It’s a few minutes past 9pm in the United Arab Emirates, but my watch (and laptop time) still reflect the regular GMT + 1 mode — for obvious reasons. I have gone upstairs to spend a few hours in room 227 of the Dubai International Hotel but I’m staying downstairs after dinner to do two things — enjoy the view, and get work done. In a few hours, I will be ready to make my presentation on the role of young people (and the present challenges) in social enterprise development. My mind races off to appreciate the scenery through this section of the airport an comes back to the fact that I’m enjoying what a friend has just described as workation — the meeting point between work and vacation. Hinestly, there is no better feeling than watching your life move in the direction of your dreams…
There are three of us (all Nigerians, but different organisations and cities) on our way to Sri Lanka and the 24-hour stop afforded us the opportunity to get a couple of things done — rest (much deserved after hours of flying and meetings), discussion (and you can be sure that Nigeria was hot topic), and more. During our discussions, Lawrence talked about someone who’d been bugging him about getting a job, and after he asked her to send her CV, he discvered she was 41! Then we discussed why a 41-year old should be thinking of looking for a job (by the way, any job)! You can be sure that I also discussed the 180 Degrees concept, and we now have an invitation to bring the experience to Jos!
We shared our different stories with each other and I discovered that even though we live and work in different cities, one thin line runs through what we all shared — we love what we do, and we even get paid for IT! While discussing over breakfast, I got a new eMail message that may see me getting involved with a TV/Radio platform for Information Society issues in Nigeria… and through it all I wonder what makes a difference between enduring what you do and enjoying what you do — and even getting paid for it. I am wondering if any of the following strike a chord with you:
- If you are not willing to make sacrifices (or take risks), you will sure not get far;
- If your relationship with your employer sees you as a beneficiary of monthly cheques, you must understand the word, miserable. How about being seen as one who really adds value and is partly rewarded on an agreed date with a cheque — and a sincere appreciation of the solutions you truly bring on-board;
- If you work with an organisation whose vision does not rhyme with your personal vision, you are in the wrong place (and that explains why you always wonder why your watch is slow on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays);
- If you don’t even know what your vision is, you need a vacation and a retreat (and don’t return to work until you at least have an idea of where you want to go in life;
- If you are so bothered about immediate gain and will take just any offer because of that, you are endangering your future!
There are many more things one could say, but I suspect that many people are asking questions at this time: “how do I get started?” The answer was discussed at the last edition of 180 Degrees and you can actually get some of the resources by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. But in all, the beginning of the journey is getting dissatisfied with your present state. If you’re unhappy with your present level, congratulations! You now need to convert that emotion into passionate pursuit of meaning… (to be continued)