The Finite Willpower in Life

May 6 , 2023
By Eden Sahle ( Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at )

I have encountered people that made drastic decisions based on the ‘motivational speeches’ they heard.

Four young men dropped out of medical and business schools deciding that years of attending universities was a waste of their youth while they could reach the top of the ‘success ladder’ quickly. A woman decided to leave her husband, convinced that being with him had prevented her from exploring opportunities abroad as he could not get a visa.

They all opted to search for a new path leaving their status behind.

"Motivational speeches" are booming with several speakers who have not accomplished anything except being articulate speakers taking the local stages.

History records that motivational speeches were commercialised three decades ago with academics invited to companies and institutions to share their expertise with a broader audience. The experts have imparted wisdom while getting paid which was great.

Inspiring speeches can make us laugh or cry and eventually think. People who battled against the odds to make their dreams come true can impart wisdom when they are bold enough to speak openly about their experiences. They talk out of practical accomplishments.

The problem started when it transformed into a lucrative multibillion-dollar industry. When it falls into the wrong hands and is done as a mere business, it becomes discouraging, triggering people to leave off their accomplishments behind.

The 26-year-old young man I met who has been delivering speeches to hundreds that paid to attend his event was jabbering about things he has not experienced himself.

I had a chance to talk to him later. He dropped out of college as the income through these events surpassed the potential salary he expects after graduating. It was shocking to me people actually paid him with hopes of getting a tangible action to change their lives.

It is reckless to advise young people with no business idea to work for themselves as they will not have a boss that orders them around.

What anyone does not hear at the sessions is how nerve-wracking it is to start a business in Ethiopia where so many uncertainties arise at every corner. The speakers do not tell them what measures they have taken and how much they have invested mentally and emotionally.

Success is not attained by mere wish but through hard work and sacrifice. There is no guarantee that the young men who dropped out of universities will succeed in life nor the woman who is leaving her husband behind to try on opportunities abroad. Our willpower is finite. The capacity to accomplish many things does not mean it was beneficial.

Depending on the ever-changing motivation can leave us high and dry when we find ourselves somewhere we did not expect to find ourselves.

Dreaming is an integral part of what makes us human. Working towards accomplishing our goals spurs our motivation not to give up; however long the journey may be. Nonetheless, having a solid mindset to materialise a personal life objective saves us from changing our minds with someone's opinion.

We have to be careful to avoid getting caught up in generalizing when identifying the road to success. Many motivational speeches portray successful people as individuals who achieve extensively without finishing school. While a handful of people made a fortune without going to school, others are leading a tough life because of it. Imitating their lives has perilous consequences.

It is good to be motivated but better to protect ourselves from uninformed decisions early on than regret for a lifetime.

Reality should strike a chord within us to discover and work towards our individual gifts. Formidable moments make us reach our goal. It is precisely what makes us grow and be accomplished.

PUBLISHED ON May 06,2023 [ VOL 24 , NO 1201]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 3.5 / 5. Vote count: 4

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Put your comments here

N.B: A submit button will appear once you fill out all the required fields.

Editors' Pick


Fortune news