things and at all times, having all that I need, I abound unto every good work! For everyone who has been a part of my journey positive or negative, I am so very more than grateful.