“Follow your dreams” is probably the biggest cliche statement out there. Follow your dreams? You might as well ask me to go perform on The Voice…well, actually, that’s what a friend of mine did.
Matthew Schuler, former alum of my high school, Pennsbury High, performed on The Voice, 5th Season, which premiered September 23rd. Five seconds into his beautiful rendition of “Cough Syrup” by Young the Giant, all four judges (Levine, CeeLo, Aguilera, and Shelton), each quickly hit their buttons in what was known as the quickest four-chair turn in the show’s history. The crowd went nuts. Schuler got a handshake from Blake, a hug from the dame, even a sitting ovation from Levine where Adam climbed onto the top of his chair and just sat there in amazement. All in all, Schuler killed the performance, and right now, he’s where he wants to be. He’s not following his dreams, he’s chasing them. And those dreams are scared straight out of their minds seeing this big black dude running after them singing about syrup and what-not.
But what did Schuler do to get to where he is?
Is it because he can sing? Well, obviously it is, the man hijacked a cloud to heaven, wrestled with an angel, stole his voice, and returned to earth. And even in school, people knew him as the dude that could sing, his passion for music was just that intense. But there’s more to that, much more. Chasing your dreams is probably 1% skill, 99% outlook (I know, Thomas Edison said something similar, sue me). See, Schuler is a man of happiness; his outlook on life is not one of a grim state and attitude, but of optimism, and spreading smiles. I remember seeing him in high school, always approaching someone with a big grin on his face and an even bigger personality. And quite honestly, we all knew he would go so far in life, because of the light he spread into the lives of the people he contacted. He is the person he wants to be: someone who gets far because he believes he can do so.
Let that be you. Don’t stop chasing your dreams. Living for yourself can tend to get a little nasty, where if or when you fall, there’s no one there to catch you. But when you live for everyone, not just yourself, you’re doing both the people around you and yourself a huge favor. And it’s not out of deceit, but just great love. In the end, if you keep at it, and keep smiling, everything will work out. Because in reality, if you really want to live your dream, following is not enough; you need to chase that sucker.
I hope this can somehow inspire my fellow dreamers out there. Check out my bro, Matt Schuler’s blind audition. It’s sure to blow you away: