You can be anything you choose to be.
That’s a statement that resonated in my mind back in the latter months of 2015, and it still does. I was going through some rough patches, academic challenges precisely, and I was losing the battle in my mind. Should I quit or should I keep going, to what end is this, can I do it, is it worth it? I had questions I couldn’t get answers to at the time… Or, let me say, I got answers, but just wasn’t convinced by them.
I had developed the fear of dropping out of school and serious low self-esteem because I felt I wasn’t good enough to cope through school. For someone who had always excelled academically until university came, that was not a terrain I knew how to navigate. So, I withdrew into myself, instead of dealing with my fear and seeking help. I succumbed to the notion that I just wasn’t bright enough to cope in my department, not to think of excelling there.
I can’t remember exactly where or how the words came to reiterate in my mind, it’s probably something I had heard repeatedly from one of the biggest influence in my life or something I had picked from constant reading of inspirational books. Either way, I’m indebted to those words. “You can be anything you choose to be.”
They played in my mind so much that it became a mantra for me at the time. I personalized it. Yeah.
It not only encouraged me, but it also pushed me. It instilled the energy I needed to forge ahead.
I can be anything I chose to be. I can do anything I chose. I can learn anything I want.
Understanding it in the light of the scriptures, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13), fired it up in my spirit.
While setbacks or failures tend to make us doubt our abilities and capacity for success, understanding that life is a process would better equip us with the confidence to forge ahead despite the hard knocks.
We have all it takes to get started in the direction of our choosing. Dr. Suess reiterates this in his words, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” So, you’ve got the brain, use it. You’ve got the eye, use it. You’ve got hands and legs, use it. We got all it takes to be all we choose to be.
Finally, Steve Harris, the Nigerian Life and Business Strategist, has a popular saying that, “it’s not what you do not have that limits you, it is what you have but do not know how to use.” We have what we can use to get started in the direction of our dreams, we only need to realize what we have already and then learn to use them to achieve our goals.
There is no stopping a mind that is made up. So, decide what you want. What do you need to do to get to the destination of your choice? What do you need to learn, what habit do you need to cultivate, what attitude do you need to hold and live by and who do you need to meet and talk to?
Take the necessary action towards your dream.
You can achieve whatever goal you set your mind to.
There’s no gainsaying the fact that one’s choice of career goes a long way in determining one’s economic and emotional status and in effect, one’s happiness. An unfulfilling career is tantamount to a lifetime of anxiety and worry. No matter how huge or low your monthly income is, if you do not derive joy doing what you do it would still prick you every time. In fact, the excitement and joy your career brings you have a direct effect on how much you can earn from it because your state of mind sets the mood for innovative ideas.
I have seen a teacher who earns less than 40,000 naira a month exude so much excitement about his career than a bank manager who earns so much more. What brings you fulfilment is not the amount of money you earn from a job but how much the job excites you. However this not to downplay the importance of money in life, in fact money answers a lot of things and the lack of it brings a deadlock frustration.
Permit me to congratulate you if you are fortunate to have a career that excites you and equally brings you financial stability. However if you belong to the set of people who are in a field that leaves them bored and weary to rise from the bed every morning or the set who enjoy what they do but struggles to pay the bills, then this is for you.
I will address the latter first as they have already found their path.
Having a career you love and one that you are excited about is the very first step towards your happiness and no matter what anyone else tells you, you are definitely on the right track. My happiness is very important to me and I am certain this is equally true for you. One thing you must know is that excitement wakes creativity. When you are happy about what you do, you naturally invent amazing methods to get it done. Your charisma and joy attract people to you. What you need to do is sit back, relax and get to work. Let yourself loose. You would be surprised at the amazing innovation all locked up within you, waiting to break forth. Don’t fall for the lie that you should leave what you find fulfilling for what only pays your bill. Unless you want to spend the rest of your life mentally and physically drained, don’t do it. It is a trap. When you are in your niche, you feel excited and that excitement brings out the creativity in you.
The former set of people are those literally stuck in a career that they dread facing every single day. For those who have seen the Bollywood movie, 3 Idiots, remember the guy who wanted to be a wildlife photographer, Farhan Qureshi, but found himself studying to be an engineer because his parents believed engineering was the best for him without for once asking him what he wanted? Thank God the story ended well for him; he was fortunate to have a friend like Ranchhoddas Chanchad who understood that he would only be fulfilled in life if he ventured into the career he enjoyed and helped to set him on that path against all odds.
3 Idiots might have been a movie but it depicts what we face in our daily lives. You will agree with me that at a point in our lives we’ve been faced with making tough career decision like Farhan Qureshi did and like him we need to face our fears and follow our hearts. One of his statements to his dad when he went to convince him to allow him follow a career in wildlife photography was: “Dad, what will happen if I become a photographer? I will earn less, I’ll have a smaller house, a smaller car. But I’LL BE HAPPY. I WILL BE REALLY HAPPY.” And that’s all that matters. It is not just about how much you earn but how much excitement you derive from your career that gives you fulfilment.
To crown it all, the Scripture says, “The gift of a man makes way for him”. So when you key into that gift you have, when you find your niche and establish yourself in it, you tirelessly enjoy a fulfilling career and even when you are stressed out, you’d still be able to confidently and proudly say, “I had a great day!”