Are you trying to change “THE” world or are you trying to change “your” world? – Maybe you are working on rebuilding a country – Zimbabwe (wink wink). In this age, many people are trying to change either themselves or the world, and some even believe that the changes come together in a bundle with a sophisticated pricing strategy. The net present value of future cashflows – namely billions – is enough to spur many into arduous action and inspire an entire generation to make “impact” their focus and “community” their goal. Motivation, the nitro of the rat race has become a commodity on demand. From articles like this one to TED talks, etc.; follow your passion, find your passion and monetize it, solve a problem you are passionate about. PASSION is as close to becoming a cliché as Entrepreneur has slowly become. But really, what does it take to change the world? And what world is that “the globe” or “your world”?
I am not sure it’s about passion. I have gone in search of my passion for over a decade. You see, I love life and I simply enjoy living. I have studied biology closely and thought I would be a doctor. I played team handball and loved it tremendously and thought I would be a professional player. Then came my path down humanities’ and I thought I would become a lawyer. I started public speaking and I came alive in ways I had never experienced. With each of these tracks, I gave my heart out. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. And then came the advice: find your passion. I was at a loss. Somehow, I was being challenged to measure life in productive hours and not in fun hours. And then I found it, my passion, and it could not be monetized. Maybe passion wasn’t it for me.
I am pretty sure it isn’t about motivation or the wonderful videos we watch, TED talks etc., or the books we read. Take this article for instance: Sara Blakely who is a successful entrepreneur talks about her father who asked her “What did you fail at this week”. Someone then decides to use these words as advice to give to people; go out there and fail. Wonderful words and great article, however, Sara Blakely was asked this question from the age of 8. For decades she has been hearing this from a figure of authority starting in her formative years. Does anyone know what it takes to be like her, unfazed by failure, especially without a time travel machine or a father like hers? An article is not going to do it, neither will 20 videos.
And so, what does it take? To change “your” world or “THE” world?
I wish I knew. But I am pretty sure it is not passion or motivation. I remember walking around my mathematics class in high school and spewing the following nonsense “The best way to cross the river Jordan, is to cross it. The best way to solve this polynomial is to solve it.” And we laughed. And yet sometimes that is all it is. The best way to do something is simply to do it. You may not be passionate about it, but you may do it well – do it? You may not know how to do it but are interested – do the learning, then do the doing? Maybe Nike is spot on – just do it. A friend of mine told me once – “if everything went according to plan, we would spend all our lives planning.” I laughed. In the military, I am told they say, “No plan survives the first contact.” Whatever you do, act
It’s not in the plan, it’s not in the video, neither is it in this article. If you understand this, then keep reading and watching. Where is it? In the doing, and so here is the disclaimer I thoroughly enjoyed from a speaker I listened to recently.
Disclaimer: This [article] is not meant to change your life, neither is it meant to make you an expert, only experience will. For “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way,” Mark Twain
There is nothing that can replace experience, nothing can replace doing – neither planning, motivation, nor passion.
So, I sit here, thinking of my home, Zimbabwe. I have so much I can criticize, so much advice I can offer, and fears I can express in the hopes of helping people build a better country. And yet nothing beats doing. So, I will bite my tongue let those who are doing; act. And when I can lend a hand I will help build a nation, and help change someone’s world. And wherever you are fellow Zimbabweans, just do it.
My passion is live life to the fullest; to love and be loved (she knows herself), to laugh, and to enjoy. My passion is not work-related, it cannot be monetized. I hope to touch the hearts and minds of those around me and to model being human, so all can be as human as they can; faults and all. In this way, I change “my world” the one immediately around me.
I have skills, yes, and I am happy to apply them with all my might in service; as a leader who enjoys winning and wants to have fun doing it; as a change-making strategist who loves to tell stories. In short, I can do some things very well, and I thoroughly enjoy doing them, yet they are not my passion. I am learning Mandarin, and I enjoy learning languages but it is not my passion.
How do passion and motivation fit into changing the world for you? And how do passion and work fit together or not for you? Are you passionate about napping? Let me know what you think below.
Life is a misery to be endured until we die. Even those with terminal illnesses find times of respite and laugh and enjoy their lives. So too is mortality a terminal illness. We will all die, I for one am glad this is so. But before that day I will define myself, I will not go without giving everything I have got, and I will love with all my heart.
I am proud to be an Afropolitan; a world citizen of African descend. I am called Allen and I love writing, eating, and singing in the shower!
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