Great Achievers Who Refused To Be People-Pleasers
The point we made last week is the truism that people who live their lives pleasing others, may end up not developing their unique God-given gifts or talents. Although they may acquire wealth and some fame from their benefactors, the opportunity cost, in terms of what they really lose, or what they would have achieved being what God wanted them to be is very high.
Throughout history, most famous or successful people have been those who defied friends and associates, bosses, and even parents to be who God wanted them to be.
There is no stronger way to make this point than looking at the success stories of people who, against all odds, stuck to their God-given gifts. People-pleasers take note.
We start from home.
King Sunny Ade: The parents of this famous musician wanted him at the university, rather than playing music in the streets. He said in a newspaper interview: “When I realized that nobody in the family wanted me to dance or watch those who danced or played music, it did not occur to me to wish to become a musician.
“When I was leaving Abeokuta for Lagos, I actually told some colleagues that I was going to Lagos to try my luck but that if my family asked of me, they should tell them that I gained admission to University of Lagos.
“For almost three years, my family thought I was in the university in Lagos. It was not until I formed my own group that an uncle came and asked me whether I was actually Sunny Ade….He almost slapped me. My family didn’t approve of what I was doing for almost 15 years until I really made the name.’
Funke Akindele: After an OND in Mass Communication, her father wanted her to read law. She had an ingenious way of pleasing her parents. With a law degree from Unilag, she took a plunge into acting. Her account: “I went to Grace Nursery and Primary School, Gbagada, Lagos State Model College. I have an OND in Mass Communication from Ogun State Polytechnic, now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, I attended the University of Lagos where I studied Law but I’m not practicing. Right from when I was small I’d loved acting but I studied Law because my father wanted me to be a lawyer. I wanted to study Theatre Arts but he insisted I must study Law first and that I could act after I was through with Law….”
Charles Darwin: He had a worse experience. His father told him he would amount to nothing and would be a disgrace to himself and his family.
Teachers: Some famous people defied their teachers to be what God created them to be. Beethoven’s music teacher once told him that as a composer, he was hopeless; and when Thomas Edison was a boy his teacher told him he was too stupid to learn anything.
Bosses Photo Credit: Inside Tech.
Bosses: Some bosses will do everything to discourage you from pursuing your dream so that you can serve their official and personal interests. They may even fire you if you don’t sacrifice your dream for them. In these examples compiled by Alana Horowitz and Vivian Hang, you could crack your ribs with laughter but there is so much to learn.
Walt Disney: Walt Disney’s newspaper editor told the aspiring cartoonist he wasn’t creative enough. In 1919, was fired from the Kansas City Star. According to his editor, he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Disney then acquired Laugh-O-Gram, an animation studio he later drove into bankruptcy. Finally, he decided to set his sights on a more profitable area: Hollywood. He and his brother moved to California and started producing a successful cartoon series. Now we have the Amazing Disney World.
JK Rowling: JK Rowling worked as a secretary for the London office of Amnesty International, but she dreamed of being a writer. She secretly wrote stories on her work computer and daydreamed about a teenage wizard named Harry Potter. Her employers finally got fed up and gave her the boot. Her severance check helped support her over the next few years, when she finally decided to focus on writing. Today, she’s the multi-billionaire author of one of the most successful book series of all time.
Stephen King: His first book Carrie was rejected 30 times and he threw it in the trash. His wife retrieved it out of the trash and encouraged him to resubmit it. The rest is history. He has sold more than 350 million copies of his books. (He’s also made many adults fear clowns too.)
Oprah Winfrey: A Baltimore TV producer told Oprah that she was “unfit for television news.” Evening news reporter Oprah Winfrey couldn’t help but get emotionally invested in her stories. The producer of Baltimore’s WJZ-TV pulled her off the air. As a consolation, he offered her a role on a daytime TV show.
Winfrey was initially heartbroken. At the time, daytime TV was a huge step down from the evening news. Her sadness quickly faded as the show, People Are Talking, became a hit. That success help Oprah find her true calling as a talk show host.