Passion or Money: Where should priority lie?

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By Carolyne B. Atangaza

As children we all have dreams: grandiose and incredible dreams that we leave along the long road of life with time. As we get older, we take up hobbies and discover our passions which, if we are fortunate we get to purse but most of the time, we set aside and go after the practical, after all we reason, life is very different from our dreams.
Chomba Chanda is a lawyer by training who followed her passion when she gave up the exciting Bar life for her grand passion; cooking.

After her Law course in England, Chanda returned to Uganda and instead of enrolling at Law Development Centre, she took up a position as a caterer for a local company to the chagrin of her family.

“My mother often likens my decision to opt out of the law career in pursuit of my dream to someone dousing her with a bucket of cold water. I know that we will not always make the perfect decisions for everyone but I believe that the decisions we make should ultimately be justified. Cooking is my only way of expression,” Chanda narrates.

She further adds that she often toys with the idea of going to LDC just to appease her mother but postpones it because she is happy being the best barbecue chef that she can be Although Chanda’s journey has not been devoid of challenges and hardships, she has stuck to it and is committed to make it.

Finding balance
Psychologist Nelisiwe Matte, CEO Africa Elevation and projects coordinator Action for Fundamental Change and Development, equates the notion of blinding pursuit one’s passion with disregard of reality to insanity. “I cringe when I hear motivational speakers continuously preach the “do what you love and follow your dreams” sermon.

This message is almost always half-baked because it typically ends there, several life coaches will tell you to follow your passion and the money will most definitely come. True as that wishful thinking may be, it is incomplete, un-researched and lacks direction,” Matte opines.

She adds: “As a corporate psychologist and a strategic planning student, strategy is quintessential and without it, following your passion will eventually demotivate you if it is not yielding any returns. So, when is it better to choose your passion over money? In my humble opinion, never!

The more fitting question ought to be how can I make my passion profitable? Or, how can I thrive on following my dreams?”

She strongly cautions against quitting one’s job because in doing this, one misses the powerful lesson of patience which is fundamental in life that comes from doing something that does not come naturally to you. “If I were to offer advice to a friend, I would tell them to attempt to do what they love while they do what is necessary. After all, this may even prove to avail them with resources required to follow their passion,” she advises.

Money not everything
Ethan Musolini, a motivational speaker, says when you do what you are passionate about, then you are bound to excel. Why? You will do it with all your heart. It is what you will literally be eating and breathing. The challenge with just following the money is that usually when you face obstacles, you are tempted to throw in the towel quickly and yet that is not how life works. If you are going to be doing something for 40 or more hours per week, it had better be something one loves.

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