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Rio 2016: Lessons In Passing






I haven’t done this for a while.

I cannot tell you why; mental fatigue? Distractions? Personal issues? Being unable to motivate because I’ve been unmotivated myself?

All of the above.

Well. All that is over and done with. I’m back.

For now, at least.

I don’t particularly like sports; I’m indifferent at most. So I wasn’t invested in the whole Rio 2016 thing – especially the most-laughable conduct on the part of the government – as usual.

But something made me put this note together.

I saw a post on Facebook; somebody said something that went roughly like this;


“How do we expect to beat Oyinbos at the Olympics when they’ve managed to make sports out of their hobbies? See sports like swimming, fencing, gymnastics, archery, canoe sprint and so on! Maybe we should try that too and see how far we can go! Imagine anybody beating us at an Olympics where the events are:

Eba swallowing

Fence jumping

Akara frying

Spice/pepper eating”


And a number of other things uniquely ours.

It was funny; it afforded me a good laugh. I still love to think however, and so within moments I found myself wondering if there was any deeper meaning to be found in that joke.

I found one, and that is what I want to share today.

The most profound lesson is embedded in the line; “they’ve managed to make sports of their hobbies”. In other words, they started to take serious something they normally do for fun.

Take a moment. Let that sink in.

While we know winning at the Olympics (or anything for that matter) has a lot less to do with ‘comfort zones’ and a lot more with preparedness, steadfastness, focus, available resources and so on, the truth is; like Heath Ledger’s Joker said in The Dark Knight movie;


“If you’re good at something, never do it for free”.


What is your passion; that thing you really enjoy doing? Is there something you love to do so much; something that gives you so much joy you would do it for free anyway?

Have you ever thought seriously about making a living off it? Seriously?

You’d be surprised at the things you can turn to money these days. I have one friend who is a life coach and shares lessons and notes via Facebook – lessons and notes you can access for a price. I have another who does speaking and writing lessons on that same platform – Facebook – for a price. I’m sure you have a friend or you know someone who became a chef/cook/event planner/DJ/clothes designer not because they were desperate or didn’t have anything better to do but because they enjoyed doing it – and then saw a way to make a living off it.

Have you ever thought about monetizing your passion?

There’s at least two websites nowadays you can actually buy stew from. You read that correct; stew. Efo riro, egunsi, okro – whatever floats your boat is available at various pot sizes at different sizes. Somebody thought about giving dance lessons.

Have you heard of Nothing To Do In Lagos?

Yes, that site that informs you about events and activities happening over the weekend in Lagos? That was somebody’s idea!

As an aside, I have a series currently running on their blog titled ‘Lagos Is…’. I just started this month – read the intro here.


In a sermon I heard sometime ago, the pastor was making a point that it is better to focus on your strengths rather than weaknesses. He was speaking in the context of a company – and said ‘Instead of hiring people who do what you can’t, hire people who do what you can so they can do that while you focus on what you can’t”. It does sound like good advice, and maybe it can work in the employment place, I however disagree with that approach when it comes to personal development.

As far as I know or concerned, that’s a pretty good way to become a Jack of all trades, master of none because you cannot give the time required to be exceedingly proficient at several skills.

Or maybe you can – but at what cost?

I don’t believe in spreading myself thinly over too many things. I’d rather focus on two or three things and become really amazing at doing them, things I gravitate towards naturally. Things that come easy to me, things that give me joy and pleasure.

Life is too short to spend doing something you don’t like. What if I die tomorrow, do I want to die wishing I had done more of what I wanted to do, or do I want to die knowing I did my bit and I will always be remembered?

The choice is obvious.

So, till Nigeria figures out a way to include Eba Swallowing in the Olympics – or in her own sports tournament, be the best you at the thing(s) you enjoy doing. Nobody; I write again nobody can quite be you like you can.

So shine on. Grow.




2 responses

  1. Oro agba!

    August 24, 2016 at 6:17 pm

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