The times we live in are slippery. If there was ever a time to pick a side and stand sure in your beliefs, now is it.
It is especially worse for people around my age (Mid to Late 20s). Not a day passes by that a 2-month old startup by a 3yr old kid doesn’t attain some status named after some fancy creature. And woe betide you if you still haven’t gotten your life together. The pressure is just mad crazy.
When you are a Nigerian living in Nigeria, you understand privilege a little too much. I say this cos foreigners in my country are given god-status. The locals though? We must scrap and scrape and find ourselves being trampled on way more often than is healthy for a living thing. And when I say WE, I mean those of us without rich relatives or connections in government, the lower middle class that ‘do not know anybody’, those of us who must make it out on our own. It’s bonus points if you cling tightly to God, else, high blood pressure!
The worst side-effect of this condition is the mentality it breeds after a while; we lose empathy, life goals become narrowed down to make money, spend money, repeat! No higher purpose, ideas of ‘fun’ are twisted into fanciful activities intended to impress a bunch of folks who don’t even know you exist, whatever morals your parents had managed to instill in you get thrown to the wind because money must be made. EVERYTHING you do or don’t becomes about money; we end up monetizing everything, including our bodies, in more ways than one.
I fell into this trap a while ago. It accounted for the break in transmission Just The Tips! encountered on all my platforms, it took me by surprise. Anyone who knows me knows I love the good life, and though my definition of it isn’t exactly mainstream, I love what I love all the same! And in a way, this –owning who I am outside of mainstream ‘ideals’- was what breathed life back into me.
The story of why and how Just The Tips! started is told here. But somewhere down the line, I forgot my WHY and started trying to monetize it. I was already speaking with branding experts and consuming plenty sales/marketing material on how to start making money off of JTT! I forgot that this was never intended to be a business, it was a hobby. And don’t you dare come at me with that mess about making money from hobbies!
You see over the years, certain challenges in my life made me develop a serious habit of regular introspection; this makes me brutally honest with myself, and sometimes a little unkind (thank God for my friends in those moments!). But yeah, that introspective ability and my intuition are my lifelines and I stand unwavering in this truth. So when the creative-block hit and I couldn’t seem to put out any more content, I had to look into myself to discover why. I didn’t find out WHY though, I REMEMBERED it, and just like that, the block was lifted.
You see the moment I started trying to make this about money, myself rebelled. Because she knew that wasn’t what we were about and without her, I lost my way. And until I communed with her so we could get back on the same page, I couldn’t move an inch forward. At least not where JTT! was concerned. Crazy thing is, other areas of my life (read as my career) progressed farther than ever in this period, but not my baby. And all because I forgot my WHY.
And what about you? The path you’re currently on, is it true to YOU? Is the reason you’re grinding today really why you started in the first place? If it isn’t, I promise you the dissatisfaction will soon hit if it hasn’t already, and don’t even get me started on the burn out. And what about you who has never had a WHY? Are you happy, or are you not even sure what you’re living for; what all the hustle is for? Find your why, my friend.
Humans are purpose-driven beings. Without purpose, we are lost indeed! Your WHY is your purpose; it keeps you going even when you don’t feel like it, even when there seemingly isn’t anywhere to go to, even when/if you are a lower-middle-class Nigerian living in Nigeria and just trying to survive.
Find your WHY, remember your WHY.