E22 – The Band’s Gonna Make It!

Episode 22 . 26:16

E22 - The Band's Gonna Make It! - transcript:

What is up my friends? Welcome to another episode of Speakeasy English, the number one podcast on the internet if you only ask my mama.


Alright, so it is me, Brandon, back again with another episode. This time my lovely wife Leigh is not joining us. She’ll be back on in future episodes, but today you are stuck with little old me. So thanks for listening. As you know, this podcast is here to help you become completely fluent by giving you something to listen to in English every day. Because the only way to acquire a new language is by listening to that language every day, and specifically listening to content that you find interesting and that you can understand, more or less. So the ideal content (that means the perfect thing for you to listen to) would be English, you know, 100% English, that you can understand at least 60% to 85%. So if you understand less than 60% or 70%, then it is probably too advanced. And likewise, if you understand every single word I say, then you should probably find some content that is more advanced that will help you become completely fluent even faster. 


The idea of acquiring a language naturally, just by listening to content that you understand, that is called natural language acquisition. And I talk about it at length during the first ten episodes. So if you have not listened to the first ten episodes, pause this episode and download the first ten and listen to them. Now remember, listen to each episode multiple times. Listening to each episode multiple times with some space in between is the key to acquiring a language automatically and naturally. 


Okay, so today the episode is called “the band is gonna make it, the band’s gonna make it”. And in English, literally, that is someone saying that their band, the group they play music in, is going to become famous. As you know, it is very difficult to become a famous music group or a famous rock band. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of music groups trying to become famous, and only a handful (that means just a few) actually succeed in becoming famous. So, this statement is not exactly an idiomatic expression, but it is used as a sort of joke when people say, “hey, the band’s gonna make it”. What they are saying is that someone is continuing down a path that is very unlikely to yield success. That means this often happens when someone is, as we say in English, chasing their dream. Their dream might be to be a famous  musician or a famous football star, or even something less spectacular. Maybe a famous writer or dancer or painter. And while chasing that dream is certainly admirable, at some point in life, I believe it is a good idea to pause and ask ourselves some tough questions. 


First, I will say, if you are chasing your dream and you do not care if it ends up making you any money or yielding a comfortable and stable life for yourself and your partner and your children, then that’s fine. By all means, continue to chase your dream. But if you are like many people, trying to achieve a stable and comfortable life that you are proud of and happy with, at some point it is a good idea to pause and ask ourselves some questions. 


Now let me say I am not trying to be negative. I think it is great when people chase their dreams and feel inspired to paint, or to sing, or to dance, or to play sports, whatever it is that you are passionate about. I think that’s great. What I am specifically addressing here is that some people truly want stability and a comfortable life. If that’s you and you have been chasing your dream, then maybe this episode is for you. Maybe it will help you ask some interesting questions that will hopefully help you move in a direction that is good for you. So let’s get to it. 


The first thing I will say is that it is important in life to be realistic. So that means asking ourselves what are the odds? What are the chances that this thing works? That I become famous or that I become a professional sports player? This is black and white. That means it is objective. The statistics exist. So, how many people become successful musicians each year? How many people become professional athletes each year? How many new authors have bestselling books each year? These numbers exist, as well as the numbers on how many people are pursuing that goal. So my first advice is just to understand the numbers, to ask yourself, “okay, how many people are trying to do the same thing I am doing and how many people succeed each year?” Is it 20 out of 100? Is it one out of 100? Is it one out of 1 million? What are the chances? How many positions exist? 


Okay, so once you know how steep the competition is (that means how difficult the competition is and how good you will have to be to beat all the other people who are pursuing the same goal as you) – once you have an understanding of the numbers and the actual odds of ending up where you want to end up, then I think it is important to think about the opportunity cost of chasing this dream. What is opportunity cost? So in economics there is a concept called opportunity cost. And the opportunity cost is the next best thing. So if I am trying to decide between watching a movie and going for a walk, if I choose going for a walk, then watching a movie is the opportunity cost. That means going for a walk cost me the opportunity to watch a movie. In other words, I had to give up watching a movie in order to go for a walk. Well, this concept is the same in your everyday life and certainly in your career choice. You have been chasing your dream and pursuing this idea that has consumed you. And it is important to ask yourself the question, what other things have you not been able to do and that you will not be able to do if you continue chasing your dream? Because all of the other things are the opportunity cost of chasing that dream. This is a hard question to ask ourselves. To say, “is my dream keeping me imprisoned in a pattern that is not leading me where I want to be?” Is my dream preventing me from exploring all the other paths that life has to offer? And again, this is a very hard question because our dreams mean a lot to us, and it can be heartbreaking to realize that maybe our dream has clouded our vision and blocked us from being able to see other valuable things in life that we could be doing. 


The next hard question that I recommend we ask ourselves is, what exactly is it that you want most in life? And hopefully that is not a material thing. I hope your goal is not just to make a bunch of money for the sake of having lots of money. That is called greed and it is a horrible trait. So what do you want? What do you want most in life? Is it a feeling? Do you want to feel proud of something you’ve built or something you’ve done? Do you want to feel loved? Do you want a family of your own? Is that what you want most in life? Or do you want freedom? Do you want freedom to do the things you love or to travel, or to do whatever you want in a given day? If we have not asked ourselves what we want, then we are living blind. We cannot possibly see the right way to go if we don’t even know what we are trying to do. And so I think it is important and yes, difficult, but necessary, to ask ourselves questions like what is it that I even want in life? 


I will share with you personally and be a little bit vulnerable here. The concept of being proud, of building a life that I am proud of, has always spoken to me. Even right now, as I say these words, I get goosebumps. That’s the little bumps on your skin. And maybe you can hear it in my voice, but I get tears in my eyes because I’ve been through periods where I was not proud of myself, and in fact, I was ashamed of my lifestyle and the way I treated people. And I realized in that moment that it was very important to me to feel pride instead of shame. And that came from inside me. That came from doing the right thing when nobody was watching. And, you know, this is very personal, right? You have to find what you want in your life. Is it a feeling? Is it pride, or is it freedom? Is it the ability to travel? Is it a family? Is it children that look up to you and are proud of you and love you? Like what do you want? And so I encourage you to pause and put your phone away, turn off the television, shut off Facebook, and spend some time in reflection and think of what it is that you actually want in life. 


Okay, that got deeper than I expected. That means I did not originally intend this episode to be so personal or profound, but, um, here we are! So I hope you enjoy this authenticity. And enjoy getting to know me a little bit better. So now that we have asked ourselves some really hard questions, I challenge you to ask yourself one more question. Is it possible that perhaps chasing your dream is not the best way to have the life of your dreams? Is it possible that pursuing this interest, this dream, is not the best way to get what you actually want most out of life? And you are the only person that can answer that question for you. And so, take time and think and answer that question for yourself. And if you are starting to think that maybe that is true, that maybe chasing your dream isn’t the best way to get what you want most in life, then I have another challenge for you: I challenge you to try and see your dream in a different light. That means see it differently. 


What I mean is that it is very easy to think that if you give up (if you stop chasing your dream), that all the time you spent painting or practicing your sport or your instrument, or playing concerts with your band – it’s very easy for our minds to become negative and say “that was all a waste”. If I give up now, then I wasted all this time. And that is where I challenge you to see your dream differently. Maybe the time invested doing something that you loved was not a waste. Maybe that time was intrinsically valuable. That means that just doing something you loved was worth it, without expecting any benefit or payment afterwards. Maybe your dream is still valuable. Maybe it is still worthwhile as a hobby. Maybe it does not have to be your career, and maybe you should be proud of all the wonderful moments that you spent enjoying something that you are passionate about. I encourage you to understand and believe that spending time doing things you love is good just because it is good. It does not need to lead to a specific outcome. Life is comprised of the moments we spend, and it is hard to think of a better way to spend your moments than doing things you loved. So again, I encourage you to see your dream as being good because it is good, because you enjoy doing it, and not because it will lead you to some specific career or fame. Maybe it’s just good because you like it. 


Okay, so if this is hitting home, that means if this is talking to you and you feel like it is applicable to you, then at this point you might be thinking, “okay, so it’s time to think about the future and think about a future that maybe does not include chasing my dream anymore. So now what? What am I supposed to do if not chase this dream?” To that question I will give two answers. First is that, just because you are not chasing your passion and your dream, that does not mean that you cannot pursue something interesting that you find enjoyable and fulfilling. So take time to think about what you might enjoy doing. You don’t have to love it and be crazy passionate about it. But think about the things that you enjoy, or at least don’t mind doing. Do you like interacting with people, for example? Do you like teaching people new things? Do you like being creative? Do you like being physically active or doing physical work, physical labor? Take some time to ask yourself these questions, and if you have some ideas then my advice would be to pursue something that has very clear steps toward your goal. If you are going to start a project or start a business, you should be able to write a plan, a business plan, that has very clear steps that you are going to take to end at your goal. If you have no idea how to get to your goal, then you should probably think of a new goal. Whatever you are going to try and do, you need a plan. You will not wake up one day achieving your goal without a plan. 


Now, I said I had two answers and that was my first one. My second answer is for those of us that say, “okay, I have no idea”. I don’t have a project or a business that I want to start. I don’t even know where to begin. And that might be the majority of us. To answer that question, I will share the same advice that my favorite professor (when I was going to college at the university), my favorite professor bought me lunch one day and I asked him, “how do I know what I should do with the rest of my life? I have no idea.” And his response was… it was comically simple. That means it was so simple it was funny. He said, “get a job, get a job, any job.” He said, “Until you are in the workforce (that means until you are in the labor market and actually doing work) you have no idea what you want to do. So go get a job and learn that job. And when you are in that job, you are going to interact with people that are in other jobs. And that process is going to help you discover what sort of job you want. But until you start somewhere, you have no idea. So get a job.” I still laugh about that advice, and I’m still surprised at how intelligent that advice was. I have friends who have never had a real job because they believe they are better than “entry level” jobs, so they won’t take any job because they believe they are more talented or qualified than an entry level job. And so because they never take any job, they have never progressed in their career. They are still not employed. And so again, I echo the advice of my professor: get a job. You do not have to stay in that job forever, but it will help you to understand what type of work you will find rewarding and what type of work you will not. It is a wonderful place to start when you don’t know where else to go. 


Alright, I will stop there. I really appreciate you staying with this episode until the end. I hope that you have found my advice helpful. And if you have any questions or even comments, let’s say you disagree with what I am saying, please send me an email! That will help me to know what you are thinking, and it will also help you to practice your English. So my email is brandon@speakeasyenglish.club. 


As always, I will post the transcript of this episode for free on our website so you can read the transcript after you listen to the episode. Now, don’t read the transcript at the same time as you listen. No no no. I recommend that you listen first, once or maybe twice, and then separately read the transcript. This process will be very powerful and help your brain to acquire the vocabulary and sentence structure that I am using. Also, don’t forget to leave a five star review! That will help me so much to reach other English students just like you that are trying to become fluent in English. Alright, thanks so much and I will see you in the next episode. Cheers!

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