Passion Or Pension
Real financial security and freedom is not in your job but in your passion! There are two categories of people in life: it is either you’re a pensioner or a passioneer. You can simply define and evaluate a man by the object of his pursuit. Joseph Campbell once said, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
There are many things in life that’ll catch your eye but only a few will catch your heart, pursue those things that catch your heart. John C. Maxwell said, “People don’t need to follow the common path to be successful. They need to follow their passion.” The fastest way to prosperity is to follow your passion; following your passion helps you achieve more freedom (financially, emotionally, socially, and spiritually). Any job that encourages redundancy and doesn’t place a demand on your creativity will eventually deplete your passion and waste away your ‘destiny!’
The illusions of salaries, jobs and pensions had stagnated the pursuit of Nigerians for excellence and impactful adventures. Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life! In life, you’ll always be found doing any of these two things: either making a living or making a difference. Your job gives you an opportunity to make a living while your passion gives you an opportunity to make a difference. Nothing significant was ever achieved without a passion and when passion is lost, the essence of life vanishes, for passion is the only virtue that fuels all others. In a nutshell, Passion is the effortless path to discovering your purpose.
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you” -Maya Angelou
It is a great and decent calling to serve people and your country but it’s a greater and more honourable calling to pursue your passion, bless humanity and fulfil your destiny. In the awesome and award winning movie “ 3 Idiots”, the three friends seemed like idiots when they dared to pursue their passion, to the extent that one of them pursued his passion in photography at the detriment of a blooming career in Engineering; but time will always tell who the real ‘idiots’ are! Never allow anyone, no matter who they are or how much influence they have in your life to talk you out of your passion. Whatever happens, don’t negotiate your passion for anything. Whosoever tries to talk you out of your passion in life is your real enemy, hold on to it, sooner or later they’ll realise their folly and not yours!
The evolution of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) underlines fruitlessness of getting addicted to your pension at the detriment of your passion. Colonel Harland Sanders was an American business magnate best known for founding Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and later acting as the company’s goodwill ambassador and symbol. Sanders went through traumatizing experiences that eventually shaped his life. In 1903, Sanders dropped out of school and lived on a farm after arguments with his stepfather. He took a job painting horse carriages, worked as a farmhand for two years, worked with his uncle in a street car company as a conductor. He enlisted in the United States Army prematurely at the age of 16 and was discharged after three months. He moved to Sheffield and worked as a blacksmith’s helper and two months after as a train cleaner. Sanders had many failures and kept moving from one job to another. He later enrolled as a fireman, worked as a salesman thereafter and also sold life insurance.
In 1930, Sanders finally quit working as a result of the great depression and decided to look from within what he could do to make a difference. The turning point came one day as Colonel Sanders was sitting on his porch in Corbin, Kentucky; one morning, the mailman came up the walk and handed him his first social security check, then he was 65 years old, broke and defeated, he look at the check and said, “My government is going to give me a hundred and five dollars a month so I can eke out an existence. Surely there is something I can do for myself and other people.” He was internally motivated and began to engage himself in deep thinking, and thinking always produces results.
The thought of his mother’s special recipe for fried chicken came to his mind. It was a particular formula which he considered somewhat special. He decided to try to sell franchises for marketing his fried chicken. Sanders began to cook chicken dishes and finally opened a little restaurant. It was doing well, then the highway was rerouted and he lost everything. He was sixty-five years old at the time. Though Harland Sanders’ chicken was a hit, there were still many challenges to surmount. He utilized the recipes and cooking skills his mother had taught him. His special meal was the fried chicken which he seasoned with his original blend of eleven spices and herbs; his recipes eventually became famous
Sanders decided to sell Franchises for marketing his fried chicken formula but was turned down by scores of restaurants. After much rejection, he rounded up some investors and the legendary Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) was born. The KFC was one of the first fast food chains to expand internationally, opening outlets in Canada and later England, Mexico and Jamaica by the mid-60s. The company’s rapid expansion to more than 600 locations became overwhelming for the aging Sanders. His famous “finger-licking” Kentucky fried chicken made from a special recipe changed the face of “chicken” forever. Harland Sanders impact was so significant that Kentucky Governor, Ruby Laffoon, in 1935 made Harland an honorary Kentucky Colonel in recognition of his awesome impact, their advertising logo says it all-‘We do chicken right’. The greatest question of life is to ask yourself: ‘what is that one thing that I can do right?
“Discover the one thing you were created to be, and be willing to pay the price to be it” – Anonymous
Sanders’ life pointed towards two facts about making a difference: one, there is no age that is too much to make a difference; two, there is nothing too small or insignificant to make a difference with as long as it is your passion. Colonel Sanders at the age of 65, made a difference with his chicken recipe. It’s amazing how a man can make a difference all over the world just with “chicken”!
At this juncture, I want to sincerely help us to readjust and clarify the distorted belief among Nigerian workers. The first and most imperative clarification is to know that your job is not your means of livelihood; your job should be a means to fuel your passion! The earlier you realise this basic truth of life, the less jaundiced your view becomes and the more clearly you’ll be able to position yourself in living a life of impact and value.
Your passion is the only thing in life that is truly yours. In every true sense of the word, pursuing your pension is like chasing a mirage! There are so many stories where pension funds have been embezzled or better still, belated in payment. People can defraud you of your pension but never of your passion—you’re the only one that can defraud yourself of your passion.
The story of dedicated people that died in long queues while pursuing their pension is both appalling and pathetic. Your pension should be an added advantage and must never be the object of your pursuit.
You can’t and must never build your future around your pension because it’s uncertain and responds to the vicissitude of the Nigerian environment. The embarrassing nature of some states owing pensioners and their workers has validated and vindicated the futility of dependency on salaries and pensions.
I’m going to say a prayer for the reader, it might be a bit hard to say amen, but nevertheless; I will. My prayer to you all is that the Almighty God will deliver you from being a salary earner into your passion and financial freedom. Did I hear you say Amen!
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”—Jim Rohn
In my counselling periods with people suffering from depression; I have realized that the core origin of depression is when we deny ourselves of something within us that’s trying to find expression! There is a gift in you trying to find expression, there is a passion in you that’s struggling to express itself; there are potentials in you waiting to be unleashed. You can’t fully live life until you learn to give expression to your passion. What is your passion? It can be music, writing, acting, painting, sports, fashion designing, teaching, arts etc. Normal Cousin said,
“the greatest tragedy of life is not that we die but what dies in us while we live.”
Don’t carry your passion to the grave!
People should learn to ask themselves questions like: How can I discover my passion? How can I break away from my casual life so as to avoid becoming life’s casualty? How can I evolve from being a salary earner to living a life of impact and financial freedom?
Watch out for the next edition of YOUTHS WITH PURPOSE next week for these answers.
“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the life you are capable of living”—Nelson Mandela
Gbenga Adebambo is the dean of schools at the Educational Advancement Centre(EAC), an author, youth specialist, international coach and the Editor-In-Chief of MAXIMUM IMPACT MAGAZINE. He is also the founder of the youth ministry called STOP ‘T’(Seeing Tomorrow’s Opportunities and Potentials Today ), a ministry that is involved in discovering and nurturing hidden potentials in youths in order to equip them for tomorrow’s challenges, opportunities and responsibilities.