I got into university to study law in 2017. I was still in my teens at the time, but as I grew older and started coming into my own, I began uncovering who I was as a person, what my values were and all of that good stuff. I also started reading a lot of self-help books, listening to podcasts and motivational speeches, and as I consumed this content I began to learn about passion and how you should do something you are really passionate about. I heard so much about chasing passion and not money to be successful and discovering one’s true gift and calling. It all sounded nice at first, like a breath of fresh air, it was different from the career talk I had with my parents or any other adult where they were concerned about you choosing something stable and sustainable. This new way of thinking included taking risks and being a boss, being responsible. This was something new and it felt good and exciting to say the least, for a moment the prospects of law didn’t appeal to me, as the messages I had read and heard said that when you find your passion, your gift, it was going to seem easy to you, things would just flow and they’d just add up.
However, with my study of law, it was far from easy, in fact it’s hard, gruesome and takes a lot of work, so I thought to myself, how could this be my passion?
With this question in my heart, I began to search for my passion and with each fail, I got more confused. I tried music, but the amount of grit it required to be world class scared me, it wasn’t a sacrifice I was willing to make. I tried fashion, but as each obstacle came up I gave up. I thought of catering, but then it didn’t come easily to me as well.
Feeling stuck and very confused, I began to fight a mental battle with myself: could the authors of those books and the speakers on the podcasts have been wrong? What did they actually mean? What really was my passion?
I reflected on everything I’d ever done and then my current pursuit of a law degree, and I realized a pattern when it came to all the things I’d ever succeeded at, there was some sort of crazy energy that was behind it, it was an energy that made obstacles seem normal and insignificant. In those moments, all I wanted to do was to discover my strengths and to push forward. Reflecting on my pursuit of a legal career, I discovered the same grit, though I encountered major obstacles like being offered admission to study mass communication and not law at my first attempt at admission exams which I rejected to the dismay of my peers, took the exam the next year and finally got admitted to read law. All the while these obstacles to me were nothing because I wanted so badly to read law and even the present difficulties of the courses haven’t deterred me.
It was then that I realized that what the authors and speakers meant when they said it’ll come easy to you, they meant that when you find that which you love, it wouldn’t be hard for you to fight for it, to put your head down and work for it because you would be so drawn to it, you’d be passionately curious. It was it this moment I realized that law was my path because with law, it’s a quest to uncover and discover, invent and re-invent, to know and understand the workings of law in Nigeria and beyond, legal systems and the whole nine yards and to see how I can use this knowledge to change lives.
I know now from my experience that true to Albert Einstein’s words, to succeed at something, you don’t have to have a special talent, you just have to want it bad enough, to be passionately curious, it wouldn’t be easy but it’ll be a hard path that you enjoy.
Of course, there are still days where I feel frustrated, breakdown and cry about how hard some courses are and some of my grades but I get up and I’m even more determined to win, to unravel law, to discover and to change society.
For those who are currently on the search for their paths and passions, I invite you today to reflect on your life and also on the things that you’d do absolutely anything for, that you’d go to any length to achieve, and when you find the answer, hit the ground running and I promise you, you won’t regret it and maybe you, just like me, have found your path or paths already.