So I’ve got this friend. Let’s call him Bob.
Bob wakes up most mornings, heads to a job he doesn’t really like, heads home to his recording setup that collects dust on his dining room table or his laptop with an unfinished manuscript, and he does the logical thing — watches Dragon Ball Z.
But that’s not all Bob does. Every single day of his life, invariably, something goes wrong for Bob. He can always, and I mean always, tell you what went wrong.
Maybe he was driving down the road when he ran into traffic, saw the low oil light come on, tried to make it to the gas station, and then his car exploded. He gets it towed, calls his friend to get a ride to work tomorrow, but his phone dies halfway into the conversation and he left his charger at his girlfriends house, and by the time he gets home he just wants to sit on the couch and watch cartoons because life is too tough to record songs or write the next great space opera.
Bob is Effed.
Lets back up for a moment here. You see, this mess did not just happen upon my good friend Bob. Despite what he will tell you, Bob suffers from perpetually being Effed for good reason.
For one, he procrastinates more often than my dog drops a toy on my lap (approximately 3,485 times a day). Most of the time, this procrastination is for no good reason. He sleeps in because he’s tired from staying up too late watching television. Then he goes to work tired and unproductive, which wears on him more than it should. So by the time he gets home, he doesn’t change his oil because he wants to watch another episode of Gilmore Girls. Or he had a rough day at work and doesn’t feel like going outside. Or the temperature isn’t below 85 and above 83 degrees.
You see, Bob’s car didn’t explode because he has bad luck. No. Bob’s car exploded because he made a series of horrible decisions which (and i know this might seem like a crazy jump) led to a series of horrible results.
People who have chronic Effed generally do this – make a series of bad decisions and then blame God or the universe or their hamster for causing their lives to be horrible. In fact, the cycle of Effed at times becomes so intense that it begins to feed on itself. Soon one bad case of the Effed’s leads seamlessly into the next so quickly that it becomes hard to tell where it all really went wrong in the first place.
Worse yet, some people have such horribly persistent Effed that they end up convincing their friends (none of which have a medical degree) that their condition is desperate. And suddenly – like a zombie apocalypse – it spreads.
It’s not like Bob is an awful person. It’s not like he doesn’t have dreams or aspirations or goals. Bob just doesn’t want to fail.
Because it’s easy to have dreams, isn’t it, when you suffer from Effed. There’s always a built in reason that your dream failed, or that you ran out of time and missed your window, or that it went too slowly. It’s a lot easier to have dreams with excuses than dreams without them.
Maybe you’re like Bob. Maybe you’re suffering and finding reasons for it. Maybe you too would prefer to blame a lack of movement and motivation on your exploding car or hamster or the weather or religious piety or your dogs bad breath. If you’re in this camp, let me tell you two things that someone should have told you a long time ago.
First, there are always, have always been, and will always be excuses. If you keep giving into them, your dream is going to die. It’s simple really. Not chasing your dream is like sitting on a conveyor belt heading into a furnace. You can run away from the flames. You can run into them. Or you can sit on your butt and be ushered there anyways.
Secondly, your dreams are worth chasing. They’re worth chasing whether they end in fame, fortune, and eternal love, or a fate worse than death — failure. Because at least when you chase them — at least when you take that plunge and try to see if you are capable of enduring the criticism and the pain and the sleepless nights — at least then you know how capable you are.
I spent 10 years chasing my dream to play music. Sometimes I was just like Bob. Sometimes I suffered from feeling Effed. But more often than not I handled the grind. And even though none of it worked out the way I had intended, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t all worth the trouble. Because that passion, that drive, that motivation — that hatred of procrastination and of blaming myself — and that tiny taste of success… it was worth it. Because now I know who I am.
And let me tell you, now that I’ve unearthed the real dream — the one that has been buried in my bones for so many years — I have all the skills I need to achieve it.
So just Eff it.
Go get your dream.