The Three Keys to Extraordinary Living

In a past article, The Three Pillars of an Extraordinary Gentleman, we discussed three qualities: Truth, Humility and righteousness that serve as the pillars that hold the extraordinary gentleman’s personality firm in its position and in connection with its foundation. Today, being our first discussion in 2014 and one after a long while, I will like us to discuss 3 other important characteristics of an extraordinary gentleman: versatility, balance and moderation, we shall call them the keys to extraordinary living. Unlike the three pillars which must season every thought, deed and action of a man who desires to be an Extraordinary Gentleman, the three keys of extraordinary living must govern the lifestyle of the man. To be more explicit, truth, humility and righteousness which are the pillars of extraordinary living give an Extraordinary Gentleman man stability of character, while versatility, balance and moderation, the keys to extraordinary living, give the extraordinary gentleman expression of character. Truth, humility and righteousness come together to determine what an extraordinary gentleman should do, but versatility, balance and moderation determine how a man should do it. Given that we have had an already extensive discussion on the three pillars of the extraordinary lifestyle, I will like us to focus on the keys to Extraordinary living.

Versatility
That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2Tim 3:17, NKJV)

As has been paramount to our discussions over the past months, a man’s life is made up of the three functional fields of Marriage, Ministry and Money. Within these fields of a man’s life, he will need to interact with people, institutions and supernatural forces in his bid to achieve his life’s objectives. However, there are various skills that a man must muster if he must function effectively and efficiently in these three fields which may all be operational at the same time in a man’s life. Additionally, the technology, people and the institutions that facilitate a man’s interactions and activities within the fields of his life are constantly changing and even increasing, as such, there is a need for a man to be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2Tim 3:17, NKJV)that is demanded in the any of the three fields of his life or even combinations of them. In short, there is a need for him to be versatile.

Image souce: web.mit.edu

Image souce: web.mit.edu


Versatility, for an extraordinary gentleman, refers to being skillful at different things as well as adapting to different functional requirements while remaining excellent at each of them. You do not have to be a jack of all trades and yet you cannot afford to be a master of only one. Versatility makes you more useful to the people around you and keeps you relevant in the face of changing situations because in many such situation you are of useful or mostly important help. It is like being many men in one, for a man of many excellences equals many men and variety in excellences is the delight of life(Balthazar Gracian). A versatile man is like a man with nine lives. Indeed in this fast changing world, Versatility may well be a perfect substitute for the multiplicity needed to function effectively. But how do we achieve this versatility.

In simple terms, to become and remain versatile, it is important that a man equips himself continuously with necessary knowledge, skills and training from scripture, experience, formal education and wise counsel that will enable him to adapt to the fast changing and complex systems of the world. But firstly know thy self. Know your limits and abilities, then expand the boundaries of your limitations and intensify the quality of your abilities through learning and practice. Learn new stuff, especially technology and basic mathematics. Learn to think, conscious thinking, you will need it in speed and quality and yet for a truly extraordinary life, know the Word, for it is able to equip you with all things that you need for life and for godliness. Be active in your learnings and adaptations but do it within the perfect will of God; for anything that tilts your value system against the perfect will of God is not worthy of pursuit.

I will like to end our discussion on the first key to the extraordinary living here with the hope of meeting you next week for possible discussions on the other keys to extraordinary living if the Lord permits. Enjoy the rest of the week and do not forget to be Extraordinary.

References
The Extraordinary Gentleman: A Handbook for Christian Men

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I can speak in every language known to heaven and earth, but if I don’t have love, it’s just a bunch of noise. And I can have prophetic powers, understand every mystery and know all there is to know; I can have faith that will actually move mountains, but if I don’t have love, I’m still a nobody. I can give away everything I own and even offer my body as a martyr, but if I don’t have love, it would be a total loss.

Love is patient and kind; it doesn’t brag or get jealous; it isn’t arrogant or rude. Love doesn’t insist on getting its way; it is not irritable or resentful; it doesn’t enjoy seeing things go wrong for others, but rejoices when things go right. Love puts up with everything; it always believes the best is possible, and hopes for it, and holds out for it.

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I was a pastor in the process of destroying his life and ministry and I didn’t know it. I wish I could say that my pastoral experience is unique, but I have come to learn in travels to hundreds of churches around the world that, sadly, it is not. Sure, the details are unique, but I see in many pastors the same disconnect between the public persona and the private man. I have heard so many stories containing so many confessions that I grieve over the state of pastoral culture in our generation. The burn of this concern, coupled with my knowledge and experience of transforming grace, drives me to write this column.

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The Extraordinary Gentleman

The Extraordinary Gentleman.

Welcome

A Case for the Manhood

Society has always been the kingdom of the man until recently when the subject of womanhood has become important so much that a lot of resource in form of money and time through research, advocacy and support has been dedicated to women. These efforts are in place so as to eliminate the disadvantaged position that many women found themselves in which is usually blamed on men. These actions are great initiatives in their stated motive. However, the diversity of those pursuing this noble agenda has introduced different motives that in some sense is either making women into men or making them into versions of women that seem to be a the likeness of the very things they despise.

In spite of these shortcomings, these initiatives seem to have developed some of our counterparts, the women, into vibrant contributors to society and homes that has changed the whole structure of homes, workplaces, religion, politics and other fields of worthy endeavor. With the advancement in technology and liberation of educational systems, strength is continuously going out of fashion and knowledge has become paramount. Notably, for the home where men were considered superior, women in our days have the ability to produce, provide for and protect a family single handedly.  It is therefore no longer enough to be just a man.

Additionally, Manhood, which in its very essence is immutable in its prestige and honour has been questioned by the increase of misconceptions of its nature by men, women and society at large. This misconception has led to actions and inaction on all sides concerned which has tainted the very beauty that nature and art had intended society to be made of. For example, many negative images of unfaithfulness, irresponsibility, domestic violence, rape and other social vices have successfully come to be associated with manhood. Manhood has therefore lost the prestigious associations that it once had. Examples of which include, strength, wisdom, responsibility and industry. This is just not acceptable.

In simple terms, manhood is not the problem, but the conception held of its nature and art is. It is therefore important that manhood does not become the next victim of extinction that has severely affected the balance of the earth to varying degrees in diverse areas of existence. We do not want great dads and wonderful husbands to become extinct, neither do we want to see the extinction of responsible male corporate executives nor the extinction of male ministers of genuine integrity. Our mission is a rescue mission; to provide a solution to the ignored state of manhood. This solution is not a vindictive defense of manhood, but the promotion of this eminence in in its complete and elevated form- The Extraordinary Gentleman.