Entry 56: Conditional Copout

Location: Sydney, Australia

“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”

- Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

            Good ideas aren’t that hard to come by, it’s finding the effort that’s difficult. How many times have you been with a friend(s) and they said, “wouldn’t it be awesome if we ___________?” The idea is often then met with instant support. That would be a great idea after all. Support, however, is short lived. It will soon be followed up with “but.” But that costs money. But that would take practice. But that would require effort. Being conditional only opens the door for laziness.

            Take a second to think about how many good ideas you’ve watched pass by. Wouldn’t it be awesome if I started practicing guitar every day? Wouldn’t it be fun to plan a camping trip for this weekend? Wouldn’t it be nice to stop eating junk and get in good shape this year? They are all the same. You thought about it, realized it was a great idea, and proceeded, for whatever reason, to not do it. 

            I’m going to make a proposition. Be accountable to your ideas and stop being conditional. Instead of asking wouldn’t it be awesome if, ask a different question: Won’t it be awesome when? Won’t it be awesome when we take that trip? Won’t it be great to run a marathon? And the list goes on.

            In 2013, my friend Jeremy and I started talking. We were sitting in class dreaming of traveling. “Won’t it be awesome when we go to Australia?” we asked. The question had an obvious answer. “It will be.” Each time we talked about our trip to Australia, the conversation always ended with one of us saying, “this is happening.” We may not have even believed that it would, but we were going to fake it until we made it real.

            Fast-forward two years. Jeremy and I are putting on suits and checking our tickets. We had plenty of time before the show started at the Sydney Opera House. Walking through the streets of Sydney, Australia, we would occasionally start to laugh in disbelief. We’d made it. And to answer our own question, yes, it was awesome. It had taken two years to get to Australia. Two years of collecting pennies, midnight phone calls, and convenient visa expirations to get us to Australia. Nevertheless we had arrived and a long term goal had been conquered. 

            Often, the amount of time it takes to accomplish something is what defines the task as difficult. Going to Australia was not overly difficult, but it did take time. Whatever your goal is, don’t let the amount of time it will take stop you from making that dream a reality. We couldn’t have known that it would take two years to get to Australia. It would have been easy to sit back and wait for an opportune moment, but if we had, we would probably still be waiting. Opportune moments rarely come knocking on your front door. More than likely you will have to, as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson puts it, “kick that b*tch in, smile and introduce yourself.” Time will pass either way, but you get to decide what you do with the time as it passes

            Realizing what your dreams are is sometimes so simple. Paul Coelho wrote, “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” Don’t let a fear of failure make you a daydreamer and don’t make it any harder on yourself by adding the idea of impossibility. And when you’ve achieved your goals, you’ll get to answer your question: Won’t it be awesome when…? No, it will be even better.