Class 48: “Strive to Know What You Want to Do With Your Life at a Early” (Part 1)
Welcome to Class 48 of “The Ramp” to the Highway of Success course for young women. I am Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society, working in partnership with the Martin Luther King Senior Institute for Young Men & Young Women. The Institute aims to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Sr., commonly referred to as “Daddy King”, whom God used to raise the great leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Our purpose is to guide young men and young women, and help them get on the path to becoming kings and queens for the glory of God.
I am your instructor for this course and the author of the ESSENCE Magazine bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Men” and the national bestselling book “Letters to Young Black Women.” My wife, Meriqua Whyte, and my eldest daughter, Daniella Whyte, co-authored “Letters to Young Black Women” with me. My daughter, who has her bachelor’s degree and is now pursuing her master’s degree, and her mother, developed the Study Guide. We are using Letters to Young Black Women and its study guide to guide you through this course. This course is for all young women, but especially for young black women and young women of color who oftentimes face disadvantages that others do not. The goal of this class is to help you operate from a position of strength and power based upon the Word of God so you can be victorious in life. My prayer is that this class will empower you to win against your enemies: the devil, sorry men, and even yourself.
Today, we will begin a new study titled, STRIVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE AT AN EARLY AGE.
— Let’s Pray —
Allow me to begin with a quote from Tyra Banks. She said, “Take responsibility for yourself, because no one’s going to take responsibility for you.”
Now, please pull out your text and your digital study guide or follow along on the screen. First, I will read the entire corresponding letter from the book, Letters to Young Black Women. Then we will proceed with this lesson:
Dear Daughters & YBW:
If you are applying what you are reading in this book, you are on your way to a fulfilling, happy, and successful life.
I am troubled to see so many young women today with a confused look on their faces, and seemingly no direction in their lives. I attribute this problem to their not having a purpose for their lives, and therefore having no goals to work toward. This is a tragedy!
Personally, I believe that by the age of twelve or so, you ought to have some idea of what you want to do with your life. Stop right now and ask yourself, what is my passion in life? What am I most interested in? What would I like to do for the rest of my life? I am forever amazed at people who are thirty, thirty-five, and even forty years old, who do not have a clue as to what God put them here on earth to do. I am very happy for the success of Rick Warren’s fine book, The Purpose Driven Life. However, it really pained me to meet grown men and women who have been Christians for years — I’m talking about forty, fifty, and sixty years old — who thought this book was the best thing since sliced bread, and who through this book finally found their purpose in life. I felt very sad for these dear people.
Sister, I don’t want you to wait until you are forty or fifty years old before you find out what God would have you to do. So that you won’t think that I am hating on Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life, I encourage you to read it NOW! In fact, you will see that I have recommended this book for you to read at the end of this letter.
Now, back to finding out the purpose for your life. You need to understand two important facts:
1. God put you on this earth to do something that no one else can do.
2. God has given you certain gifts and talents to do what He made you to do.
What God wants you to do is to find out what that “something” is, and to do it with all of your might. Don’t look at what your girlfriends are doing, and don’t look at what anyone else is doing. Pray to God, and seek the advice of your parents. You will be surprised at how much your parents know about the direction you should take in your life.
The most important thing you should do, of course, is pray. Pray and seek God’s will for your life. King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said in Proverbs 3:5 & 6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” If you bathe your dreams and aspirations in prayer, then you have God’s Word that He will direct your ways.
After you find out from God what He would have you to do with your life, go to the library with your parents and start mapping out courses and colleges that will help you get the training you need to do the calling that God has placed upon your life. Instead of your teenage years being boring and confusing, they can be exciting and joyful because you have clear direction in life.
Strive to know what God would have you to do at an early age, spend your young years working towards those goals, and you will be amazed at how God will use your life.
Plan for the Future,
Now we will discuss three reasons you should set goals for your life:
1. Goals push you and pull you.
Having a goal written down with a certain date for accomplishment gives you something to do, something to plan for, and something to work for. This is the pushing part. When you first set your mind to do something, you get excited, energetic, and work like crazy to make it happen. But after a little while, that initial motivation wears off. It even goes away completely. And all you are left with is yourself, your goal, and your will to do the hard work and make it happen. Deep down, you still want to reach that goal, but it is going to take a lot more than motivation to get there. This is when the goals begin to pull you forward. Most people give up when motivation wanes. But you don’t have to do that. Let your goals keep you moving toward them.
2. Goals make very large mountains look like manageable valleys.
It is easy to feel discouraged when you look at your big dreams. You may begin to wonder if you will ever get there or if you are good enough or smart enough. Not of that matters when you have goals in front of you. Goals are broken down dreams. They are individual puzzle pieces that make up the puzzle. Setting definable goals for your life can help you to break larger and seemingly intimidating aspirations into smaller manageable daily stepping stones. If you are in the will of God, remember that God will ultimately be the force behind making your dreams come true. But He wants you to be responsible and surrender to Him and do your part to take each little step to get there.
3. Goals hold you accountable for your failures.
If you don’t set goals for yourself, you will be able to look back but you won’t be able to evaluate where you where to where you are now. There is something very uncomfortable and very humbling about looking back on a goal you set several months or even several years down the road and realizing the fact that you did not accomplish everything that you should have. If you have reached this point in a goal you set, do not blame anyone for your failure. Take responsibility and do the work of making the necessary changes and getting back on the right track. There is two things a person learning to ride a horse can do after she falls off. She can sit on the sidelines and cry or she can dust herself off and get back on the horse. And when good people fail at reaching something they set out to reach, they don’t cry, whine, or blame. They get up, dust themselves off, and try again tomorrow.
Someone said, “The poorest of all men is not the man without a cent; it is the man without a dream.”
In our next class, we will continue our study, “STRIVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE AT AN EARLY AGE”.
Now, like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what church people said “being saved” was back then especially, in my community, is wrong according to the Bible. I wrote an article about it titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.
First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, understand that a horrible punishment — eternal Hell — awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”
Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon Him in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” That is the most important decision you will ever make.
God bless you and keep you until we meet for our next class.