P For Present
P For Present
The word present is quite interesting because it has a variety of meanings, which can be used interchangeably depending on what you want to say. Here's an example:
I am here to present this present to the present chairlady of the club.
One word, different meanings.
If I am to convey the same message using a different set of words this is what I would say:
I am here to award this gift to the current chairlady of the club.
The word present can therefore be used to mean to award or a gift or to mean something current.
Out of those three possibilities above, today I choose to talk about the word present in its capacity to mean “a gift”.
There is a famous saying that goes like this: “What you are is God's gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.”
Using the word present instead of gift, this is how the sentence would read; “What you are is God's present to you, what you become is your present to God.” In other words, when you came into this world, you were presented to the word as a present.
What are some of the characterisitics of a present?
- Presents always come wrapped up to conceal what is underneath the wrapping.
- They are normally a surprise given to the presentee by the presenter.
- Presents are very strategically chosen, with the recipient of the particular present in mind. This means before someone gives another person a present, they think through it to make sure they give them something they will be glad to receive.
With the above characteristics in mid for you and other people to enjoy the present that is YOU, you have to unwrap it first. Unwrapping something means removing the outer covering on something, so as to reveal what is underneath the wrapping. Remember that according to the quote we read above, you are a present, meaning you need to unwrap that present for you to see what is inside.
If you were to look at that statement literally, it means that every one of us comes with an outer covering (gift wrapping) that needs to be removed so as to expose the actual gift that was given to us by God. This wrapping could be your circumstances e.g. being born in a poor family; or being labeled a bastard because you were born out of wedlock; or being a product of rape; or having dyslexia like many world renown celebrities do; or being disabled hence being differently abled. The covering could be anything.
Unfortunately, many of us never seem to unwrap the cover from the gift. We go through life “wrapped” hence never fully being able to enjoy the present that is under that wrapping. To some people, under the wrapping they have the gift of singing and song writing waiting to be unwrapped, but because when they were 10 years old someone told them they should never sing anywhere unless it is in the bathroom when they are showering, they have never removed that wrapping. It is very possible that this person is currently suffering in life, trying to make ends meet doing things they have zero talent or passion for, yet if they had only opened their gift, they would be living their life to the fullest. They are suffering yet they have a gift that is sitting untouched under the wrapping.
Another person may have the gift of story telling wrapped under the wrapping, but because they were ridiculed and told never to attempt speaking to an audience, they decided to just sit back and become a cab driver because that seemed safer. This example reminds me of Lisa Nichols, the CEO of Motivating the Masses. She struggled all through school. The last time she took an English class, she got a fail and her teacher told her she was the weakest writer the teacher had ever met. The teacher adviced her never to speak in public but instead to choose a desk job where she didn't have to interact with people. Unfortunately she took her teacher's advice and for 18 years she wouldn't touch a microphone, neither would she do anything seemingly close to public speaking. But then one day she was forced by circumstances to unwrap her gifts. Fast forward several years later to today, Lisa has managed to reach over 80 Million people through her various programs and platforms. In addition to this, she is a best selling author of 7 books. This is the same person who was labeled weak in writing by her teacher, and the same person who was told never to speak in public. If she had not unwrapped her gifts, those 80 million people would never have been motivated.
Someone else may be having the gift of being a TV show host or Radio presenter under the wrapping, but because someone once told them that they look ugly and speak funny, they decided to be a housewife, watching other people on TV doing what they could have been doing themselves. This reminds me of Oprah Winfrey, another formidabble woman whose background did not in any way set the stage for her to become the person she is today. She was born to two teenage parents, the at the age of 14 years she was molested and conceived but lost her premature son at infancy. She later became a radio presenter and later a co-anchor for the evening news. After being fired, she joined the daytime talk show arena and after boosting some small time local Chicago talk show to first place, she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.
By the way, did you that know she was publicly fired from that first television job as an anchor in Baltimore for getting "too emotionally invested in her stories?". Yet it is this very emotional part of her nature that has made her shows connect with her audience, thus making her the queen of television shows she is today. Today, she owns OWN, a massive media empire that spans over different parts of the world. Guess how much she is worth today? Roughly in the region of US$2.6B. She unwrapped her present and became a force to reckon with. Todate, she has touched the lives of millions of people through her "emotionally invested" approach towards everything she does. In South Africa, she has a leadership academy for girls known as The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy. In this academy she set a platform for transforming the lives of young girls living in the poverty striken and AIDS ridden part of Henley on Klip, Jo'burg, South Africa.
My point is, unless you decide to remove the wrapping that you came wrapped in, you will never really live up to your full potential. In an earlier episode of the Survival Alphabet I remember saying that God does not create junk. If He created you, it means there is something very specific He created you to come and do here on planet earth. Unfortunately many people leave the earth never having known what they had come to accomplish. No wonder one of my favorite motivational speakers and leadership guru said, “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” Indeed, many people are too afraid to unwrap their presents.
As a by the way, do you know that by you not unwrapping the present in you there is a very high possibility that you cause other people to suffer because their destinies are tied to you living according to your purpose? For example, imagine if the late Muhammad Ali had decided to just sit at home and do nothing much just because he had dyslexia, where would his daughter Leila Ali be today? What about Richard Branson of Virgin Group, he too realized many years ago that he had dyslexia. Can you imagine how many families would have been stuck without jobs or food on the table had he not decided to accept his condition and find different way of fighting it, then becoming one of the most famous people on earth, with over 400 companies worldwide?
How about my all time favorite, Nick Vujicic, the Austrian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker who was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of arms and legs, what if he had succeeded in taking his own life when he was still a teen because he was different? What if he had not decided to unwrap his very different gift and use it to influence millions of people the world over, through his organization Life Without Limits?
My point is, don't be the reason other people are suffering just because you were too afraid to unwrap your gift, not knowing that your gift would be the key to open other people's opportunities and destinies.
It doesn’t matter what the wrapping on your present says. What is important is identifying what your present is then using it to present solutions and possibilities to the world. If I had not decided to ignore everything negative that I had ever been told, I would not be here talking to you like this or doing any of the other things I do now. It was not until I removed the different labels that had wrapped my presents that I discovered the numerous gifts that were hidden under that wrapping.
You too can unwrap the presents you have inside of you. I truly hope you will choose to unwrap your presents today and present the world with the best version of yourself. Remember, “What you are is God's gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.”
To listen to P for Present on my podcast click here
Be ignited. Be inspired. Be influenced. Become the best version of yourself you can ever be, but this can only happen when you unwrap the present that you are.