Work your ass off. Never stop chasing your dreams. Don’t you dare give up hope and let yourself start slacking, because it might take decades for you to reach the place you have been daydreaming about during late nights.
You aren’t going to reach your lifelong dreams overnight. You have to stop putting impossible pressure on yourself and holding yourself to unrealistic standards, because you can’t rush success.
There is no set timeline for how long it’s going to take to earn your dream position. Mary Shelley was only 21 when she published her first major work, but Jane Austen was 36 and Maya Angelou was 41. You can’t compare your milestones to anyone else, because everyone moves at their own pace.
There is no way to guess how long it will take for you to reach your goals, which might be discouraging, but it should really feel encouraging. Sure, it might take you decades to reach your ultimate goal — or you might end up with a life-changing opportunity tomorrow. Or next week. Or next month.
This might be the last year of your life where you’re struggling to achieve your dreams. This time next year, you might be this close to accomplishing them. But if you’re not, you have to keep going. You can never lose faith in yourself.
It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. Or how many times you get rejected. Or how many people tell you that you should give up and get a real job. You are allowed to do what you want with your own life. You are allowed to say no to a 9-5 job and take a risk, as long as you are willing to accept the consequences — because there are consequences.
If you are choosing to follow your passion instead of taking the easy route, then you have to work your ass off on a daily basis. You have to deal with more criticism than you’re used to hearing. You have to deal with uncertainty and insecurity and self-doubt.
For the rest of your life, you will have to continue pouring your heart into what you’re doing. You will have to work your hardest every damn day. You will have to be productive, even when you feel like hitting snooze. You won’t be able to let yourself slow down. You won’t be able to let yourself take a break, even on your bad days, the days when you suddenly feel like it’s pointless to keep trying.
Of course, you should never tell yourself the work you’ve been doing is pointless. Everything you have been doing is going to pay off one day. Even if it doesn’t, following your passion is never a waste of time, because you are enjoying yourself. You are doing what you love. You are following your soul.
If the career you are chasing after is truly what you’re passionate about, then it shouldn’t matter how much money you’re making or how much recognition you’re getting. The only thing that should matter is how much better you get at your craft day by day.