1. Some days are tough. The saying about how if you do what you love you’ll never work a day in your life is bullshit. Following your passions takes effort. Ignoring the people who swear you’re never going to make it takes effort. Reaching your dreams take effort. And strength. And perseverance. Even though it’s worth it to follow your dreams, don’t assume it’s going to be easy. It’s going to be the hardest thing you’ll ever do.
2. Some people who love you aren’t going to support you. Your family and friends want what’s best for you, so if there’s a chance you could fail (which there always will be), then they might discourage you from following your dreams. They might want you to play it safe. They might want you to be careful. But what they want doesn’t matter. Your career isn’t their decision.
3. Your free time will start to blend with your work time. It’s important to create a strong separation between your work life and your social life, but when you’re following your dreams, that’s difficult to do. All of a sudden, the thing you used to do in your free time for fun has become your job. That’s a beautiful thing, but it can also become a dangerous thing if it’s the only thing in the world you care about. You have to remember, there’s more to your life than your job, even if it’s your favorite part of your day.
4. You’re probably going to experience burnout. You’re so excited you’re finally doing what you love for a living that you work as much as possible. You don’t give yourself permission to slow down, because you don’t want to slow down. You’re stressed, but you’re excited. You’re swamped, but you’re passionate. While that fire can be a good thing, it can also convince you to push yourself too far. Even though you’re excited about your work, you have to take breaks from it sometimes. You have to give yourself a chance to rest.
5. Some people aren’t going to be happy for you. Some people will like you better at your lowest than your highest. Once you reach a goal you’re excited about, some people aren’t going to be cheering you on. They’re going to be resentful or jealous or bitter or just plain uninterested. Even though their reaction can hurt, at the same time, some of your biggest supporters are going to be people you never would have guessed. You’re going to be pleasantly surprised by who shows up in your corner.
6. Your goals only become bigger. When you’re first starting out, you might think you’ll feel successful once you reach a certain point. But once you actually reach that point, you aren’t going to be satisfied. You’re going to come up with a new goal for yourself. You’re going to continue working, continue moving forward, continue feeling like a failure until you reach your next milestone. You’re probably not going to stop to celebrate as much as you should. You’re going to keep going, going, going.