The Mirror Lifestyle Content

Passion: The driver for excellence

Passion: The driver for excellence

The young men were contracted to paint a flat which had been unoccupied for about four months. Naturally, the place was dusty. 


The fans in all the rooms had collected a lot of dust; one white fan had turned dust red. The rooms had corner lights; dust had visibly reddened the top parts of the yellow lights across the rooms.

Upon visiting the flat to inspect the painting, the owner found to her chagrin that the young men had painted the walls only, per the contract. Yet, the first thing that attracted one upon entering any of the rooms was the dirty fan, not the new walls.

It was like a sore thumb. How the young painters could leave their good work amidst such a detracting spectacle baffled the owner. She attributed the indifference to a lack of passion

 A passionate worker approaches any task, arduousness notwithstanding, with a high level of professional enthusiasm, which enthusiasm drives the worker’s diligence. The combined spirit of enthusiasm and diligence pushes the worker to strive for performance excellence.

Such a worker does not limit himself to the assigned task. Whatever side tasks that might enhance the benefits of the work are conscientiously taken care of. Conversely, any side issue that might also detract from the beauty or performance excellence is promptly removed.

A passionate worker does more without waiting to be told; s/he uses initiative to drive new ideas into existing projects or perform extra for better effect. A passionate worker is not solely focused on monetary gains but considers the interest and comfort of clients as of uppermost importance.

A passionate worker attempts to satisfy clients, not self. That You-Attitude earns the worker and entity represented customer goodwill, which in turn sustains businesses. The young painters in question demonstrated a lack of passion by leaving the fans in the same dirty state they found it.

 If they had been passionate, they would have realised that the dirty fans reduced the aesthetic effects of their painting. Therefore, they would have cleaned the fans for enhanced aesthetic appeal.

The beautified environment would have given them a genuine sense of achievement. Professionalism! Excellence! Most importantly, they would have earned the client’s respect and loyalty – they would be called for future assignments.

They would also have earned a good tip. Sadly, the painters sacrificed all for professional indifference. They were contracted to paint rooms, so they painted rooms. In the competitive job market, I-Attitude draws employer and customer dissatisfaction and contempt.

 However, a You-Attitude dignifies an employee and boosts business. The young painters need major lessons in attitude towards work. What heightens the concern of the client is that the painters are currently enrolled in a professional programme at a TVET institution.

The course is expected to take them to the building sector. Among the courses they are reading is Entrepreneurship, which is expected to cater for such ethical issues which break or sustain businesses.

Either the course is not pragmatically structured, or the learners are not diligent readers. Either way, the course is not achieving its objective, because the situation is not an isolated one.

The youth consistently demonstrate alarming levels of allergy to diligence, which creates the path to professional success in life. Those claiming to study are apathetic to learning. Sometimes, lecture attendance is a major hurdle for many.

Every academic or learning activity is a chore. The attitude displayed in class can demotivate the best of teachers. Passion drives the latter to persevere in the classroom.
The scenario is poignantly no different in the informal sector.

Youth who opt for apprenticeship display the same levels of apathy towards knowledge and skill acquisition. Research indicates that many apprentices do not complete their apprenticeship.

As soon as they are able to perform some tasks, they escape apprenticeship and set up on their own.  They charge less to attract clients but offer shoddy service only. Customers patronise such cheap services to their own woes.

The problem of undertrained artisans cuts across sectors – automobile, transport, dressmaking, hairdressing, building – to mention five. The entire Ghanaian society pays hugely for porous knowledge and skill acquisition among the learning and working populace.

Customers do not receive value for money, because quality is compromised by apathetic workers. In worst cases, human lives are lost due to sub-standard service offered by ignorant, self-centred, avaricious workers.


The most effective antidote to ignorance, greed and self-centredness is passion for humanity. The value can be acquired through emotional intelligence, which fundamentally emanates from values taught to children from infancy.

Parents play a major role in inculcating human values in children. There are numerous gentle ways through which parents can help their children cultivate dignity for self, respect for others, diligence, responsibility and balance, among other values.

Children who cultivate such values grow up as assertive people who balance responsibility towards self and others. Such have a passion for good works, for excellence, for humanity.

Their passion drives their quest for performance, which brings them genuine success and community respect. Such thrive. Such are the ones Ghana needs.


The writer is a senior lecturer, Language and Communication Skills, at the Takoradi Technical University, Takoradi.
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