# UNDERSTANDING THE GRAPH OF LIFE

UNDERSTANDING THE GRAPH OF LIFE BY AHMADU A. EMMANUEL
As a secondary school teacher, teaching mathematics in the school where I am currently serving as a Nigerian youth corps member. There is a topic I teach my students known as variation which says that, if the value of something changes ; usually a variable changes with respect to another variable, the two variables can be related directly or indirectly by a formula. This formula can be represented on a 2-dimensional graph. These principle of variation is applicable to the life of every man. The unit of life is time. When we waste time, we are by extension wasting our life, because our life is a function of time. Therefore, by the principle of variation we can say that, our life is related to or varies inversely with time. That is, as time passes by our life becomes shorter.  We can generate a mathematical equation from this relationship, from which we can plot a graph of life against time. By the law of variation, if two variables (in our case, life and time) are indirectly related, the equation relating them can be written as follows;

In our case the constant of proportionality is the fact that everyman has 24 hours in a day, we choose what to do with it. It is quite alarming to know that if you sleep for 8hrs a day, in 30yrs time you would have slept for 10yrs. The graphical representation of the equation relating life and time – The graph of life, is shown below and I have divided it into the 4 major stages of life for better explanation and for easy understanding;

Figure: The graph of life

STAGE ONE – Learning Stage (0 – 25yrs)
The first 25yrs of your life is the phase of your life where you’re expected to know God, understand His principles and how He operates. You should have discovered your purpose and be walking in it. The keyword in this stage is preparation. This is the stage where Satan tries to terminate people’s destiny. You can make mistakes at this stage and go scot free. Although this stage is the first stage of the graph of life, it should be a continuous process as you go through the other stages.

STAGE TWO – Earning/Investment Stage (25 – 50yrs)
You are strongest at this stage and should have acquired the requisite knowledge to start taking bold steps in life. This is the stage where you buy a car, build a house, invest your money, get married, raise children and so on. This stage is known as the stage of execution and it is the stage where you are expected to make your maximum impact. You will be remembered for either of 2 things in your life, the problems you solved or the ones you created.

STAGE THREE – Consolidation/Legacy Stage (50 – 75yrs)
At this stage you are adding to what you have done. You are supposed to be documenting your persuasions, mindset and convictions in form of books, audio and video tapes, articles and so on to mentor the other generation and raise people after you. Never die with your persuasions, raise and build institutions that will outlive you. One book that discusses deeply on this subject, is Passing it on – The power of Legacy by Dr. Myles Munroe.

STAGE FOUR – Rest (75yrs and Above)
This is the stage where you enjoy the goodness of God before you die. You can go on vacation with your family and friends, tour the world and so on. At this stage you have lived a successful life and have maximized your potential to a great level, even if you die at this stage you really have nothing to do. This is the stage where you say, I came – I saw – I conquered.
Now, that you have seen and understood the graph of life. Which stage are you now? Is the quality of your life proportional to the stage you find yourself? It doesn’t matter what stage you find yourself, all you have to do is to admit that you’re not living your life up to the expectations of God and be ready to make a conscious decision to change and be willing to act on your decision. There is a Chinese proverb that says “The best time to plant a tree is 20yrs ago, but the second best time is now.” Decisions are the seed for change. If you want to live a better life, you must be prepared to pay the price for a better life. Read books, listen to audio messages, attend seminars, talk to successful people and learn from the best. You never get successful by default, you must do something about your present situation to change it.
Please note that this graph of life is not specific to everybody, it may vary depending on the individual. Some people may transit from one stage to another faster than others. Whatever the case may be, this graph is the commonest and ideal graph of life for any individual.