Thursday, 12 January 2017

Follow Your Passion, Not Just Your Ability

If you are conversant with the style and lesson of write-ups in this blog, one of the things that would have stood out among so many is that stories are not told for just telling sake. Stories carry weights and are most times true. I try to relate real life experiences which would unravel one or more working principles
that will help us improve our living.

In this short article, I want to share with you one necessary ingredient you must have if your goals will ever be realised this New Year and your resolutions kept. I learnt it from my mentor.

With his car carrying the kids parked in front of my yard, I stood aside for what was supposed to be a very short tete-a-tete with one of my Mentors. He was one of the chief reasons I’d travelled to the village for the Christmas celebration, so I wasn’t taking this opportunity lightly.

He was driving his kids to Owerri airport that morning to board flight for them down to Lagos. So the kids were waiting patiently in the car. I could imagine them thinking, ‘what on earth is dad doing with this young man with uncut beards?’

The Discussion

Follow your passion”, he said, emphasising with his hands. He went on to explain why it is more important in life for one to consider one’s ability always in the light of one’s passion when choosing careers. His story is every bit inspiring.

“I read Pharmacy at the University of Benin”, Mr Gabriel continued. “So I’m a certified Pharmacist. But one question I had to ask myself quite early was what my passion in life was. I needed to know those things I could do over and over, anytime and anywhere without getting bored doing them. Things that I would still love to do even when I’m not well paid or paid at all for it.

And to me it was talking, travelling and meeting new people for networking. The knowledge that my joy does not lie in anything related to drugs or health in general, neither was I comfortable with the idea of sitting down somewhere in a  shop or hospital counting and dispensing drugs, made me start early to seek for opportunities to explore and express my passion- for a pay.

“When marketing job became handy then”, he continued, “I immediately went into it. For one reason, it gave me opportunity to talk and meet new persons. I quickly obtained my diploma in MBA and wheew, has been flying ever since”.

Powerful lesson to learn, right? Absolutely!

Passion is not everything, true, but is a great pointer towards what you are to become. Neglecting your passion is like a captain neglecting his compass in the middle of the sea. And do you really know why your talent and skill should be reviewed in line with what you love utmost?

You can do anything
This is factual and true. Humans always have the ability to do many things. In the case of my mentor, he’s a qualified pharmacist. Hence he had whatsoever ability any pharmacist has to function in that office. He could drive too. So he could do just fine if he’d chosen to be a driver based on that ability.

Many of us have multiple skills we’ve learnt over the years. These skills have opened up a whole world of options and possibilities for us. And at times, it becomes confusing to then know exactly which to do and which not. It becomes difficult to know which of the abilities to give priority over the other. And that’s where passion comes in to help.

You are multi-talented
Many persons are conspicuously multi-talented. Yours may not be so obvious, but you still are. And that, like the above poses a big problem.
A good friend of mine could sing, write, draw and play instruments. If he had just his talent as a guide, then he’s in for troubles. He would simply become jack of all trades. Doing all, achieving nothing.

Passion, yet again was his saving grace.

What I’d tried to say is that passion comes in handy to help you make the better career decision. You wouldn’t want to work simply for money and die a no body. You wouldn’t want to grumble for a greater part of your life because you are doing things you don’t love. This New Year is time to rethink and plan better.

If you are already in the middle of the sea- doing the job you are not passionate about- rearrange for a part-time work where your passions are expressed. Gradually maintain both works until the part-time work is able to sustain you financially. Then you switch. But if you are still starting out in life, this is the best time to take the right step.

To end our brief discussion, my mentor said, “ever since, I work only for multinationals. In a particular company I stay for a few years, move over to another one for a higher pay and higher rank. The secret is simple, I love what I do. In a country where tribalism holds sway, I’ve been super-successful; because I prove everywhere I go how costly an asset I am”.
Find your passion. Develop skills that will enhance that passion. Find work or job that will allow that passion find the fullest expression. Doing that, you will find happiness, peace and money. The year is already going. Start now!

Back to the waiting kids in the car he said, ‘this is Mr Chudy, Daddy’s friend’. And with that last statement, he drove off. 

Wow! What a wonderful way to be introduced by a dear mentor.

"Daddy’s friend"- that statement has not left me since.

Go find a mentor now. Happy New Year!

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