Since its appearance in late May, the video dubbed by MTV as “one of the most terrifying motivational speeches of all time” quickly became as popular as getting rick-rolled. In a minute-long clip, actor Shia LaBeouf delivers a startling motivational speech where he commands his audience to “Just do it!” With an entertaining over-the-top performance, the actual message of the video is easily lost in translation. Wondering why your dreams have been nagging you so much lately? It’s been almost six months since Shia LaBeouf commanded you to “Just do it” so why haven’t you?
“I don’t have the time.”
Let’s think mathematically for a moment. In a week, there are 168 hours. Now divide those hours between your occupations and regular habits. Let’s say you spend 40 hours per week in class, coursework and studying; 56 hours catching Z’s; and 35 hours eating, showering and commuting. All of those things only add up to 132 hours of your week, leaving 37 hours to turn your dreams into reality. Guess what? 37 hours equates to a day and a half.
You do have enough time. Do you want to make major fitness gains? Map out your schedule and pencil in gym time. Do you want to finish your great American novel? Set a word count goal and a day dedicated just for your written work. Find a way to squeeze in time for primary responsibilities, basic needs and the time needed to work towards personal or professional goals.
“I can’t do it.”
Have you tried yet? If you tried and failed, get back on the horse and try again. This excuse boils down to fear; whether it’s fear of humiliating yourself or the fear of failure. Even if you try taking baby steps toward this goal and find that your skill levels aren’t up to par, don’t take that realization as a sign that you should give up entirely. You’ll never reach that fantasy of yours with that attitude. Instead, take that realization as a call for growth. Train, practice or improve by any means necessary.
If you’re trying to become the next best actor, don’t cut yourself from the callback list after stumbling over a few lines. If you’re trying to become the school’s best belly dancer, practice those omis and hip circles until your hips fall off. In the end, when you find that you can actually do what you claimed impossible, those hours of relentless training and self-improvement will be more than worth it.
“It’s too risky.”
What success story doesn’t involve risky business? I’ll answer that: zero. Even if your dream is risky, that’s not a good enough reason to give up. Simply take whatever precautions necessary to minimize the risk. If you prepare your future with some sort of back-up plan, you can spend more time dedicated to your passion without worrying that following this passion will be your ultimate demise. You have your entire life ahead of you open to reach this aspiration.
If you want to declare a “risky” major like film or dance, go ahead. There’s no shame in following your career dreams; just save room for a back-up plan. Double major or minor in a more reliable subject area, like finance or hospitality, to be safe. As Shia said, “While some people dream of success, while you’re going to wake up and work hard at it!”
“I’ll do it later”
Like Shia said, “If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up.” Why put it off ‘til tomorrow when you can accomplish your goal today? If you keep putting your dream on the back burner, it’ll stay a far-off vision. Procrastinating on turning those fantasies into realities will only confirm that they stay unreal. Eventually, that window of opportunity will close and you’ll regret your lack of initiative.
Are you working on a screenplay for an eye-opening documentary that could be the next Super Size Me? Start piecing together the script line by line each day. Are you looking to apply for a leadership position in student government? Don’t wait until next semester; apply now. Are you eyeing that promotion at your internship that opens a lot of doors? What’s stopping you? Go for it already.
No matter what excuses you use to justify giving up on your dreams and taking the safe route, they’re not justified. Walt Disney once said, “All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Gather up whatever courage is inside of you and start today. Work your butt off until you can say, “I did it.” We all have one life to live and in the end, we’ll regret the chances we didn’t take. Shia said, “Don’t let your dreams be dreams.” Bottom line: Just do it!