Friday 18 July 2008


Why is it that some people feed from hand to mouth? Why is it that majority live an average life? And why is it that only a fraction of the world’s population attains financial independence? Those were the questions that filled my thoughts earlier this week. With a lot of thinking and soliloquizing, I was able to conclude that “the paths we choose determine our destinies to a large extent”. Call it an ambiguous statement, but see what I mean…

While appreciating the architecture of a building some years back, I made a discovery that has since kept me on my toes. The laborers were sweating it out under the scorching sun carrying out their various duties when a young man arrived in a sleek car. The young man inspected the ongoing construction work and from the way he was dishing out instructions to the middle-aged bricklayer/foreman while making references to the plan of the building, I figured out that he was the engineer attached to the building project. Shortly afterwards, he handed over some money to the bricklayer and then he left. The middle-aged bricklayer then communicated the observations of the engineer to his men and then they continued with their various obligations. And then I pondered on the scenario. The laborers were the ones handling the hard and dirty part of the job. On the other hand, the young engineer only visits the site for inspection and to give expert advice. Upon completion of the project however, the engineer will certainly take credit for the erection of the building and he would have received multiples of whatever the laborers must have earned, even with the hard part they handled. It was at that point that I reasoned that there are two major categories of vocation, viz.:

1. The Easy Vocation: This category of vocation comprises of skilled workers. Those that fall within this category work more with their brain than with strength. The reward is usually handsome and the task is usually dignifying. Those in this category rule over those in the second category. They work in the convenience of their offices with sophisticated gadgets.

2. The Arduous Vocation: This category of vocation comprises of unskilled workers. Those that fall within this category work more with their strength than with their brain. Though they sweat more than those in the Easy Vocation, the reward is usually paltry and the task is usually demeaning. Those in this category are usually at the mercy of those that belong to the Easy Vocation. Most times, they sweat it out under the sun.

Take it or leave it, everyone falls within the two categories and this explains why we have variations in the destinies of men and women. Where do you belong? What is your vocation presently? Can it take you to the winners’ caucus? Can it make you financially independent someday? Does the remuneration give room for savings? Does it have provision for retirement? Does it give you freedom and dignity? Will it help you build the future of your dreams? Are you satisfied? If not, then it’s time to switch. Do a thorough analysis and be truthful to yourself. If you need to change vocation, do so. Get more degrees and professional certificates if you have to. Learn a new trade if you must. Change location if you have to. By all means, get yourself on the right path because your chosen path has a lot to do with what you get from life.

I also believe that not all vocations can lead to financial independence. An unrepentant gardener for instance can never be wealthy; even if he works very hard. Your path matters most, thus it is important that you choose the path that will make your dreams come true. I’m not alone on this, my theory is in conformity with a Yoruba adage that says “Ise ree, alaseje. Owo ree, alasela.” (meaning work tends to survival while business tends to wealth). Think about it, every billionaire worthy of the title sells something! Bill Gates sells software. Alhaji Aliko Dangote sells essential goods; even the poorest of the poor buys his goods. What are you selling?

Stop blaming witches and wizards for your situation, a change of vocation might be all you need. Stop playing religion. Think, think, think. Look around, find a need and fill it. Look within to identify your talent(s) and strength(s). Then, choose your path and create a niche for yourself. I tell you, Henry Thierry didn’t have to work for Exxon Mobil Corporation, yet he’s doing better than good financially. Jennifer Lopez didn’t have to work as a journalist for CNN to be famous, yet she’s a star. Wole Soyinka didn’t have to discover the cure for any disease before he came into limelight, yet he’s an international figure today. Find your path!

Don’t be forever trapped in the rat race, work out a development plan that will emancipate you from mediocrity. Partner with destiny, choose a noble path today!


Anonymous said...

Good stuff, i agree that we need to go to school and stuff, but i also come from the school of thot that says a gardener can become a millionaire... yes you heard me right, it doesn't really matter what you do, if you are the best at it, you can always become what you want... if the gardener has clients like oprah, bill gate, okocha and he is in high demand, he could be a millionaire.

but yeah... i'd rather sit in the office than dig with a shovel.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. I owe u a million naira boi! for real!