When I try to think of what I’ve been told growing up and what made me what I am today, I have a hard time because most of the things my family taught me were through their actions and visions of the world rather than through words. However, there’s one thing my sister has repeated to me times and times over: “L’effort, après le réconfort.” It’s French(obviously) and literally means “The effort first, then the comfort.” And it is basically all about saying that the reward only comes after you’ve worked.
I was a young girl always willing to jump on snacks as soon as I’d get bored of homework(and God knows how fast that would happen, ha!)rather than finishing it before I rest. And she kept telling me this. Every time I wanted to give up before I’d even started, she’d say it. I, of course, pretty much ignored it most of the time. Like, ugh, it’s just school, let me snack! But as I grew, I guess I digested the words and they got inked beneath my skin, and it became a huge part of how I deal with life. And I’m really thankful for that.
I believe it’s really important to have this kind of self-discipline, to be able to tell yourself that the reward only comes after the effort, that you have to get work done before deserving rest and fun. I’ve seen too many people not understanding the concept of hard-working to get something. Too many people just sit there and hope things just happen to them, when really, it’s all up to them. If you really want to do something, to become something, I believe you should have enough strength to make it happen. Things rarely just happen, like “that”. If you want something, you set your will level to maximum and you try your best each day to get closer to your goal.
“Oh, I’m a bit tired today, I’ll just lay in the couch all afternoon and watch a movie. I’ll work later.” Well, you can. You can just keep resting all day, every day; but keep in mind that “when you’re not practicing, someone somewhere is practicing and when you meet him, he will win“(Ed Macauley according to Google). This just basically means that there are people out there who are being more serious than you are about their dreams and one day you’ll see them up there and you’ll think “I wish I could be there too!”. If you just lay around and keep dreaming instead of building a reality that fits your desire, your dream’s bubble won’t be popped and it will keep floating away(and away from you.)
It’s not easy everyday to keep yourself working when you’re on your own, I know that. It’s hard to find the strength to do something when you live in a dead house or you’re not surrounded by the right people. It’s always hard to work against the current. But you’ve got to push to pull on through, because you’ve got dreams! And not because everyone else seem to wallow in vegging out and procrastinating means you should just let all the negativity and lack of determination contaminate you. It’s a real disease.
If you have dreams, you must keep a tight grip on them and bring them down to Earth where they can become your reality. Unless, of course, you just like the idea of having dreams because it feels good to imagine alternate realities but rather stick to a more ordinary kind of life and do something simple and easy.
Here’s the way I see it: I’m turning 20 this year and all I want is to form a band and just make music forever. But I can barely play the guitar(because I had to go from right-handed to left-handed player which threw my three years of guitar to the trash)and I’m not sure I should mention my singing. Ha ha! I can’t just be okay with not working(even if just a bit)every day!! If I end up not being able to make that dream come true, I’ll only have myself to blame. And I can’t let that happen. It’s all I want. So, I’m fighting for it.
I know that I’m young and I should be making the most of my days but that’s what I’m trying to do. Putting(trying at least) all I’ve got in all I know: music. How is that making the most of it? Well, my goal is to get decent enough fast so that as soon as I find the guys for my band we can start working even harder and be able to play as fast as possible so that then we can enjoy ourselves. So, I’m trying to squeeze out the most progress I can from each day I have. Instead of partying, I stay in my house and practice.
I don’t think that I deserve rest right now. Now is the time to work. The day I’ll be in that tour bus with all my worn out bandmates after a show, that’ll be the day I deserve a beer, a pizza and video games. For now, my priority is practicing and getting better. It’s all I can do until I find them and we can pave our way to our first gig. I’ll get better for you, guys, I promise I will. And I will find you!
Alright, I’m not going to lie, I do sometimes still go for the comfort before working(and end up not working afterwards…)which is really bad, I realize that, and I always feel awful afterwards. But sometimes I just can’t control it, it’s the atmosphere that I’m living it which encourages it. Even though going against the current has been a way of life for me ever since I decided to make someone out of myself, it’s still hard. It actually takes a lot of energy thus rendering me quite tired, which makes it difficult to work. However, I’m not saying that you should never rest and become a machine. I’m saying it ain’t okay to rest if you’ve not worked today; what are you tired for if you didn’t do anything? I believe that rest is part of those things that need to be earned.
When I truly focus and tell myself to do something before I deserve anything, I can go a whole day without eating. The mind is strong and should be the one in charge. If I decide I’m going to wake up early tomorrow to have more time to work, I don’t need an alarm for I have decided so and I will. If I decide I’ll finish that damn song that I still haven’t finished today, I’ll make sure I will. It’s actually not that hard to do things, you just need to be willing to. And, usually, if there’s a reward at the end of the tunnel, it helps. I mean, who wouldn’t like a nice horror movie marathon around pizzas and beers after a nice afternoon of bleeding their fingers out on their 6-strings? 😉
Now, I’m far from being the hard-working person I might sound like when you read all those words. But I’ve got the spirit and I’m getting there, quickly breaking the bad habits I developed over the years. And I believe you can too! You just need to teach yourself, you know, like you would teach tricks to a dog with treats.
If you’ve always been a lazy-butt, but are willing to jump in the hard-working train, you can do it but not without a little running! You just have to slowly build that relation between work and reward. Set a goal for the day, stick to it and when it’s done, treat yourself. And then, I believe that you’ll slowly absorb this whole concept and you’ll able to discipline yourself and work hard towards a goal that matters to you.
Step by step you can kill that sloth addict and become a fighter for whatever it is you want.
I wish more people would understand that it’s all about hard-work. That you can’t get anything if you don’t work for it. I wish they’d see more than just the tip of the iceberg of success. And I wish more people would see that it’s all up to them, that they decide if they are tired or if they can or can’t do something. It’s all up to them to get off their ass and make things happen, make life happen.
Quite a long post, huh? And to say what? That you shouldn’t eat cake before you start working because it wouldn’t teach your mind the values of hard-work.
So, guys, remember: work, work, work! And then you’ll deserve that cake!