We have been introduced to the concept of money, why you may not be truly happy poor, what it is and how to plan with and for it in your life from Episode 1 through to 6. In Happy to be poor: episode 7, we focus on the options you have starting out in life. I’m a Ghanaian, born and raised in a small town in the Northern region. Expect that I shall speak your language. My aim is to help as many of my colleagues as possible to see the real power in taking responsibility. If you have followed this series from the beginning, I hope that somehow you have been touched. It is my hope that through this, people who started from nothing can see a way forward in life.
Growing up, I have always been obsessed about success. What is it that successful people do that is so different from the majority? One thing I came to learn is that, successful people take responsibility for their life. Let me illustrate that with a small personal story.
I moved to a junior secondary school different from the school I had my primary education. My new school was a top school in the district in terms of academic performance. My former school was an English/Arabic school which only had 2 hours of western education. We could not read and write or even speak English language properly. Here I was in a new school where every student spoke fluently and wrote neatly. How was I to measure up?
It was crime to speak any vernacular in my new school and I was so terrible speaking that any word that came from me evoked laughter. I got overwhelmed over how I was going to be placed in this new school. I began complaining about how terrible my former school was and how it affected me. Then one day I realized that the stories I told about my former school were just excuses for my mediocrity. I was shifting responsibility to my background instead of facing my issues head on. And yes, I was winning the “I pity you” game but losing the game of life. I was putting in subpar performance and giving reasons why I should still feel great about it.
One day a colleague said something mean that triggered something within me. It was clear to me that I could do something about my situation. I began by making friends who were ready to help me speak better instead of just laugh at me. Soon things begun to change for good. Long story short, I graduated not just one of the best students in the school but the best in the entire district.
This story is not about me however, it’s only meant to expose what I mean by taking responsibility. An excuse does not only mean that the reason you gave for your condition is false. But the point is that, no matter how true the reason is, it does not change the condition. If you are hungry, complaining a 100 times or having a 1000 reasons for your hunger changes nothing until you find food to eat. Taking responsibility means getting your ass up to find the food despite the many reasons.
As a young person from this part of the world, there are many reasons for your financial condition. Your parents are poor, you don’t have enough support, and your government is corrupt and so on. Guess what? You are not alone. Many people have those same exact reasons they are poor. Those reasons may be as true as your existence but it does not make any difference. You can narrate the reasons all you want and you will still be poor. The only thing that can change your condition is what you decide to do about it. And that is what is meant by taking responsibility. Take a look and you will see millions of successful people who came from backgrounds you wouldn’t trade places with.
Forget about the tittle of this series, fact is, you are not happy to be poor. So instead of whining and boasting about how unlucky you are, why not get up and do something. “But what can I do?” Well, you have many options than you care to realize. The two major options are to either work for yourself or take a job and work for someone. But nothing stops you from doing both.
“How do I get a job?” “How do I work for myself when I have no money or support?”. I would love to talk about that but this episode is getting too much. Let’s get into that in the next episode. Please consider subscribing to avoid missing pieces.