African education is said to be limiting in that it does not allow children to truly explore their passion, discover their creativity and hone in on their innovative capabilities. This by all accounts is true. Primary and Secondary education for the most part in African countries focus on passing a test. Post-university, if you are not a lawyer or a doctor, for many parents, you have failed.
It is interesting how this poor conceptualization of success is still prevalent in many African homes today. This means that for the average African, average in ability and in aptitude, school isn’t where you will discover what it is that inspires and drives you to succeed. So the question becomes, as a young woman, how does one truly discover this thing called passion in an African context?
1. What comes naturally to you/what are you good at?
The idea of what comes naturally to you in my opinion is very often limited to the ability of your hands or again your aptitude. Your personality and character a lot of the time is very closely aligned with what it is you are passionate about.
So, while very obvious activities such as your love of maths or how well you make a pot of jollof may apply, it is essential that you consider the character that is within you. Focus on the little personality traits that many could miss, such as your affinity for children, or how people taking a liking to you, or better yet how helping people is engraved in your DNA.
While each of these are applicable to a wide range of jobs, it provides you with a starting point for narrowing down what it is you will excel at doing.
2. What do you do in your spare time?
What is that thing that you spend all your free time doing? Are you reading books, writing poems, drawing, singing, free styling, baking or cooking? Think about that one thing you always want to do in your leisure time, what you do to de-stress, what you gravitate towards doing when you are alone.
If you can identify a trend, or the recurrence of a particular activity that isn’t sleep, then you are displaying persistent interest in that activity. Be sure you have found something you are passionate about.
3. What do you like to talk about ?
What we are passionate about a lot of the time is evident in what we talk about. To discover your passion, reflect on all the conversations you are so eager to jump into.
You may not yet have chalked it up to a passion, but it is apparent in how your heart feels conviction for the topic, how your opinions must be heard on the topic, how you must suddenly raise your voice and stand up to display just how much authority you have in said topic.
It is true that we stand for what we are passionate about, especially when we must defend it.
Finding your passion, if it isn’t an innate talent, is not easy, neither is it impossible. Give yourself time to find out what you are passionate about, get a journal and note your likes and dislikes.
As time passes by, you will replace, delete and add more. Your passion may not be the status quo but if everyone on earth did the same thing, we will be boring species.