“Enlarge the place of your tent,

and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings;

Do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.

For you shall expand to the right and to the left,

And your descendants will inherit the nations,

And make the desolate cities inhabited.”

Isaiah 54:2-3

Happy New Year. Welcome to 2022. The year 2021 did not pass without its challenges. Earlier in the year, the world began to loosen up on lockdowns. Human interactions gained some traction again as vaccines against the deadly COVID-19 were massively rolled out. Unfortunately, as the year inched towards its end, the world woke up again to the rude shock of another variant of the virus apart from the Delta and the original variants. The newly discovered strain named Omicron which was first identified in South Africa started spreading faster than the world seemed ready to contain it. The world is back to the drawing board and a booster shot of the vaccine has been recommended for those who had earlier received the two earlier prescribed shots!

Nobody knows exactly what to expect in 2022, perhaps a new round of lockdowns. Perhaps a new discovery in medicine that brings total closure to the virus’ menace. One certain thing however is that the year will definitely throw up its own peculiar challenges. Such new challenges will require an upgraded mindset to cope and to thrive in and in spite of them. As 2021 drew to a close, you may have been part of prayer sessions where prayers for enlargement were offered. And that is desirable. No matter how the cookie crumbles, we all hope and trust God that a new year will obviously put us in better stead than the outgone one.

Contrary to popular expectation especially among many Christians, I discovered some time ago that God’s answer to every man’s prayer for enlargement and expansion is a challenge to the petitioner. This is exemplified in the passage quoted above. While the second part of the quote indicates God’s desire to actualize the desire for expansion, the first part underscores the need for personal responsibility in first building personal capacity before the blessing comes. In God and in life, to truly go up, you must grow up! To experience the blessings of the next level, you must grow in your mind beyond your current status quo.

One of the key lessons that you must learn in 2022 is that whatever you are looking for is already looking for you. This applies to almost anything that you legitimately desire. I queried that paradigm until I decided to put it to the test. I have seen it proven in diverse ways. How does this work?

You cannot appropriate or appreciate a level that you did not grow into. For this reason, for growth and expansion to take place in your circumstance and around you, it must begin from within you. Your capacity to manage success is more important than the success you seek. If you do the needful of working on the man within, the circumstance without will be taken care of. The prelude to having more or doing more is to become more. When the mind grows, the circumstances simply line up! To stand out from the pack of the common in 2022, you must pay the price to stretch and be stretched. Enlarging your tent simply implies that you should do away with current limiting paradigms that have shaped your current narratives about life and your experiences. Lengthening your cords and strengthening your pegs simply indicate that the present container is too small for the blessing you are asking God for!

Very often, our prayers reflect a resigned, self-defeatist, limiting grasshopper complex and complacency that always expects that divine intervention simply means suspending our brains and folding our hands while God simply works everything out and calls us to sit at the table to partake of the largesse.

If you have never successfully and faithfully managed N5,000, never pray for N50 million. If you ever get it, you will waste it. If you have never learnt to take care of your siblings, you are not likely to be able to successfully manage the good spouse you are praying for! When an employer is convinced that he has employed somebody whose capacity for function is below the demands of the job, the first thing they expose to him is training! Continuous training is also designed to prepare him for every higher level he wants to attain in the organisation.

2022 will not change what it has to offer simply because we prayed. There are things and situations beyond our control and purely in God’s hands, whether we believe in Him or not. Such things are described as acts of God. However, we can take control of our capacity to engage and maximize the opportunities that the year will present. The crisis of COVID-19 that made the unprepared go bankrupt is what some people have taken advantage of and become multi-millionaires.

To thrive in 2022, begin to question paradigms. The mindset that brought you to where you are is incapable of leapfrogging you into the next level, no matter how well it has served you hitherto. Be willing to learn new things and embrace change where necessary. The virtual workplace was an oddity only two years ago. Now it is the norm. The brick-and-mortar office pattern is becoming more and more insignificant.

Rev up your relationship gear. First with God who is the one who knows all things and whose guidance will make all the difference. Mentors are the universe’s way of easing and hastening your journey to certain destinations. They have paid the price to get to places that you are still dreaming of. Seek them out and learn to stand on their shoulders. Humble yourself and pay the price to learn from those who are already living in the reality of your dreams.

If you cannot travel in reality, travel in your mind. Dream better and bigger dreams and see yourself living in the reality of those dreams. Then find out the price paid by those currently living in that reality and pay the same if it does not entail doing anything criminal or illegal. You can break the box of popular reasoning without breaking the laws of the land.

Do you want to see a change in your financial status? Enhance your financial intelligence. Master the art of money management by investing on assets more than you spend on liabilities. No matter how much you are given as a gift or you inherit, it only increases in value when you deploy it in creating and adding value to others. Check the terrain around you. Sustainable wealth is built by significant contributions. Consumers are the ones who enrich producers.

Service is the rent you pay for the space that you occupy on earth. The amazing thing about that is that the more of it you render to the earth, the more room the earth makes for you. Make the shift and watch things shift!

Once again, Happy New Year!

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