By: Kgabo Chuene

I watched the Steve Jobs movie lately and it’s a story I’ve heard about before, quotes I’ve heard and read before, but this experience was rather different. I suspect it’s because I’ve been feeling a bit unaccomplished lately. I’ve been feeling behind. I think to myself that I’m 24 and that I have nothing to show for it, but don’t I really? When I think more on this I realise that when I say ‘nothing’ I mean the fact that I don’t have a place of my own and a car and the fact that my parents are pretty much still paying for my life. I often completely put behind my mind the things that I have accomplished and those that I’m busy working on. Someone told me that this is the 20s crisis. Ideally at my age I should be out of their pockets completely. Right? My life is playing out a little different and sometimes the pressure becomes unbearable and crippling rendering me unproductive among other unpleasant things.

Anyway, the movie got me thinking about the cost of greatness. If you know me you know how I believe that we should tell the whole story, all of it, and what I saw in that movie was a depiction of a life that was not Insta-perfect but a guy driven by a goal so much so that he would go to the extent of kicking out his pregnant girlfriend because to him that whole picture was a distraction from the goal. What a heavy and ugly thing to do. I then wondered if being great meant that you’d have to choose between the goal and other parts of your life that you actually want. I wrote the following after watching:

I went dreaming today. Not in that romantic kind of way, more like having the state of my life as it stands exposed and having a burning desire to not die this way. To not leave things as they look right now. I went dreaming today of a great future and I was painfully reminded of the cost of greatness. There’s a reason only a handful of people “make it” at an insane level, it takes from you. The sacrifices of greatness are huge. So is it true that we can’t have it all then? Or do we just all have to revise our idea of “all”? Like can I be a great wife and mother and take care of my home AND write a best seller AND compose at levels higher than Hans Zimmer? Can I have all of that? Because then if the answer is yes, then I am willing to pay the cost. I have trouble imagining paying the cost for a lopsided attainment of my full dream. This is my full dream, if I’m going to pay for it, I want all of it!

Going after your dreams is not as glamorous, painless and picture perfect as often depicted by media and social media in particular, there is blood and sweat involved. I’m not after things to be easy but I think the matter of chasing dreams is particularly difficult. There are stories of people who have tried to pursue their dreams and didn’t go all the way or even just failed, but we never hear anything about those guys. I want to know how that went, what they did and how they arrived at not pushing through, honestly I just want to know what not to do.

I can’t stand the idea of being in any other field but the Arts, even on my worst day at music school, I might think about maybe taking up another Art discipline but at least I know that Art is where I belong. Someone asked me how school is going and I replied “It’s kicking my ass but I love it” I think that’s as honest I could get using the English vocabulary, maybe I could get closer by saying that I was never ready for how much harder I’d have to work for something I love, and more than that, discovering that hard work doesn’t always translate to immediate results. This discovery came with a special kind of pain; going to a lesson and having my teacher think that I haven’t practiced when I thought I’d pushed so hard that week, for example.

Sometimes I just can’t shake that wanting isn’t enough. I think that passion can’t stand alone, that maybe all of it hinges on ability and believing in that. If I’m being really honest my biggest fear is wondering if I hate the things I can do well and love those I’m just okay at or bad at. What then must happen?! And I pray to God that this isn’t the case. The thing is that in a heartbeat I’ll tell anyone to go after their dreams but what I’d do differently now is also tell them that the real work begins on the other side and that they’d probably have to fight harder than they’ve ever had to, you know because there’s a reason not everyone does it.

So hectic guys, but I’ll leave you with a piece of hope ☺

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.P.S. I Love You

Read more articles by Kgabo

Someone told me I have to choose one. I intend on living all of my dreams. Found this article interesting? Leave a comment  or follow me on Twitter @Sabby_1


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so honestly, Kgabo. Too often we hear the story of the person standing on top of the mountain and not how they got there. Can we have it all? Often times if “all” means a hectic social life and top marks, then no we cannot have it all. When the friends go out partying, wanting the end goal means staying behind to study. Having the boardroom seat will mean not being able to attend every school function. Looking awesome in a matric farewell dress means saying yes to the exercise and no to the cake. Some things have to move in order to fit others in. Rather like juggling balls of different sizes. Some balls you hold onto longer.
    Oh and do know that you being able to write this in depth blog in your 20’s means that you are way closer to the top of the mountain and have more skills to get there than many others.

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you Collen. For reading and for the word of encouragement 🙂 . I appreciate it.

      Post a Reply
  2. Hie Kgabo. This is such an inspiring read !!! And more so to myself as i blog as well. I have an opportunity for you if you’re keen. Follow this link to my blog: http://www.we-are-fml.co.za and holla back if you’re interested in growing this brand alongside with the FML Team and myself.
    Awaiting a pleasant response.
    Peace, Love & GoodVibes

    Post a Reply
  3. This was just exactly what I needed, best part is it was posted on my birthday but I missed it. I am also going through a similar situation and this year has just been worse. I think I am going to save this and read it when ever I feel down. Thank you so much. I hope you haven’t given up. What instrument do you play by the way?

    Post a Reply
    • Hello Oarabile 🙂 I’m a vocal student. I’m glad you got something from this. Thank you for reading 🙂

      Post a Reply

Leave a Reply