March 29, 2023

Celebrating Excellence & Integrity


Work harder on your dreams than you do on your job

By Gbenga Adebambo

Kevin Ngo said: “If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want.” You must discipline yourself to work more on your dreams, vision and passion than you work on your job.

I learnt something long time ago about loyalty that has guided me in my journey: Your full loyalty must never be to a job, a system, a group of people, an organisation or a nation; your full loyalty must be to your dreams, vision and passion. If you will have to change a job, leave a system, leave an organisation or leave a country to be loyal to your dreams, vision and passion, please do!

I am not saying that we should trivialise loyalty to people or system. I am saying we must never sacrifice our dreams in a bid to be loyal to people or system.
Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. Your job gives you an opportunity to make a living, while your dreams give you an opportunity to make a difference.

Someone said: “The harder you work, the longer your boss takes a vacation.” You are not destined to live the rest of your life from paycheck to paycheck. Don’t build your destiny around your salary and job; build your destiny around your dream. You can actually be your own boss by pursuing your passion and dreams.

The first day I visited the world famous KFC outlet around my work place for a personal time-out from my very busy and hectic schedule, I pondered deeply on how a man at the age of 65 made a revolution that has now become a franchise all over the world.

The evolution of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) underlines fruitlessness of getting addicted to your salary and pension at the detriment of your passion. Colonel Harland Sanders was an American business magnate best known for founding KFC and later acting as the company’s goodwill ambassador and symbol.

Sanders went through traumatising experiences that eventually shaped his life. In 1903, he dropped out of school and lived on a farm after arguments with his stepfather. Between 1903 and 1930, Sanders was in and out of job several times, living a life of absolute dependence on salary.

He took a job painting horse carriages, worked as a farmhand for two years and with his uncle in a street car company as a conductor. He enlisted in the United States (US) Army prematurely at the age of 16 and was discharged after three months. He moved to Sheffield and worked as a blacksmith’s helper and two months after as a train cleaner. He later enrolled as a fireman, worked as a salesman thereafter and also sold life insurance. But none of these actually brought him fulfillment.

In 1930, Sanders finally quit working as a result of the great depression and decided to look from within what he could do to make a difference. The turning point came one day as he was sitting on his porch in Corbin, Kentucky.

That morning, the mailman came up the walk and handed him his first social security check. Then, he was 65 years old. Broke and defeated, he looked at the check and said: “My government is going to give me a hundred and five dollars a month, so I can eke out an existence. Surely, there is something I can do for myself and other people.”

He was internally motivated and began to engage himself in deep thinking, and deep thinking always produces results.
The thought of his mother’s special recipe for fried chicken came to his mind. It was a particular formula that he considered somewhat special.

Sanders began to cook chicken dishes and finally opened a little restaurant. He decided to sell franchises for marketing his fried chicken formula, but was turned down by scores of restaurants. After much rejection, he rounded up some investors and the legendary Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) was born.

Sanders’s impact was so significant that then Kentucky Governor, Ruby Laffoon, in 1935 made Harland an honorary Kentucky Colonel in recognition of his awesome impact. Their advertising logo says it al – ‘We do chicken right.’ There will always be something that you can do so well that people will be willing to pay for.

I want you to take a deep break to ask yourself this one question: What is that one thing that I can do right? Sanders’ life pointed towards the fact that there is a value that we can add to the world as long as there is something that we do so well. You cannot fully live life until you learn to give expression to your passion. What is your passion? It can be music, writing, acting, painting, sports, fashion designing, teaching, arts, etc

Normal Cousin said: “The greatest tragedy of life is not that we die, but what dies in us while we live.” Don’t carry your passion to the grave. We must learn to work harder on ourselves more than we do on our job. What you become is far more important than what you get.

You are not placed on this earth to be a wandering generality, but rather a meaningful specific. The real purpose of life is to discover your purpose and pursue your dreams.

Someone said: “Your salary is the bribe they give you to forget your dreams.” I believe there is an iota of truth in this quote, because most times, if care is not taken, we become so much busy with our job that we have little time for our dreams.

Many people run aggressively after money and forget that the true purpose of having money is to give us ample time to pursue the critical things of life. Warren Buffett said: “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” To make money in your sleep, build a system that doesn’t sleep.

Design a future that makes you less dependent on salary and pension, and don’t confine yourself to a lifetime of living on someone else’s schedule. Your dreams are more valid than your job.

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