Ben Maiava (15, MBA 16) is committed to putting his passion to work in order to help others pursue their own passions. It was an opportunity that came to him when he was still a student earning his MBA at PLNU. One of his professors, Randal Schober, Ed.D., mentioned that an organization called Passion Planner was looking for interns. Curious, Maiava looked them up online to see if the opportunity was promising.

“Anytime a professor named a company, I had the tendency to look into it, which I did in this case. I saw that Passion Planner was offering a creative position and that really intrigued me,” Maiava said. “The idea of being able to use my creative and photography skills didn’t seem very realistic to me when I was still a student.”

The ability to combine his creative and photography skills with his more structured and problem-solving skills (he was a business student, after all) really appealed to him. He got the internship and then, after he graduated from PLNU, was offered a full-time role.

Passion Planner offers a tool — a passion planner — to help people break down their short and long-term goals and develop ways to achieve them. As their website explains, the organization is committed to helping people “plan for the future, reflect on the past, but most importantly, act on the present.” Maiava has worked on their creative team for over three years and is currently the sole video producer.

What attracted him most about the organization was its commitment to helping people take control of their lives and achieve their goals — be that personal, professional, service-oriented, or more.

“At first, I resonated with Passion Planner because the organization was created to help college kids and give them a road map and empower them to figure out what they want to do in life,” Maiava said, acknowledging that he could have used something like this when he was a student. While the organization was started with students in mind, the organization has expanded its reach to adults of any age.

“Being able to help people and empower them to create the lives that they have always wanted was really appealing to me. I like that we offer a way to create this blueprint for your life, to go beyond just thinking about your goals and actually making things a reality,” Maiava shared. 

I like that we offer a way to create this blueprint for your life, to go beyond just thinking about your goals and actually making things a reality.

While the company sells their passion planners as physical paper planners, they also offer free online PDF versions for those not able to make the financial investment. Maiava appreciates working for an organization that is clearly not concerned only with selling these planners but in really helping people achieve their goals in life.

In fact, the company does much to encourage their own employees to plan and achieve their own goals by giving each employee a week off per year and a stipend to make a goal of theirs a reality. Maiava shared how one of his coworkers took advantage of this opportunity by hosting an art event to raise money for a breast cancer organization.

Maiava also appreciates that the organization has enabled him to give back to a place that has given him much: PLNU.

“One thing that is really cool is that over the past two years we have been able to donate passion planners to various organizations and individuals,” Maiava said. “Last year and the year before, I was able to help donate planners to PLNU for graduating seniors and to PLNU’s Offices of Strengths and Vocation. Just being able to find out about Passion Planner from my time at PLNU, get a job there, and then being able to give back to PLNU was really eye-opening. I’m glad that I’m able to give back and am living it out and not just talking and posting about it.”

Being able to find out about Passion Planner from my time at PLNU, get a job there, and then being able to give back to PLNU was really eye-opening. I’m glad that I’m able to give back and am living it out and not just talking and posting about it.

Maiava is proud to work for Passion Planner because it also works against many obstacles that can keep people from pursuing their goals and, ultimately, living a more fulfilling life. Some of these obstacles that Passion Planner seeks to help people overcome include not judging oneself as selfish for trying to achieve a life goal, not allowing perfection to be the enemy of good when it comes to achieving a goal, and avoiding trying to achieve a goal because of constant comparison to others on social media who might appear to have a “better” or more “impressive” life. 

“A big obstacle for people to achieve their goals is an internal one, but once people start developing a plan they gain momentum, and then they start to see progress,” Maiava shared.

Ultimately, Maiava remains grateful to work for an organization that empowers people to achieve their goals and dreams and live a more fulfilled life.

“We have had countless stories of people achieving all sorts of things,” Maiava said, and then turned to one of his own goals. “One of my big goals is to take Passion Planner’s YouTube subscribers from 20,000 to over 100,000. I want to continue to extend our reach on the internet to reach more people since I’ve seen the benefits of our organization and how it can change people’s lives.”

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