Are you spending all your time in other people’s business? Is your energy and effort spent minding other people’s concerns? I am not referring here to gossiping, rumor mongering or any such vice. I am referring to the thing that makes thousands of people in this country get up early in the morning, leave their families and their homes and make a mad dash through crazy traffic like it’s the end of the world. That thing is work. More specifically, it is employment. Whether in the formal or informal sector it is the dominant activity in many of our lives throughout the world. It is a necessary evil for most of us because deep down we would rather not be working for anyone else, but somehow we accept that it is the only way to get by. Once the paycheck arrives at the end of the month we feel relieved, though only for a little while, that we have our needs met. By the 10th of the month the waiting starts all over again. We have to endure the rest of the month until the next paycheck. That is a reality for a lot of people, not only in Nigeria but throughout the world. We have become slaves to our salaries. “Making a living” is killing us instead of making our lives better.
Who are you working for?
When you go to work every day, whose purpose are you fulfilling? It is the purpose of the company or organization you are working for. You are employed to help your organization achieve its objectives. If someone else took over your position, they would still do the same things you do in order to achieve the organization’s objectives. If you are working for an individual the same reasoning applies. You are working to fulfill the purpose given to you by that individual. In both cases you are minding someone else’s business. Many of us have been led into the belief that the organization’s purpose is our own purpose. We whole-heartedly take up the cause of the organization as our own. Our thoughts and ideals slowly but surely come to be replaced by those of our workplace. We become the perfect employees.
The truth is that you are not what you do. Your work is not who you are. Unfortunately, our education system hasn’t helped in this regard. It has trained us to become what we study. If you study law you become a lawyer, studying auto mechanics makes you a mechanic and studying cooking makes you a cook. “The mistake in becoming what you study is that too many people forget to mind their own business. They spend their lives minding someone else’s business and making that person rich.”Those are the wise words of Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad.
To be concluded next week.