Today someone asked me, “What are you good at?” I started thinking about what I am studying now, whether or not I actually like it and how I even got the idea to pursue it. I remember a few years ago a classmate and I had this same conversation. We were both in the university application phase and trying to figure out what to do. She was of the idea that it is better to do something that will make you a lot of money than to pursue your passion. For her money equals happiness. Like then, I still believe our passion is what motivates us and with motivation, we can succeed and of course, success means wealth and happiness.
Before we start university, start a business or start searching for jobs, this is probably one of the first things we think about; what we are good at. Maybe you’re a great writer, maybe you love caring for people, or maybe you’re great with numbers and computers. We think about the average pay for this passion and whether or not at the end of the day it will afford us all the fancy things we want in life. I am of the stance that our passion is what is going to contribute to our successes.
Can you imagine waking up every day at 5 for a job you hate? For most of us, we have been attending school from “wi eye deh a wi knee” and it can get overbearing sometimes. We end up spending our savings on degrees and transportation and owe millions in student loans while eating cup noodles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (I’m probably exaggerating). I don’t know about you, but I would hate to go through all of that just to be like the many who watch the clock more than they work.
While I am fortunate to be in a field I actually love, many people cannot say the same. They know what they love and craves doing it but, are scared of being broke for the rest of their lives or their family are against them being in that particular field because it is not “prestigious and well paying enough” or it is not in the traditional field. They don’t think about being in a field they are passionate about and then climbing the ladder. I personally believe that when we are doing something we love we are more likely to excel in it and this results in recognition which then results in a better paying position. I am not saying this wouldn’t be nice, but sometimes we can’t start off in the managerial positions and must earn it to be good at it (just being a bit realistic).
Most of us find it very hard to do something to the best of our ability if we hate it. We will do it, but it will just be another task to be crossed off the list. To be engaged in the work we do, we have to be committed. In high school I hated PE. I am pretty sure the only reason I passed that class was because I wanted good grades, but there was ZERO passion. On the field, the only thing I could think about was how much I hated the heat of the sun, how much I hated sweating and how I was being forced to do something I hated. While I was ensuring it gets done I still produced my lowest grade in this class. Similarly, when we work in a field we hate we probably check the clock or use the bathroom more than we do work. Most of us need to be interested in what we are doing to fulfill a purpose and complete a task competently.
I am saying all of this to say you don’t have to do the jobs you hate to become successful. We can just do our best in what we love and make it even more than those who force themselves out of bed every morning. You can even use your passion to start a business. Many entrepreneurs started their business by simply pursuing their passion. One such example is Nicole McLaren Campbell, founder of AIM. If she had listened to people who told her it was insensible to start a business that assists students in college and scholarship application then her business would not be as successful as it is today and probably would not have even started. Today she is regarded as one of the most influential voices on empowerment, education, parenting, and entrepreneurship. Sometimes we need to tune out the opinion of others and just go for it. Like Nike said, “just do it”.