If you know anything about me, you know that I’m one of those people that says “Follow your passion!” One of the most depressing things to me is passionate and talented people who feel obligated to set their creativity aside in favor of things they perceive as being more “practical” or financially lucrative. We give so much of our lives away to things we don’t care about, and I honestly think it’s a shame.
A lot of the problem is that people are unwilling to deal with the sacrifices and compromise that it often takes in order to pursue these dreams. For example, I am fortunate enough to be able to make videos and interact with my online audience as my primary source of income, which gives me the freedom to work on my own terms and on my own schedule. But in order to do that, I had to make sacrifices. I had to live in a tiny apartment and only shop at the discount market for food. I was not able to treat myself as often I’d like. In order to pursue my goals, I had to use time that I could have spent working a job and making money, working on my craft and paying my dues. I haven’t been perfect of course, I’ve been lazy, I’ve procrastinated, but I put all my chips on the table. And I’m still making sacrifices, although things are getting better. But for me, it was worth it because I’m following a passion and gaining the freedom that I crave. Not everyone is willing to make that compromise, however.
Those sacrifices are often left out of the narrative of following your passion. You often hear motivational speeches from successful people telling you how they worked hard and pursued their goal and everything worked out. But what we have to keep in mind is that not everyone starts from the same starting point. Some people have had a head start in life and if you compare your progress to theirs you may feel discouraged. I believe in passion and hard work, but I also believe in being practical. Don’t expect a magical, overnight fairy tale. You may get lucky, but just in case you don’t, prepare to bust your ass, and prepare to fail a few times before you succeed.