Money or Passion?
posted by Michael Olafusi , on ,
Money or Passion?
That is one question we keep getting wrong. I do not mean the answer; I'm talking about the question. The question is fundamentally wrong. It's like a 5 year old asking you, "Your money or your life?" The question is so out of place. It's also like always thinking -- "Water or Food?"
Those two things are independent -- Money and Passion. They are not mutually exclusive, and making them look so is one the very common mistake we make in life.
Let's take them one by one.
Your passion is what you really want to spend your life doing. The very thing that makes you feel most alive.
My passion is being feverishly creative. I learn something new every week (sometimes, every day) and I'm always trying something new. Throughout University I was a Mobil scholar, and got a handsome amount of money every year. In my final year I got N170,000. The interesting part is I didn't do anything useful with most of the money. I didn't even spend it on myself. I used it to feed my curiosity and creativity; I spent it on the crazy ideas I had then.
And now, I'm still as feverishly creative as I was then.
Man's greatest invention is this system that allows a talented farmer to focus on farming and never bother about learning to build his house by himself, or teach his children Math & English, or make a truck to transport his farm produce, or build his own TV from scratch. That system is called Money.
Money is simply transactions. You can decide to be an early man and build all you need to survive by yourself; or you could be very good at one thing, make money from it and use that money to get the other things you need.
I've got a lousy social life. But I've got a near perfect work life. I've worked in over 6 companies (parttime + fulltime) and I have always gotten preferential treatment from my bosses. Some even tell me I'm the best guy they've got. So I've figured out what I'm good at at -- anything work-related. Even when I joined a social club I ended up turning it into another work. It's a damning thing but it's got a cool side. When I say I can do a thing, people hardly doubt it. They know this guy is work configured. It's been helpful in my parttime biz. I've never run into a case where the client doubted my competence. Most times, the client is selling himself to me; he keeps telling me all he thinks I can do for him.
I have given up trying to fix my social life; I've found a way to mint the silver-linings at the edge of that cloud.
Money or Passion? Wrong question
Money and Passion? Right question
You should see them like water and food. You need both. The moment you start turning your mind on choosing between water and food, then something is wrong. No doubt, there will be moments you feel like you are making a decision between money and passion. But you are not; most times you are just making a decision between money and more money. That I pass up on a high paying job offer that will require me travelling more than I want, to remain in my current low paying job does not mean I'm choosing between passion and money. I'm only choosing between money and more money. I'm not willing to pay the price for the more money. That's it.
The problem is that we try to explain our actions in appealing ways, ones that give us an air of chivalry. So when ever we make a choice that leaves us with less than the maximum money possible, we simply say we are making the brave choice of passion over money.
The only choice in life that involves passion is -- Passion or Cowardice. You either follow your passion or you cowardly follow the crowd.
Read up on all the richest men, they'll all tell you that they braved up and followed their passion. No one will ever tell you he gave up his passion, to make money. It's more like the money is one of the rewards of following your passion.