“Life is not worth living unless it is lived for others”

  • Mother Teresa

In a world where the term “love” has been misunderstood and misconstrued, how many models of love can we find?

In everyone’s life there comes a defining moment that either refines us to give of ourselves to others and live beyond ourselves or defiles us to live for sensual pleasure and become self-centered.

History will always remember the one who lives selflessly for a noble cause. History will always celebrate one whose courage triumphs over the pressure to conform. History will always honor the one whose nobility inspires others to goodness. History will always distinguish one whose heart of compassion and benevolence pours out to all.

Let us unravel the life of one of the history makers who had imprinted a legacy of love in the hearts of humanity-Mother Teresa, the epitome of unconditional love.


Mother Teresa was born, Agnes Gorxha Bojaxhiu on August 26, 1910. When she took her first vow in 1931, she also took her religious name, Sister Teresa, in honor of the patron saint of missions.


At the age of 12, Agnes experienced a defining moment in her life. She was praying at the feet of the status of Our Lady of Cernagore in Letnice close to Skopje. In her words, “I first heard the divine call, convincing me to serve God and to devote myself to his service and to the service of my neighbors. It was then that I realized that my vacation was towards the poor.” 



Agnes began her formal religious training in Ireland with the order of the Sisters of Loreto in 1928. She took a special interest in India to practice and do God’s work. Agnes loved to read and through her studies she became aware of the dire poverty that India’s poor were subjected as many were starving, homeless and dying of diseases.


Sister Teresa arrived at Calcutta, India in 1929 and she saw hundreds of thousands of people living in the streets, in the midst of garbage and human waste. She was trained as a teacher and taught history and geography at Convent schools. Sister Teresa was given the exemption to teach the poor outside the convent-regardless of church rules.

On September 10, 1946 in her words, “I again experienced a call to renounce everything and to follow Christ into the slums…I understand that God wanted something from me… the message was quite clear, I was to leave the convent and help the poor whilst living among them. It was a clear order. I knew where I belonged. I felt intensely that Jesus wanted me to serve him among the poorest of the poor, the uncared for, the slum dwellers, the abandoned, the homeless.

Against all odds, after two years the Catholic Church granted Sister Teresa’s request to serve outside the convent on a probationary one-year basis in which the final decision would be reached on the matter after that.


Sister Teresa thought about the needs of the poor and decided to meet the need of their medical care and education. She learnt the basic first aid and nursing skills. She started a school for the poor near Calcutta, teaching students outside and using the dirt as her blackboard and sticks as her chalk. Sister Teresa solicited persistently for funds from people and organizations which she utilized for her noble cause. In the process of time she was known for her selfless contribution to the poor and she founded her own religious order called, “Missionaries of Charity”.

She became Mother Teresa and attracted novice sisters who were attracted by her selfless contribution to the poor to care for the poor alongside with her. The Missionaries of Charity took the vows of poverty, chaste, obedience and wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor.


Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity opened homes which cared for the orphans and disabled children and the home for the dying. She also established the Leprosy fund and Leprosy Day.

Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize of the 20th Century’s greatest humanitarian. At the time of her death in 1997, the Missionaries of Charity numbered more than 4,000 in addition to thousands of volunteers with 610 foundations in 123 countries around the world. And in 2010, the Missionaries of Charity reached 135 countries.

The Order’s work has also experienced expansion to priests and brothers of the Missionaries of Charity who run orphanages, AIDS hospices and centers for refugees and the disabled.

 Mother Teresa was canonized on September 4, 2016.


  • Life becomes meaningless until you have discovered your life’s purpose, therein lies the joy of living-your soul’s code.
  • Your assignment or your purpose on earth is always people-centered. You are a solution to someone’s problem and your purpose on earth always taps into what you love or are passionate about which also deploys your gifts and abilities. Selfish or self-centered ambition only makes life miserable.
  • You can only experience true fulfillment when you become love-motivated as you fulfill your purpose on earth.
  • You will never become relevant in life until you grow your mind and keep it growing. A major way to grow your mind is by reading, studying and engaging in any form of self-education based on positive and relevant ideas or knowledge that equips you to become a positive influence in the world.
  • A dream without committed plan of action is only is only a wish.
  • To become a solution to someone’s problem, you must identify with the people and gain a first-hand experience about their plight or condition.
  • To achieve your major life’s goal you will need mini goals to help attract or pave the way to your major goals. Mother Teresa was trained as a teacher and taught history and geography at convent schools.
  • Never accept limitations in your mind and never give in to the obstacles on your path-Mother Teresa never did.
  • Your purpose on earth is always a discovery in your personal encounter and relationship with God-your Creator.
  • Never let tradition and the status quo limit you from breaking out to accomplish your purpose-purpose knows no limit and sees no barriers.
  • Fulfilling your purpose is not a popularity contest, everyone who accomplished their life’s purpose started alone but with the vision burning in their hearts. You can’t be significant in the world without passing through the process of being significant.
  • To become a solution to your world, you must first think about their needs-Mother Teresa did.
  • Never complain about what you don’t have, start with what you do have-Mother Teresa started the school for the poor outside using the dirt as the blackboard and sticks as her chalk.
  • Persistently seek out partnership for your cause-Mother Teresa did.
  • Transformational leaders lead by example.
  • Mother Teresa and her team met the needs of the poor with a cheerful disposition. She was identified with her warm greeting and powerful smile.
  • Live to love and live to give.
  • Become an early riser and maximize your time each day. Mother Teresa rose early by 4:30am and worked late, using the late night hours most often to write letters soliciting for help, for her cause.
  • Maximize your life-live for a purpose and on purpose as long as you have your breath. Mother Teresa still travelled to many different countries for speaking engagements even in her advancing years-living out her purpose, she refused to retire.
  • Live boldly and courageously.
  • Always speak from your heart and make your words count.
  • Mother Teresa became a celebrity to be reckoned with but she never let her fame get to her head rather the fame of Jesus flowed from her heart as she perceived herself as only an instrument and credited God and Jesus for the great work she and the Missionaries of Charity had accomplished-thus she remained humble.
  • You have the power to make a difference in the world by beginning to make a difference in the life of one person. The essence of your life is in the contribution you make to life, and the quality of your life hinges on the quality of seeds sown in the lives of others.

“Charity begins today. Today someone is suffering, today somebody is in the street, and today someone is hungry…Do not wait for tomorrow.”

  • Mother Teresa.



Timeless Gem

. . .

About the Author


Udeme Archibong is a prolific writer, an astute communicator and a model of excellence. Her writings have made profound impact on thousands of lives around the world through her blog:, which has followings in over 70 countries in continents of the world.

She is a Self-Development Expert, who passionately works towards helping people maximize their destinies.

At some point, she was a motivational columnist, writing Success Recipe and Destiny Catalyst, for two Nigerian national newspapers, Vanguard and ThisDay, respectively. She is the initiator of the Revolution Series Seminars

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“It’s not the mountain we conquer but ourselves”


Scaling heights is a scary adventure and it is for the daring, the visionary and those who are committed to living their dreams rather than their fears.

Let’s travel through memory lane and let Sir Edmund Hillary teach us how to stretch our potentials and reach the summit of our dreams.


Edmund Percival Hillary was born on July 20, 1919, in Auckland, New Zealand. As a child, Edmund habitually walked barefoot to school irrespective of the weather. He had a harsh family life, his parents who were farmers and beekeepers believed that every physical disorder was caused by overeating and the solution was dieting, Edmund’s teachers did not spare to tell him bluntly that he was physically unfit, thin, weak, and too often sick. He loved reading adventure stories often at the rate of a book a day.


At the age of sixteen, Edmund went skiing for the first time. He discovered that he fell in love by the sight of snow and upon eavesdropping on a conversation by a group of mountain climbers he made a committed decision as he returned from the trip and said to himself, ”I must climb something”.



From that point onward he began to spend all of his free time hiking, jogging, and climbing mountains. He experienced physical hurts as he trained himself to master mountain climbing; he broke three ribs in one fall, was gored by a frightened yak during another climb and suffered infected leech bites, massive blisters, and frozen nose drips on various climbing.

Edmund Hillary girded himself with the will, determination and discipline to face and master all of his major mountain climbing goals he set for himself. In 1952, He set a significant goal that elevated him to relevance in the world-the goal to climb Mount Everest.


According to scientists, Mount Everest which is the world’s highest peak has a towering height of 29, 035 feet (8,850 meters) above sea level. This could be converted to 51/2 miles, 17 times taller than the tallest skyscraper in the world. The air at the peak of Mount Everest is very thin which makes it hard to breathe up there and oxygen masks are required. The thin air can cause sickness even on the lower slopes of the mountain. The weather around Mount Everest is among the harshest on earth which makes climbing the mountain a tough one. The top is covered with a thick layer of ice and is characterized by deadly winds, waist deep snow; bitter cold, sudden avalanche, and limited visibility. The temperature there never exceeds freezing. In the summer, violent storms batter the mountain. Winds reach speeds of 177 miles per hour (285km per hour). In winter, the temperature can drop to -760 Fahrenheit (-600 Celsius).

However, Edmund Hilary was quite acquainted with harsh conditions due to his past experiences in mastering heights.


In 1952, Edmund Hillary experienced a failed attempt in successfully climbing the Mount Everest to its peak. However, defeat is not final but quitting is fatal. I’m in love with Edmund’s remarkable statement after his defeat, “Mount Everest, you have defeated me. But I will return and I will defeat you because you can’t get any bigger than I am.”


On May 29, 1953, at 11:30 am, history was made; the “impossibility” record was broken and a new world record of possibility was set by Sir Edmund Hillary who reached the summit of Mount Everest a few seconds before his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay did. The duo spent 15 minutes at the top of the world celebrating in triumph; Hillary buried a crucifix at the summit of Mount Everest.


Edmund Hillary was astonished that his climb brought him celebrity status. He still perceived himself as a beekeeper carrying on his parents business. His foremost response to fame was to buy a new pair of pants to wear in public.

Edmund Hillary braced up and rose up to the responsibility of the opportunity to influence people all around the world due to his fame as he was frequently invited to give lectures around the world and he discovered that he enjoyed this new challenge.

He took up exploration and accomplished several expedition feats. In 1985, Edmund and Astronaut Neil Armstrong flew a small twin-engine plane to the North Pole, making Hillary the first to stand at both poles and the summit of Everest also known as the “third pole”.

He became the author of several books. Through his expeditions and books, he inspired humanity to take physical risks and attempt great challenges.


Sir Edmund Hillary died on January 11, 2008, in Auckland. He was regarded as “New Zealand’s most trusted individual.” Despite all his success and fame as an adventurer; Hillary was always described as a humble man. He suffered a tragic loss when his wife and youngest daughter were killed in a plane crash in 1975. Hillary turned his loss into a gain by devoting his life to working in hospitals and helping build schools and bridges to improve the lives of the Himalayan people. He founded the Himalayan Trust, which built schools, hospitals, and transportation hubs in Nepal. He served as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Nepal, as well as India and Bangladesh, from 1985-1988, and was made an honorary citizen of Nepal in 2003, on the 50th anniversary of reaching the summit.  Various geographical regions bear Hillary’s name, and the New Zealand five dollar note features his image. 

Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.  


  • Let the words that proceed from your mouth count up to something; never let your words countdown to nothing. In other words, let your words build people up by magnifying their strengths rather than magnifying their weaknesses and tearing down their self-image in the process. And when you want to speak the truth (in regards to their weaknesses), speak the truth in love by giving people something to live up to. Edmunds teachers never did encourage him with their words.
  • Be an active participant in the game of life. Never live life passively. Get actively involved in life; shut out the negative and distracting voices within and without; listen to the still small voice within; follow your heart; get out of your comfort zone and try something new. When you get active in life you will discover what you were made to do what you love to do. Therein is your Power-to influence your world for good.
  • The defining moments of your life are the critical decisions you make with what you want to do with your life and the commitment to stay at it until you win at it. Edmund Hillary said, “I must climb something,” that was his defining moment and that critical decision backed up with an unwavering commitment shaped the course of his destiny.
  • The responsibility to make life happen or the irresponsibility to let life happen lies in your hands. Great destinies are made to happen; it is not wishful thinking or by being lucky. You will never reach the summit of “Mount Everest” when you were strolling in the park. To enjoy the thrills of accomplishments you must endure the training in discipline and sacrifice. The greater your dreams, the greater will be the price you have to pay. You can’t maximize your destiny until you maximize your time. What you do with your “free” time will determine the outcome of your destiny.
  •  You can never win the game of life without goals. You must set goals with a deadline of what you want to accomplish. Your goals must be big enough to inspire you to stretch your potentials in order to accomplish it and as you reach them you increase your capacity and you set higher ones. As long as you live, you keep on having consistent goals that will stretch you and make you to continually grow to accomplish them. That’s the way to maximize potentials.
  • Failure is a feedback mechanism which offers an opportunity to learn and grow into engaging in actions that produce success. Never perceive defeat as personal or as a permanent situation rather learn from it and grow bigger through it and succeed massively.
  • Until you are climbing something in life, you will fall for anything. Until you are a problem solver, you cannot climb to the top. When you are a problem-avoider, you avoid your place at the top. Until you learn to think through the problem, you will be unable to rise above the problem. Until you are able to learn from the problem, you will be unable to grow through the problem.
  • Until you possess the champion mentality, you will never be able to “kill” the giants on the pathway of destiny. Until you maximize your scars, you can’t emerge a star. Until you grow through your mess or weakness, your life can’t become an inspiring message.
  • Never possess the “I have arrived” mentality. Never rest your laurels and plateau your destiny. Never cease growing yourself and never stop releasing potentials as long as you live.
  • Character development should not be forfeited for image building. Edmund Hillary was regarded as “New Zealand’s most trusted individual”, he possessed primary greatness of character as a foundation for his secondary greatness of recognized talents and abilities.
  • Always turn your losses into gain; turn the bitter experiences of life into better experiences for others. When Hillary’s wife and youngest daughter died in an airplane crash instead of him becoming bitter and focusing on his loss, he devoted his life to a greater cause than climbing mountains; he devoted his life to helping people in practical ways-investing in people is the greatest investment you will ever make through life.
  • True greatness springs from humility. Despite accomplishing extraordinary feats and the fame that accompanies it, Edmund Hillary remained humble. One of the amazing things I have discovered is that most of the truly great people in the world never set out to be famous but rather they set out with the motive to become valuable and to make a difference in life and they ended up becoming famous.

“When you go to the mountains, you see them and you admire them. I think I mainly climb mountains because I get a great deal of enjoyment out of it. I think it all comes down to motivation.”

“People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things”

-Sir Edmund Hillary.



Timeless Gem

. . .

About the Author


Udeme Archibong is a prolific writer, an astute communicator and a model of excellence. Her writings have made profound impact on thousands of lives around the world through her blog:, which has followings in over 70 countries in continents of the world.

She is a Self-Development Expert, who passionately works towards helping people maximize their destinies.

At some point, she was a motivational columnist, writing Success Recipe and Destiny Catalyst, for two Nigerian national newspapers, Vanguard and ThisDay, respectively. She is the initiator of the Revolution Series Seminars

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