God is the only one who does not need people. Yet, he chose not to do things without people. He can make all things happen by himself, but he chose to create and do more things through people. If God uses people to get things done here on earth though he does not need them, how can you ever think that you will succeed without people?
It will be the arrogance and ignorance of the highest order to conclude, by whatever parameter that you do not need people or think that what God purposed to do in you will be done without people. If God says you’re going to be prosperous, he is going to bless some people for your sake and cause those people to turn around to bless you. If he tells you that he will take you far in life, God has already positioned some people on the way who will hold your hand to keep you going or open doors for you.
There is no height in life that you can get to by yourself without people opening doors for you or allowing you to climb on their shoulders. You were designed for association. You were built or wired to function through relationships. Without relationships, you may not achieve much in life. I am not just talking about relationships with people around you but strategic or destiny defining relationships. When you walk into a destiny defining relationships then you will have a practical experience of the meaning of favour and mercy.
I have a few relationships and I know that some of those relationships should have broken by now if not for the mercy and grace that come without those relationships. I may have done things that they should hold unto and walk away but they are still standing and still helping me. You will always need people in your life that are wired to help you regardless of what you do. This does not mean that you will deliberately hurt them or try to push them away. But you can make mistakes that they should hold unto but they will look away and focus on the thing that is to be achieved with you.
I often laugh when I hear or see people who talk about being self-made. There is no such thing as being self-made except for arrogant fools. We all need people in life. You can’t live by yourself and can’t get anywhere by yourself. If you think you work hard, you will still need people to open some doors for you in order for the hard work to yield results. You need some forerunners to prepare the grounds for you. You need some encouragers to keep you going. You need some mentors to show you the way. You need some people to give you insights in life. Without people, there is not much that you can do. People will help the fulfillment of your purpose and prophecy. You need people to be your way makers. You need people to endorse you. If there are no people, you will be stranded and you need people who can do almost ANYTHING for you.
Take a look at where you were coming from and how far you have come. Your conception did not happen without the active participation of two people. For you to be born, a man had to donate sperm and a woman had to donate eggs. God didn’t drop you from heaven because you’re special. Those are the first set of people you needed in life. Throughout your period of conception, you needed someone to carry and nurture you. As a developing baby, you couldn’t function outside the womb. Someone had to carry you until it was time to exit the womb. Those who came out before time needed some time out in the incubator under the watchful eyes of doctors. When you came out, someone had to wrap you properly because of cold, feed you, bath you can take care of you until you could live on your own.
Yes, you may have passed that phased where people carry you physically and hold your hands to get things done, you still need people to help you in life. When there are no people to help you, you will become stranded. You will need people to introduce you in life. There are things that you can be skillful at, without the proper introduction, you can’t get into the right circles where your skills are needed. You will remain in obscurity without an announcement from the right person or an introduction to say that you can be trusted.
Some of the people you will need are people you know and some of them are people you will never know. There are those who will come in briefly, put in a word for you and leave. There are those who will be there for a long time and make things happen for you in life phase by phase. There are those who will tell you what to do and there are those who will show you how to do what needs to be done. Some people will speak for you without your knowledge and others will let you know they have spoken for you.
I recall the story of a lawyer I heard about some year ago. This was a young lawyer who was struggling to get clients but he had a mentor who was in the same city and was getting a lot of clients. After some frustration, the struggling young lawyer went to the older lawyer to ask for help. When he narrated his story, the older lawyer simply took him for a walk around town. They returned to the office and the older lawyer bade him bye. He never promised to help in anyway. He didn’t make any offer and this young lawyer wasn’t sure what to make of just walking around town with his senior colleague.
After a while, something happened that the young lawyer could not explain. He began to receive visitors. Many people began to request his services. Business started booming. The same law firm that was frustrating became interesting. The business that was on the verge of being shut down was not looking to expand and probably recruit more hands. What had happened in such a short time? He realized that many of the clients who could not afford the services of his senior colleague began to approach him and were doing business with him.
It was when he went back to the senior lawyer that he understood the impact of that seemingly simple walk around town. It wasn’t that people could not do business with him. He was yet to be tested and no one had given him any form of endorsement regarding his credibility. That walk around town that he took for granted was the endorsement that he needed. Everything changed when people saw him with this lawyer who was known and trusted with a proven experience. During that walk, the senior lawyer put his reputation on the line but extended it to his younger colleague by endorsing him without saying a word.
There are a number of lessons to learn from this story. The first and the most important is the fact that you need people. The second lesson is that the people you walk with will eventually determine your reality. You can walk with people and all you ever see will be daily struggles. You can also change camp and things also change for you within a short time. Your association is a valuable tool to success that you cannot afford to joke with. When you’re in the wrong association, you can lose what you’ve already built and stay stagnant for a long time. When you’re in the right association, you can rise faster than you can ever imagine.
However, this is not just about association. We are now talking about specific individuals who can make things happen for you in a lifetime. Sometimes, all that needs to happen is for someone to love you and what you do. If the right person loves you and what you do, it does not matter who else does not like your face. They will not like your promotion but will not be able to do anything about it.
I have been able to break some protocols because of the people that came into my life. I have been able to rise to prominence in some circles because of certain people who decided to help me. The interesting part is that till date, I don’t understand why some of these people love me and chose to help. There were others who seemed more qualified but I was the one they chose to help and their help in my life went far.
One of my pastors used to share his experience while working in an advertising agency. He was due to be promoted and his direct boss was going into a meeting to make a recommendation for him. As the meeting was about to begin, his direct boss wanted to talk to their overall boss who had also penned his name for another position. When his direct boss saw the position that their overall boss was going to recommend, he withdrew his recommendation because the recommendation from the overall boss was a much higher position.
This was one person and there were two people willing to give him a recommendation in the same meeting. Whichever way the recommendation had gone; he would have been promoted at the end of the meeting but it was sweeter that a senior person in the room was going to give a higher recommendation. That meant he didn’t have to wait a number of years to get the next promotion. If he got the recommendation of his immediate boss, he would still have been happy but may have to wait another 3 to 6 years to get the next promotion.
From this story, you will agree that you also need people in your career to rise fast. The rising may not be within your office. It could be in the industry as a whole. You may work in an office where there is limited room for rising but who do you know or who knows you within the industry? This matters a lot. You may be stuck, not because your company isn’t supporting your growth. You are simply stuck because you’re current at the best position they can possibly offer you and your influence isn’t beyond that office so no one in the industry can help you.
While you need people to speak for you within large corporations, you also need people to speak for you within the industry.
Speaking of needing people within your office, career path and industry to speak for you, I remember something interesting that happened in an office where I used to work. A lady and I had just resumed work. When we got to know each other, she shared with me how she was selected for the job over the other candidate. She knew this because the receptionist told her what happened and how she was selected. At the interview, my colleague and one other person had performed well. The interviewers didn’t know how to select someone for the role since they had judged that they both performed well. At that point, they went to the receptionist to ask who should be chosen. The receptionist told them to choose my new colleague because she was the one who engaged when all the job applicants sat at the reception before the interview.
Would you have imagined there would ever be a situation where interviewers would decide who gets a job based on the opinion of a receptionist? It wasn’t a planned work and it wasn’t a set up. They just like two of the candidates equally and needed to choose one person. The person who connected with the receptionist got the job though the other person was equally competent. This just tells you how life works and who you may need in life. You may need the least expected people and you should not even think there are certain people you will never need.
Take a look at the political scene all across the world. Nobody rises without the input of another person. Some of these people who give recommendations, endorsements or donations eventually establish themselves as godfathers in some country but in others, they are not known as godfathers. Whatever you call them, someone always has to give the platform that brings you to the spotlight. You can’t arrive at the spotlight yourself. Someone always has to be gracious enough to share their moments with you. It is not something you can make happen yourself.
A good example is the case of Armanda Gorman who is currently making waves in the United States. She got a chance to recite her poem during the 2021 inauguration of President Joe Biden while the world was watching. She nailed the performance as we would say but that’s not the first time she was nailing a performance. Within 24 hours, she rose to fame and so many offers began to pour in. what was the difference and what changed for her? I later found out she had met Dr. Jill Biden, wife of President Biden, before the inauguration. Dr. Jill Biden had watched her perform and decided to recommend her as one of the possible performers during the inauguration. She met one person who gave her a platform she would enjoy for a long time.
In the case of President Barack Obama, he had been a senator for a while but wasn’t making any serious waves until a Democratic National Convention when he was recommended to deliver a speech. One person chose him and that person helped bring him to the spotlight. Without that simple recommendation, things may not have been easier for him because he didn’t have the clout, weight or influence of the likes of Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator John McCain yet, he defeated them. You need people in your life. You need people to speak for you and you must admit that one person speaking for you will make your life’s journey a lot easier.
How do you think that commissioners and ministers are appointed? Do you think that the Governor or the President knows all the people he’s appointing? Do you think he had met all of them before appointing them? In many cases, it is one recommendation from the person the Governor or President trusts that makes all the difference. At some point, former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Nigeria admitted to not knowing Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina before appoint him as Minister for Agriculture. From his position as Minister for Agriculture, he went on, with the endorse of President Muhammadu Buhari, to become President of the African Development Bank.
Whether at the highest levels in life or at the lowest levels in life, you need people. Whether on the global scene or on the local scene, you need people. There is no way you can rise without people or become whatever you dream of becoming without the help of people.
In business, I have gotten some of the best jobs ever not because of my advertisements or skills. I got them because of recommendations from other people. Am I good at what I do? Absolutely. Do I stand a chance when asked to compete with others? Sure, I do. Can I get some jobs on my own? Definitely. But the truth is that it would have taken a long time and a lot of work to get some of the jobs I did without the recommendation of some people.
Some years ago, someone called me to ask if I was interested in facilitating a training in Nigeria. I told him I was. He gave the details of the training then told me how much to charge. He went ahead to negotiate the training on my behalf and the person who was to pay for the training agreed to the sum he had discussed with me. If I was to bid for that training, I would have done a really good presentation to convince the person I could deliver. But I certainly wouldn’t have charged as much as the person told me to charge. There was another training that happened on the basis of recommendation. I was asked to charge and not knowing how many people were going to be in the room, I gave a fee. I gave the fee because I wasn’t expecting a lot of people. When they told me how many people they’d have to pay for, the fee appeared too much and they slashed the payment by fifty percent. Despite the fifty percent slash, the payment was still the highest I had ever gotten for a training at the time and this happened because of one person who gave me a recommendation.
You can remain smart and stay stuck if you think you don’t need people. If that’s your position, it will appear that you aren’t smart after all. Bearing in mind that in many cases, you don’t know who you will need to get to your next level, you have to be nice to people. You need to be of good character. You can’t afford to be inhumane to people just because you think you will not need them. You need to treat everyone nicely and behave well towards them. Those you think you need may not be the people you will ever need in your life. Those you never imagined you will need may be the people you will need the most in life.
It is important to treat everyone well because some people only treat successful people well. They look at those around them and do not treat them well if they do not look educated. Anyone around them who does not look successful or well-connected isn’t treated well. Sometimes, when people do not carry the CEO appellations or the aura of success determined by nice dresses, perfumes, watches, good haircut or expensive hair accessories and cars, they aren’t treated well. Some people only treat other human beings well when they speak queens English or fluently in any other official language of their country to depict a certain level of sophistication.
To treat people nicely on the basis of what they look, dress or talk like is to be shortsighted. There are so many people out there who can be described as ‘don’t judge a book by the cover.’ They have all the connections you can ever need but they do not look like it. They know all the things you could ever wish to know but they do not look anything like what they know. There are issues and terrains in life that they can help you navigate but you will never find out if you do not treat them nicely.
Are there people around you that you’ve been ignoring? They may hold the key to your next promotion. Are there people around you that you consider inconsequential? You may remain stuck until you engage some of those people. You should just not look down at people because you do not know the people that God already designed to help you up in life.
Take a look at the Bible. It is filled with several characters who were helped by other characters. If there is any lesson God wants us to learn from that, it is the fact that he has the capacity to help us but he is not going to come down to do it. He will have to do it through people. If we are nice to those people, things will happen for us.
In the book of John chapter 5 from verses 1 – 7, we saw an interesting story. The verses read:
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, [a]Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, [b]paralyzed, [c]waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. 5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
Because this man did not know who was standing in front of him, he began to talk about how he had no one to help him. He had been in that condition for 38 years just because he had no one to help him get into the pool when the water is stirred. If a man can be stuck for 38 years just because there was no one to get him into the water, you can see that people can be stuck for life when they do not get the help they need from other people.
The other interesting thing is that he was not the only one at the pool. It is clear from verse 3 that there were so many sick people there. Jesus decided he was the only one to be helped. What he had been look for in 38 years came to him in another dimension. He was expecting to be carried into the water for healing but the great healer came to him and said we need to do this differently.
In Luke chapter 5 from verses 17 – 20, something interesting happened. Let’s read here:
17 On one of the days while Jesus was teaching, some proud religious law-keepers and teachers of the Law were sitting by Him. They had come from every town in the countries of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was there to heal them. 18 Some men took a man who was not able to move his body to Jesus. He was carried on a bed. They looked for a way to take the man into the house where Jesus was. 19 But they could not find a way to take him in because of so many people. They made a hole in the roof over where Jesus stood. Then they let the bed with the sick man on it down before Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the man, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
This man had people. People who stuck by him despite difficult circumstances. They took him to the place where he was going to het healed and the place was packed. There was no way into the house yet they did not give up. They decided to carry a sick person lying on a bed to the roof of a house, open the roof and let the man down right in front of Jesus for healing.
The Bible may have described this incident in a few verses but it is not that easy. Imaging having a sick friend that you and a few other friends need to carry around. That’s a lot of burden. Now imagine having to carry the person to the room of a house without an elevator or crane to make it easier. We also need people in our lives who will never give up on helping us until they see us achieve the great things we can possibly achieve. We need people in our lives who can take us to the point of help and still not stop there when the place is packed but proceed to tear down the roof just for us to get a VIP seat in front of the person who can turn our lives around. I cannot over emphasize how much we need other people.
God can decide to use people for you but if you choose not to be nice to those people, they may withhold your help and God will do nothing about it. Again I am reminded of a prominent man of God who visited a poor couple. When he decided to visit, he had planned to give them some cash because he saw the state they were in. Unfortunately, the family didn’t receive him very well when he got there. He said they didn’t even offer him water to drink. Because of this cold attitude, he withheld what he had planned to give to them. This family lost out just because they couldn’t put in a little effort to be nice towards their guest.
He also told a story of a family that lived in the western world. Things were so bad for that family that they were struggling to eat. On this day, there was nothing to eat and the baby of the family was crying helplessly. The man of the house was out hoping to get something. There was a group of evangelists that was preaching in the neighbourhood. They were already tired for the day but decided to reach out to one more house. That happened to be the house of this lady with the crying baby.
The woman welcomed the guest and apologized for not being able to offer anything to drink. She also told him that the reason she couldn’t offer anything to drink is not because she didn’t want to but because she didn’t have anything to offer. The man was surprised that she had nothing to offer. Not even a drink. He then asked to be given a few minutes and he returned with a bag of groceries. The family got more than enough to eat. This gentleman went further to ask about the husband’s occupation and helped the man to get a decent job in that city.
Now that’s the kind of story a lot of people like to hear but there are things we ought to pay attention to. The first thing is that this woman had a child that was hungry. If you know mothers very well then you know that’s not the best time to pay attention to visitors. There’s no mother with a hungry child that will be happy and will go about smiling. She managed to treat the guest well and paid attention to whatever the guest had to say. That’s why things changed for the family.
She would have been right to refuse to listen to the guest. It would have been understandable to focus more on the child. Nobody will blame you for overlooking certain people because of their appearances or their social status in life. That does not change the fact that they are in a position to help you.
People are the definitions of favour! If you want to be favoured in life, you’re simply asking for some special people to be placed in your life. People are the ladders you need to rise in life. Without people, there are levels you cannot attain with all your intelligence and hard work.
As I emphasize how much we need other people to succeed in life, I need to conclude this by saying that we must also be available to lift other people up. We must also be that person that other people need. We should be kind enough to be the answer to other people’s prayers. Just as some people will walk into our lives as answers to our prayers, we must also walk into the lives of other people as answers to their prayers.
Don’t just go around looking for those who will help you without looking for those you can help. While waiting for your helper, be the helper of other people. While waiting for a recommendation that will take you to the next level, give some recommendations at your level. Speak for other people when it counts for them to be promoted. Speak for other people when it matters for them to get some businesses, jobs or contracts.
You have to know or be reminded of the fact that what goes around comes around. There are times when you may never meet the people you need until you have become the help that others are praying for. You may never get some of the recommendations that you are looking for if you’re the type that will never give kind recommendations to others if they were in your shoes. There will always be the law of seed and harvest so long as this earth remains. What goes around comes around. Whatever you sow, you will reap. If you’re kind to people, others will come around to be kind to you. If you lift people up, others will go all out to lift you up. If you sit on the promotions of other people, others will so the same to you without being able to explain why they’re doing that. When you without good recommendations, be sure to expect same when it matters. A little act of kindness can unlock so much for you. You don’t even have to be kind to people just because you want something in return. It should just be our nature as decent human beings to be kind to one another. Not all of the people we show kindness will return our kindness. Some of them will be rude in return. There are those who will be nice for a while and then turn their backs on us. A tiny, possibly insignificant, fraction of the people that we help will remember it and be grateful enough to acknowledge our help. They may be able to show some kindness in return and they may not be able to but you will certainly reap that kindness to them somewhere else.