Are You Operating on a Negative?

Dont be scared, its merely a question. Are you operating on a negative in life? Are you utilising your God given gifts properly? Have you even identified them to begin with? I ask these questions because i have been forced to think.

So someone came to my mom to announce his wedding. Now this guy got a job at some tv station and was earning N30,000 a month as a graduate 6 days a week. He obviously wasnt balanced financially or emotionally, given that he spent the entire salary commuting to work. My mom was asking him if he wanted to be in entertainment and why he even took the job to begin with. He was obviously doing what i refer to as “operating on a negative”. After that job, what time does he have to develop himself? There is barely anytime to even think, talkless of develop himself. From my own point of view the guy needs an “extra brain”, because how will he provide for a family under such circumstances?

What is your quality of life like? I will ask a multitude of questions to get us all thinking.

1) Do you enjoy what you do to earn a paycheck on a regular basis?

2) Are you generally happy? If not what is your biggest source of stress? – say happiness 5x, then repeat it without the “Ha”-.another 5x!

3) How long is your daily commute to and from work?

4) Will you be happy doing the same thing you are doing now in 10 years? If you had the chance would you be doing something else?

5) Are you even good at your job? If not are you keen on improving?

6) What do you believe your purpose on earth is? Are you remotely living any part of it? Do you understand your gifts?

7) Do you have any money left after your commute? Can you save? Can you build an emergency fund?

I ask these questions because i have noticed there is a fundamental difference between my American  friends and Nigerian friends in terms of aspirations  and desires. The guy i mentioned above might do better as a driver within an organisation like Uber- forget he went to university.  Or even as a baker,  a writer etc or as a social media strategist etc.

There just seems to be a rot in Nigeria whereby many people assume they go to university and a job automatically follows. Hellooooo- the purpose of university is to help you think, you actually use very little of what you learn unless you are highly technical. Parents also dont help matters, encourage your child to search beyond a job and look for opportunities instead. You hear some people talk about how they have been trekking from Berger or Ajah to Victoria Island to submit CVs for 5 years. After year 1, year 2- they didnt borrow themselves brain? The companies they are hustling to work for was built by someone, no?

Many of the wealthiest people in recent times are not even producing goods- they are selling ideas. How many people get paid on twitter to retweet or instagram for ads? They sit in the comfort of their homes and do these things.

People can use a lot of things they didnt know they needed! Did we know we needed facebook years ago? Or instagram? Or twitter? I am using the obvious examples. There are so many things to do in Nigeria, that all you have to do is identify a need even you have and you can fill it.

I use to make a lot of noise about not having any gifts or talents. It is in the recent years that i began to look at myself a lot closer and i realised i do have gifts and i have to work on developing  them. I am extremely good with calculations and number manipulations – I love working with numbers, but i dislike  the corporate  finance environment (i did it for 11 years). I love helping to conceptualise businesses,  it excites me and helps me learn. I like to teach people stuff, myself included- hence my lists.

And lastly i have an off the cuff sense of humor. Not dark, just ridiculously unusual.  And it helps me get through times and also make my learning process easier. I think i overwhelm my husband sometimes with this awesome gift of mine. One of my brothers calls it a “rubbish sense” of humor and my husband says i am the “smartest airhead he knows”. Today the dtsv went out and was showing the black and white grain screen, so i told hubstar -the tv was doing “shreeeeee”! Dont front like you dont know the sound. Lol.

I like to write – you wont find a Phd thesis on this page- you are more likely to find a little bit of everything mashed together. Its like a cupcake with sprinkles all over the frosting and the surprise caramel or chocolate on the inside. Maybe even almonds…

I am almost ashamed to say this is my 6th or so blog in the last 10 years. I always ended up deleting them,  this one is super public now, so i am unlikely to pull the trigger on it- and i am getting a lot of encouragement. I write about the things i would like to read, and after a while- “tonto dike setting unpaid merchandise on fire” doesnt make for good reading, neither does it help me think. Think about it this way, i get to have conversations with many people without using too much credit. Lol. And i learn a lot.

Its a lot easier to hone our talents and gifts when we find people to mentor us and mentor others coming behind in the process. I have 50 year old friends and i am making new ones in teens and 20s too. One thing working in Iraq has done for me is help me learn how to surround myself with people i can share my crazy ideas with. People who can help me better mould these ideas.

On that note i leave you with one of my favourite self quotes “life can be likened to using a public toilet with heels on, either you fall into the sh*t or you stay above it” -OAD.

Today is the last day to win the ASUS NOTEBOOK PC – X55OCA SI3. The person with the highest number of comments total for the week wins the computer. Odds of winning are higher if you comment on every post this week April 20 to April 25 2015 midnight. Goodluck to everyone. Item will be picked up either in Ikoyi or Victoria Island.




29 Comments on Are You Operating on a Negative?

  1. Its funny but majority of the youths working are on this route,operating on a negative. The whiled idea is everyone wants to leave the house in the morning and come home at night,just because others are doing it. If you spend your youthful years working on things that won’t profit your life,when exactly do you want to Live??? I like the second to the last paragraph,talking about honing talents.


  2. Whole*


  3. It’s mostly in Lagos that there is the commute issue. Most places are calmer. The traffic is hell on the body and soul, but lots believe all the fortune to be made is there. When you leave Lagos and work somewhere else, you actually experience peace. I used to work in a corporate environment but I hated it. I’m now job hunting but I spend my time making jewellery. I used to think I had no talents in (except sorting out excellent and crappy novels) But I have discovered I enjoy working with my hands. This includes making bags, shoes, jewellery. … Haven’t started on a full scale but I see myself being great in it and creating more ideas. God help me fulfil my dreams. PS- I laughed so hard at the shreeeee comment. That’s the noise it makes though so I agree with you.


    • Christian Best // April 25, 2015 at 10:45 // Reply

      Wow. Great comment!
      Yeah Lagos traffic condition poses alot of problems for commuters.

      Being a boss of yourself is a ‘sweet’ job.. Lol
      I mean, You don’t have to always say ‘ Yes sir’ to another person. No one would reduce your salary because of one thing that happened in the office. You don’t have to wake early In the morning and go work out your life in someone’l else business..

      Goodluck with your jewelry making business! God make you big in Jesus name.


    • peace ogune // April 25, 2015 at 15:07 // Reply

      well God bless your hustle, the game is hard but easy for the gifted and blessed good luck


    • Peace Ogune // April 25, 2015 at 19:14 // Reply

      Shreeee! Smh


    • peace ogune // April 25, 2015 at 22:50 // Reply

      if you live in lagos you swear Nigeria is more terrible than it is lol. if live or have lived in jos u will love nigeria


  4. christabel // April 25, 2015 at 10:05 // Reply

    I dnt have a job yet, though I studied public health in d uni, I think am good with my hands and since I can learn fast I have decided to learn skills, am also good with children(from 0-5yrs) and also the elderly, I even look forward to establishing a home for the elderly in the near future…most people are operating on negative in Nigeria


    • Christian Best // April 25, 2015 at 10:47 // Reply

      Great idea Ma’am!


    • peace ogune // April 25, 2015 at 15:03 // Reply

      please what is our choice is there better and we refused to embrace it? be jobless and see an opportunity to get out every morning and not take it. mm ur wahala just start cus ur parents and friends will sum up all ur hardship as refusal.


  5. Christian Best // April 25, 2015 at 10:36 // Reply

    I Like your advice at the end Ma’am!
    Thanks for it.


  6. Christian Best // April 25, 2015 at 10:40 // Reply

    Sometimes, the desperation for job in Nigeria can make one take up any job anywhere not minding the ‘cost’. It’s normal in Nigeria, because of the high level of unemployment. If you decline the job, I’m telling you, People will talk about you till the end of the world, Lol
    You’ll be insulted, cursed, laughed at Lol

    And also, about selling ideas, We I’m Nigeria have not really realized that. We have the mentality of going to office, work and get paid as being ‘Employed’.

    Believe me, someone people who do ‘online work’ earn much more than those who commute every morning to work.


    • peace ogune // April 25, 2015 at 14:57 // Reply

      @best you are so right but forgot to add that people take these cheap paying jobs bcus of what they might find there; in the way of bribes. na where man dey work e go chop


  7. Ok lets get this straight not everyone can be their own boss its difficult! I used to be a baker and I worked crazy hours,doing my business,I was at the point of expansion but could not afford to hire people so I did the work.,


    • CC not necessarily their own boss a times but having a side hustle that corroborate the main hustle,u get!


  8. peace ogune // April 25, 2015 at 15:01 // Reply

    very correct not everyone can be there own boss the world wont even work out that way some people are career people they love to go to work and exist in a well formatted structure that has others hiding other key areas. who the cap fit let em wear it


  9. Uhhhh oad can people like Mrs Fab send pics over to you to market some of her goods?

    I am a master planner. But I lack patience and have a low tolerance for B.S so i’m stuck planning for fam and close friends only.

    I can imagine the look on hubstars face after hearing you go shreeeeee


  10. Peace Ogune // April 25, 2015 at 19:11 // Reply

    Whatever one is doing in this world and that is positivity. How positive one should be or what channel positivity is suppsed to follow or what image a positive man is supposed to keep doesn’t matter. Yes you can wotk for tiny wages but if remain positive things will surly change


  11. Lets hope our heels can bear our squatting weight…


  12. For this article, i like to recommend to everyone:
    -“The American’t Dream – by Suli Breaks.”
    -“Why i hate school but love education- by Suli Breaks.”
    -“I will not let exam result decide my fate- by Suli Breaks.”
    You can download them from youtube. Very elevating pieces by a Brit that talks on this topic. To discover or rediscover yourself from within you have to spend time telling yourself the truth. Only then can you be able to make the tough and needed choices. Peace!


  13. I’ll be graduating in few months, and have recognised passion fo charity, writing and motivating others as my strong point, public speaking too. All this I intend to build, I already write a blog, I intend to take classes on public speaking to help develop that talent.

    At the end of my programme this year before I go for service , I intend to take classes in Photography I have taken interest in it.

    I know I will get a job, but I’m just being proactive. I don’t want to wait for this society to deform me when I’m obviously informed and can make better choices from the information at my disposal.


  14. Inspiring piece miss pynk! Lawd knows this is what I think about every time… I ask myself these questions… and answer them honestly. But still… it’ll get better.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.