“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about or do both.” Benjamin Franklin

We all know when we have emerged and when we haven’t. We all know when we are fulfilling purpose and when we aren’t. As you read this, you know whether or not you are living the life you were meant to live. Have you emerged yet? What is holding you back from emerging? What steps are you taking to ensure that you emerge on the scene and take your place in the scheme of things? These are some of the questions we are going to attempt to answer in this article.

But first, what does it mean to emerge? According to the Meridian Webster Dictionary, to emerge means “To become known or apparent; to become known or regarded as something; to rise or appear from a hidden or unknown place or condition; to come out into view.” According to the Oxford Dictionary, to emerge means “To move out or away from something or become visible; to become apparent or prominent.” From these two definitions we can summarize by saying to emerge simply means to rise up, to bring to light, to come out; It means to show up, to assume your place, to become known and relevant, to become visible, noticed and apparent. To emerge means to come out of mediocrity, obscurity, and confinement.

That brings us to the next question, what keeps people from emerging? In other words, what is holding you back from assuming your place and becoming all that you were meant to be? Different people are being held back by different factors. The first is Ignorance;ignorance of who one is. When you don’t know who you are, why you are here, what your strengths and abilities are, and what your purpose and calling is, you will never be able to fully emerge. The biggest problem of man through the ages has always been man’s ignorance of himself; his gifts, talents, purpose, passion, etc.

Deep down within us are hidden treasures and riches we have never imagined. The job we seek is right within our apparent grasp yet it seems so difficult to get. Knowing who you are isn’t a day’s job. It is a continuous process in which you get to discover yourself one phase at a time. To overcome this kind of ignorance you need to spend time exploring yourself; your gifts, talents, purpose, passion, strengths, weaknesses, etc. Get to know who you really are, gain new insights into hidden realities about yourself. The most effective cure against ignorance is knowledge. The knowledge of self dispels ignorance and gives you clarity and direction. Knowledge empowers you to take appropriate steps towards fulfilling your purpose. The discovery of self is indeed the beginning of success. The more you explore your being, the more you will know about yourself. The more you know about yourself; your purpose, passion, strengths, gifts, abilities, etc., the more powerful you will become. And the more powerful you become, the more you will achieve.

The second reason why people fail to emerge is complacency. Complacency is satisfaction with where you are, and the most dangerous thing about complacency is that you can become complacent and never admit it. Rather than admit it, many people give excuses to justify their inability to do what they ought to be doing. But every time you relent from doing what is necessary to advance your life one step further, you become complacent. If you ever have an opportunity to do something and you fail to give it your absolute best, then you have become complacent. Complacent people aren’t visionless, on the flip side, they actually do have a sense of vision and goals like everyone that wants to be successful, the only problem they have is that they lack fire, hunger and drive.

Complacency put people in comfort zones. Comfort or familiar zones are psychological boundaries that confine us to a state of ease, less stress and less anxiety. Familiar zones allow you to tread only on charted and familiar grounds; they don’t allow you step beyond your limitations. Comfort zone rule says, ‘don’t bite more than you can chew.’ To live in your comfort zone means to play it safe; it means to not take risk; it’s a way of working that requires little effort, and stress. Comfort zones generally don’t allow people to explore uncharted waters. But that is where the fun is; stretch yourself as far as your imagination allows you. There is a danger in choosing always to do what is easy, and following the path with little or no resistance. The danger is that you might end up being an average person. Step out of your comfort zone.

The third reason why people fail to emerge is as a result of their past failures or defeats. Sometimes your memories of past failures can keep you from trying new things. But when you let those memories overwhelm your willingness to move on to other things, then you’re fast becoming a failure indeed. The fear of failing again has crippled many people; they can’t afford to risk it again, so from now on, they would rather play it safe. But Bob Gass said “There’s a certain security in playing it safe; nothing’s lost, but nothing’s won.” Anytime you retreat into your shell and stop making moves as a result of the obstacles you’ve encountered, then you’ve surrendered to those obstacles, and surrendering is a sign of defeat. Don’t let the punches life throws at you stop you dead in your tracks. The true measure of a man’s heart is the size of the obstacles he’s able to overcome.

Now, why is it necessary that you emerge? Why is it necessary that you come out of mediocrity and obscurity and take your place in the scheme of things? First, because you deserve to be remembered.In those days in secondary school, it was common to see graduating students write their nick names boldly on the walls of their classrooms and hostels, and at other visible places around the school. They did this to let younger students know that they once passed through that school; they did it to keep their names from being forgotten among future generations of students. You see, it’s an age-long thing; from the beginning of time man has always wanted to do something to write his name on the walls of the universe, to stamp his name and impression on people’s memories so that even after they would have exited this world, their names would still live on. Man has always wanted to leave something behind for which he would be remembered. But sadly, many people are daily exiting this world without leaving behind any meaningful footprint or legacy for which they can be remembered. So the question for you is what are you doing to write your name on the walls of the universe? If you exit the world today, what would you be remembered for? You can’t afford to walk this earth and die and be forgotten just like that. Don’t be a spectator, don’t just tiptoe your way through life, make some moves, and be known for something. This is not about being lousy.Successful people aren’t lousy, but their works speaks volume about them. When you truly emerge on the scene and take your place in the scheme of things, you won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

The second reason why you need to emerge is because when you emerge you’ll be able to make impact. The true measure of a man’s life is determined by the level of impact he makes on others. A man’s life is not measured by how long he lives or by his wealth, but by the legacies he leaves behind. You don’t need to start on a large scale before it can be called impact, begin with what you have right where you are. Start small, but think big.

The third reason why you need to make impact is to prove yourself worthy of the priceless gift, talent, and ability, you’ve been given by your creator. God was counting on you when he gave you the gift that you have. He expects that you would appreciate, develop, and share your gift with humanity. Failing to use your gift therefore amounts to proving yourself unworthy of having it; it amounts to failing to justify God’s huge investment in your life.

The fourth question we must ask ourselves is, what do I need to do to emerge? Take action. You don’t emerge by doing nothing. For you to emerge you must take action; you must act on your dream. One of the fastest ways I know to changing one’s life is to take action. Actions trigger reactions. Never get to a point in your life where you let circumstances stop you from acting on what you believe. If you can’t fly… run, if you can’t run… walk, and if you can’t walk… crawl. In any case, do something to keep pushing yourself forward. Actions have consequences; when you take action reactions are inevitable. If you never do something no one will ever celebrate you. If you’re ever going to be known and celebrated for anything, what would it be? To every action there is an equal and corresponding reaction. You will never experience certain reactions from people until you have initiated certain actions. Sometimes we want things to just happen, but things don’t happen in a vacuum. Your actions are the seeds that will produce the harvest you desire. Don’t let fear immobilize you. There’s a Tibetan saying that says, “It is better to have lived one day as a tiger than a thousand years as a sheep.” Take massive action today.

Finally, when is the best time for you to emerge? Now. How did I know? The fact that you are reading this shows that you are ready to emerge. In life, everyone has a duration or time frame within which to attain his goals or die unfulfilled. Sadly our time gets shortened with the dawn of each new day that is why we need to develop a sense of urgency in the pursuit of our goals. Life is too short to waste it sitting around and waiting for something to happen before you can act. Time’s not on your side, in fact we daily race against time, so you must hurry. If many of us get to know how many more days we have to live on this earth, we would throw away all our excuses and so increase our work rate to the extent that we won’t even have time to attend to our own personal needs.I often hear people say ‘No hurry in life’! But that is quite a dumb and unfortunate statement. Whoever made that statement did not realize how short life is. He also did not realize that some goals are time-bound; that is you don’t have forever to achieve them, they have to be achieved within a given time frame. How can anyone afford to live in such a hasty world as ours, with the frenetic pace at which things are happening around us and not develop a sense of urgency? How do you hope to cope in a fast-changing world if you continue to live by an old, outdated, ill-conceived, and unfortunate notion of ‘No hurry in life’? The only set of people that may be excused to go about life in a no-hurry-in-life fashion are those without a dream or purpose. But if you have a dream that is worthwhile, you can’t afford to stand there with hands akimbo and watch life speed by. It’s important to live purposefully. Purpose-driven people are time-conscious people; they understand the relationship that exists between a goal and time. Live every day with a sense of purpose. Marcus Aurelius admonished, “Live each day as if it is your last.”

Even if you are starting late, start anyway, it’s never too late to start. It doesn’t matter how many years you think you have wasted. It’s always better to start late than never at all. Don’t let the time you spent doing things you consider unprofitable or unfulfilling stand in your way to doing something that is more profitable and fulfilling to you.

It’s time for you to emerge and make things happen. The world is waiting for you, rise up today and take your place in the scheme of things.


Hilton Etakoh is a writer, speaker, and author of You Are Too Gifted to be Poor

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