Tuesday, August 6, 2013



ONE person whose life and work has influenced me greatly is Pastor Mensa Otabil. I first came across him in 1997 when he started the Living Word television broadcast in Ghana. As a clueless teenager then, I wrote him off because I felt he was too boring a preacher. Every time I saw him on TV, I tuned off. I did this for some time until one day, somebody invited me to a church in the Eastern city of Koforidua where I lived then.

It was when we arrived at the church that International Central Gospel Church registered in my mind. That was the name of the church the person invited me to. Then it hit me that it was the same church that sponsored Pastor Otabil’s Living Word television broadcast and that he was the Founder and General Overseer of the church I had attended. At the church on that day, I found the worship and teaching that took place in an orderly setting relevant and inspiring.

From then on, I became an ardent listener of Otabil’s Living Word broadcast on TV and radio. I have read almost all the books he has written and I use his Living Word Devotional guide to assist my daily study of the Bible. When I relocated to Accra years later, I became a member of Christ Temple – the flagship assembly of ICGC where he serves as Senior Pastor. Why have I become such an avid fun of Pastor Otabil’s ministry? His simplicity. The simplicity of his ministry and orderly presentation of his sermons facilitates understanding of the scriptures, even for the most under-educated person. His simplicity has also given his brand of ministry a cross-over appeal in corporate and other non-Christian spheres. With his simplicity, he has built a world-class ministry and impacted many lives all over the world.

Simplicity is one asset that is often overlooked by a lot of people. Simplicity could be a powerful tool for success in personal, professional, corporate and national development. In your personal life, you can cultivate elements of simplicity. You can be simple and succeed.

IN its most ordinary explanation, simplicity means plain. Simple people are plain. They are not complicated. They are transparent. If you live a plain life, you don’t harbour skeletons in your cupboards. This helps you to practice integrity which is your capital for trust and confidence of people. If you simplify your life, you are likely to live an honest life.
It is difficult to trust a person who is not plain. When a people are not plain, they are likely to engage in shady deals. That is why in modern governance, transparency and accountability are seen as key pillars for good governance.

PRINCIPLES don’t change. A commitment to live a simple life is a commitment to principles. When you devote your life to principles, it reduces uncertainty in your decision-making. Principles are your bases for the decisions you make. So anytime you have to make a critical decision in your life, all you need to do is to give recourse to the principles you subscribe to and there you go. Committing your life to principles reduces stress in decision-making. Simplicity is principled.

SIMPLICITY makes you pursue things that are practical; things that work. If you want your life to work, pursue simplicity. Pursuing things that work does not mean doing easy things. It means you have the mental discipline to relax and think through complex challenges, break them down into smaller tasks and implement them in phases. That is simplicity.

If you want to reduce stress in your life, adopt simplicity. Be a pragmatist.

PRAYER is a strategy for simple people. A person who prays connects with God. By connecting with God, you give Him permission to lift your burden so that you can rest in Him. When God carries your burdens, it doesn't mean you will have no responsibility or challenge in life. It just means that no challenge or burden will weaken you. In the weak spots of your life, God will take over. A simple life is one that is not complicated by unnecessary overweight cargo.

MAKE no mistake; simplicity is not the same as being simplistic. While a simplistic person avoids complexities, a simple person weaves through complexities. The simplistic person is lazy but the simple is diligent. If you are simple, you face complex challenges, seek understanding and pursue solutions that make the issues clearer.

Simplistic people are naïve. They make decisions without contemplating other options. Simple people make decisions that work after they have considered other options available to them. Surely, simplicity is not simplistic.

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction,” E. F. Schumacher points out. And Leonardo da Vinci sums it all up, “Simplicity is ultimate sophistication.” 

© August 2013 Terry Mante
CEO, Personal Development Network (PEDNET)
Accra, Ghana


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