Wednesday, 27 July 2016 03:26

Discover your Passion

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“You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it”   - Oprah


Oprah says she knew her purpose as soon as she could speak - she loved to talk!  As a child, she recited bible verses at her grandmother’s church and spoke up at school.  She was poised, articulate, and bold.  She discovered her passion for public speaking early; it was as an extension of her personality.  From an early age, Oprah captivated audiences at church, in class, and on the literary stage.  Where most people have a mortal fear of public speaking, Oprah was a natural and this aptitude set the trajectory of her life.

Her voice having such a resonance beyond her years landed her a job at a radio station at 16 when most of her colleagues were still working odd jobs.  As she worked in her passion, her aptitude for public speaking led to bigger and better things including news reporting, talk show hosting, interviewing celebrities, and super stardom.

Discovering and working in her passion presented Oprah with opportunities to grow, have incredible success, and make significant impact.  It has produced both personal and professional rewards for over five decades!  Discovering and working in one’s passion provides tremendous personal and professional successes.  Discovering one’s passion is about finding one’s purpose, essence, thing, groove, love, or desire.  Both the journey to discovering and finding and working in your passion is worthwhile and rewarding.  So how would you discover your passion?  Try the following:

Aptitude: Everyone is born with certain attributes, talents, or gifts but most people do not take the time to discover what those are talk less of passionately pursuing them.  Think, what gifts and talents were you born with?  What comes easily to you?  Like Oprah, do you have a gift of the gab?  If so, there are hundreds of career paths open to you both in the limelight and off including public speaker, politician, and lawyer.  

  1. Intuition:  If you believe you are born to pursue a particular path in life, that’s your passion.  Or perhaps you know instinctively that you will do well in anything mechanical whether you have done it before or not, then find your passion there.    When you have an inner urge to pursue a certain profession, follow it to your passion.
  2. Experience:  If, for example, your parent/s runs a computer shop, you’ll have innate knowledge about computers that most people won’t have.  Thus, if you decide to start something involving computers, you’ll be ahead of the game.  Experience can be formal through training or informal as a hobby.  It is a great teacher and the more of it you have in an area of work, the better your odds for success.
  3. Fascination: What do you love?  What holds your interest?  What fascinates you?  Can you make a living from it?  A love for toys could lead into a career creating, manufacturing, distributing, or re purposing toys.
  4. Hate: What do you hate?  Pay attention to what you don’t want and then spin it around to get what you want.  For example, if you don’t like the look of shutters in houses, you may parlay that into a creative outlet designing window dressings.
  5. Inspiration: Are you awestruck by someone excelling in their passion?  When you watch Oprah work her magic on television, are you inspired?  State emphatically, “I want to do that too!”  Then go ahead, make it happen.
  6. Expedience: What needs to be done?  Oprah said, “I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good.  I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself and had to make good.”  Find what needs to be done, do it, and cash in.

So, you say, “that’s all well and good but I don’t love or hate anything nor have a burning desire to change the world.  Yet I would like to live a more passionate life.”  Don’t despair, simply take some to look inwards.  When asked about their passion and people respond “I don’t know,” what they really mean is “I think it’s so out of reach that it is not worth speaking aloud.”  Unfortunately, they stop thinking or doing anything about it.  Discovering and pursuing your passion is as much a journey of uncovering hidden talent as it is about deciding that whatever you uncover is worth pursuing. Thus, follow these steps:

  1. Embrace your passion:  Before you come up with your passion, affirm that you will accept whatever you find.  Do not judge it as good or evil, possible or impossible, realistic or unrealistic.  Just accept the passion you discover.    
  2. Think: Find a quiet spot to think.  Ask yourself the following questions:
    1. Who are you?
    2. What one thing do you feel supremely qualified to teach other people?
    3. Who would you do it for?
    4. What do those people want or need that they’ll come to you for?
    5. How do they change or transform as a result of what you provide
  3. Select your passions, rank them and begin to pursue them in order.  If you find you’re adept at writing, drawing, and crafting; choose which to pursue first.
  4. Protect don’t expose.  Protect your discovery from internal and external dream crushers.  Don’t go blabbing your passion to everyone if you want to avoid being shut down.

Now you’ve discovered your passion, start working.  You have discovered you have many passions.  You have selected the one you will start with.  Now focus and begin to make things happen.  Remember, life is an adventure, just as you journeyed to the discovery of your passion so you will journey to wealth.  But you must dare to follow your dreams.  The dream is yours, nobody else’s.  NO APPROVAL NECESSARY!

(Excerpted from Wanna B Rich?: 10 Life Strategies from Oprah's Journey to Wealth)

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Abi Adegboye Ph.D

Abi Adegboye began writing as a young girl growing in western Nigeria.  In a culture that reveres boys, she was born the second of three girls.  Certain she had to be her family's 'boy,' she climbed trees to harvest fruit, dressed chickens for dinner, caught mice, and whatever else required male-handling.  She also loved to read, write, and draw.  Her initial efforts yielded publications in local newspapers and newsletters.  However, she was advised to get a day job which turned out to be as a professor of political science.  This opened to her, a different avenue for publication in her areas of research including African women and development, women migrants, and the impact of public policy on women’s political economy.

On her 40th birthday, she rekindled her creative writing with the publication of Butterfly, a picture book and Reflections on Nigerian Christianity, a social commentary.  Since then, she’s co-authored Owanbe! Yoruba Celebrations of Life (2010), a cultural anthology and published Wanna B Prez? 10 Life Strategies from President Barack Obama’s Journey to the White House (2012), a YA motivational YA book, and Renike comes to America (2016), a novella.  

Abi writes multicultural fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults.  She shares her writing through speaking engagements, performances, storytelling, and classroom visits. 

For more information about Ms. Adegboye’s publications, or to connect with her, visit her

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