Unfortunately, just before you take your first step on the righteous journey to pursue your dreams, people around you, even the ones who deeply care for you, will give you awful advice. It’s not because they have evil intentions. It’s because they don’t understand the big picture—what your dreams, passions, and life goals mean to you. They don’t understand that, to you, the reward is worth the risk.
So they try to protect you by shielding you from the possibility of failure, which, in effect, also shields you from the possibility of making your dreams a reality.
As our friend Steve Jobs says:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
Here are ten ill-advised tips (lies) people will likely tell you when you decide to pursue your dreams and the reasons why they are dreadfully mistaken:
1. You can follow your dreams someday, but right now you need to buckle down and be responsible.
Someday? When is ”someday”? “Someday” is not a day at all. It’s a foggy generalization of a time that will likely never come. Today is the only day guaranteed to you. Today is the only day you can begin to make a difference in your life. And pursuing your dreams is what life is all about. So don’t be irresponsible. Don’t wait until “someday.” Make today the first day of the rest of your new life.
2. You’re totally screwed if it doesn’t work out.
Wrong! This is a giant, lame load of BS. You’re not even close to being screwed. In fact, the worst case scenario is that things don’t work out and you have to go back to doing exactly what you are doing right now.
3. It’s safer to stay at your day job.
Sure, I suppose. But you know what’s even safer than that? Going home, locking yourself in your bedroom, and never, ever coming out. And just like that, you will have flushed your entire life and your dreams down the toilet. Remember, safer doesn’t always mean better.
4. That’s impossible!
It’s only impossible if you never do anything about it. The reason certain things seem impossible is simply because nobody has achieved them yet. But this doesn’t mean that with your help these things won’t become possible in the future. If you truly dedicate yourself to an end result, almost anything is possible. You just have to want it bad enough.
5. Only a lucky few “make it.”
That’s because those lucky few got off their rear ends and did something about it! They had the drive, determination, and willpower that you have right now. You can be one of them. It’s up to you, and only you.
6. You might fail. And failing is bad.
Failures are simply stepping stones to success. No matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something: win–win. The biggest mistake you can make is doing nothing because you’re too scared to make a mistake. If you can’t handle failure, then you can’t handle success either.
7. You don’t have access to the right resources.
It’s not about having the right resources; it’s about exploiting the resources you do have access to. Stevie Wonder couldn’t see, so he exploited his sense of hearing into a passion for music, and he now has twenty-five Grammy Awards to prove it. Get it?
8. You need more money saved before you can take the first step.
You don’t need more money. You need a plan. You need a budget. Eliminate ALL the nonessential costs in your life. If pursuing your dream requires you to leave your day job, figure out the absolute minimum amount of income that you realistically require to live. Studying those who have succeeded with similar ventures also helps. But above all, take baby steps. Don’t be foolish and assume that you must have a certain amount of money saved right now, or that you must quit your day job today in order to pursue your dreams. Instead, ask yourself, “What actions can I take right now with the money and resources I have right now that will bring me closer to desired goal?”
9. You don’t need any help. It’s smarter to go after it alone.
You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with. If you hang with the wrong people, they will negatively affect you. But if you hang with the right people, you will be far more capable and powerful than you ever could have been alone. Find your tribe and work together to make a difference in all of your lives.
10. That sounds like a lot of hard work.
You’re darn right it does! But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. I think success in life hinges on one key point: finding hard work you love doing. As long as you remain true to yourself and follow your own interests, values, and dreams, you can find success through passion. Perhaps most importantly, you won’t wake up a few years from now working in a career field you despise, wondering, How the heck am I going to do this for the next thirty years? So if you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop. You’re onto something big. Because hard work ain’t hard when you concentrate on your passions and dreams.
Disregard these misguided bits of nonsense and you’ll be well on your way to fulfilling your dreams. Now get out there and make a splash!