When I was 5 years old, a well known “brother” in my community committed suicide. This was someone who had a car, an apartment of his own and a good job – maybe I was too young to know what a good job meant at that tender age, but he bought me Gala and chocolate each time he returned home from work; so, I am just going to assume he had a great job.
But why will someone in his right senses commit suicide? I mean, even those in abject poverty don’t. The whole thing was just a mystery to me. It was a mystery to me until decades after when I found myself in the exact situation- I was ready to commit suicide.
I had just graduated from the University and confused as to what to do next. Everybody had passion and dreams; it was as if they had everything mapped out. I was just lost.
Let me give myself some credit here; I used to know what to do, at least I thought I did.
I had read bazillions of motivational books, attended paid (and free) workshops, success/deliverance night vigils and launched 2 ventures (businesses) that eventually crashed. I have “done-did-it” and was tired of not getting results.
So I went on Facebook, published some suicidal posts and then went to my friend’s place to hangout for the last time – “I gats enjoy life before I die.” He didn’t know why I was there, he is the reserved type and I didn’t know what got into him that night – He wouldn’t just stop talking. He said a lot of things that got to me and made my change my mind, and I am going to share a version 2.0 of those things here and I hope they resonate with you.
Life is not a popularity contest
School, Technology and the society we live in, is designed in such a way that is competitive and everyone is in some sort of race. A race to be liked by everyone, reach milestones that have been set by the society – so we do what is termed normal , forgetting that there is no “normal” when it comes to creating work that matters.
This is a race to the bottom because we make the society be a judge of how well/or not so well, we are doing and when we do not meet their standards, we feel bad, worse we result to doing something as crazy as becoming addicted to drugs or attempting suicide.
Forget about the likes or the number of follows or any other analytics that have been created to keep you in this vicious circle, break out of it and DO what you have always wanted to do.
Life is not a contest. The world is big enough for you and I… very big for us to be confined in one space, in one cycle!
Don’t pursue your PASSION
You may fall in love today with someone and in the next few months, you can’t stand the person. When I was in high school, I loved video games more than food; I couldn’t imagine a world without video games but here I am living happily ever after… without video games!
Passion, just like these things, is a feeling. There is this cultural imperative that you are meant to know what to do with your life and there is just one passion and you need to find, follow it before you can be successful in life.
It is because of this cultural imperative that we have a lot of broke youths claiming to be thought leaders/motivational speakers/entrepreneurs, on the streets. It is pathetic! If you are addicted to this “follow your passion” mantra, you are going to die broke and your family members won’t even be able to give you a befitting burial
So, instead of pursuing your passion, go ahead and do something and let passion find you wherever you are. Whatever you do, do not wait for passion; don’t let passion be a determinant of how you live your life.
And who says you need to know what to do with your life before your turn 30 or if you are broke at 30, you can never be rich? Stop believing all these things “motivational speakers” churn out these days. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to creating work that matters in life.
1% Different is 100%Original
Every idea you see out there is a version 2.0 of something that used to exist. If your excuse for not working on that Idea you have, is because someone said it is not “original,” you are wasting precious time.
However, you do need to tweak some things and probably have a different model. Whatever you have done has been done before, learn from those that have done it and do a version 2.0.
Make Mistakes… Make a lot of them
When it comes to creating work that matters, you need to take leaps and that means taking risks, entering places people have never entered, setting the pace. And there is no way on Earth you can do this without making mistakes.
So instead of avoiding mistakes, embrace them. Learn from them and make better ones.
You are not a Robot, Ask questions… Ask Crazy questions!
Why is 1+1= 2 and not 11?
Why is “a” the first letter and not the last?
Ask the “why” a lot because it is the only question that helps you unleash your creativity and get more out of life. Don’t just do something because that is what your Pastor/Bishop (or whatever title they give themselves these days) tells you to do.
In conclusion, this article is not for everybody. If it resonates with everyone then I am not doing a good job. My prayer is that it doesn’t resonate with you; the world is so big that you can make your own rules, break them, set your own standards and live life abundantly!
Daniel Sadiq is an Idea Evangelist that is passionate about marketing, writing, startups and how ideas are meant to be spread. If he is not writing, he is either making magic on Facebook or eating beans and “dodo.”
Facebook: Sadiq Daniel