I know the type very well. The people who had a dream. The zombie look on their face, the fat growing on their belly, an ugly token of the burden of a failed dream. They didn’t have the guts, the drive, the courage and the determination to pursue their dream, some didn’t even get as far as dream.

I know them, I recognize the type instantly, and I avoid them at all costs, because they bore me, they try to drag you down, as if failed dreams create a local rise in gravitational pull.

My father was one of them. And I remember him saying: you are not gonna make it, you don’t have the talent. I got so mad and his remark ignited so much drive within me, that by the end of his life he was finally able to say: ok, you’re a better writer than I am, go for it.

But a lot of parents don’t do that, they keep hiding behind their excuses and they push their children into safety traps such as a steady career with a steady pay-check and a steady highway to dreariness and oblivion.

My partner, Dieter Walckiers, still feels the weight of the failed dreams around him and the tentacles of the safety trap his environment throws at him. But he resists, and he will keep pulling free. He has that spark in his eyes. It’s the spark the excuse people fear more than anything in life. It could set an example, they could discover they were wrong not to pursue their dream. When you put your passion to sleep, it will come to hunt you in your dreams.

It will hide in the shadows, and put fat on your belly.

A bad job buys you an early grave, a good job buys you a zombie life, a great job gives you thre real you.

The video:


In this funny and blunt talk from TEDxUW, Larry Smith pulls no punches when he calls out the absurd excuses people invent when they fail to pursue their passions.

A professor of Economics at the University of Waterloo in Canada, Larry Smith coaches his students to find the careers that they will truly love.