The Brutal Reality of “Following Your Dreams” – That No One Talks About

by Alexander Heyne · 12 comments

Tropical 2

I get emails all the time from people telling me “If only I found my passion and purpose life would be so easy!”

… And I think these people are sometimes seriously deluded.

The implication in every single one of these emails is that “living your passion” is something that is easy. Just quit your job and follow your passion. Just work on your business and it will blow up if you love it enough and work hard enough.

But the reality is way less sexy. Let me tell you what reality looks like. What the reality of “making your dreams happen” looks like.

Daily hell schedule

I work 9-5 in my dayjob. I go right from work to the gym. I’m home around 6:30/7. I cook dinner. Then I work on my business for 3-5 hours. Then I sleep around midnight.

That’s my entire life right now.

5/6/7 days a week.

You know where you often find me on Friday and Saturday nights? Alone in a cafe working. (Today’s Friday, I’m going right from work to the gym for an hour, then right to a cafe until 9 pm for 3 hours of work before going out). I won’t be home before 10 pm.

Guess what I do on my Saturday and Sunday afternoons? Freelance and meet clients for extra money (to travel), and work on my business and passion projects. Most weekends I set my alarm on Saturday, and Sunday.

Do I still get to travel? Yeah. In fact, this year I took four vacations. Two of them were international trips (costa rica & thailand). I actually spent about 8 weeks on vacation this year, maybe more.

But the truth is that it’s really goddamn exhausting.

I’m not saying this to try and discourage you or anything. I’m saying this to just remind you: yeah, pursuing your destiny, your dream, your passions is 100% worth it – but you will suffer, and you will pay for your success.

In other words, you have to give something to get the life you want. And often you have to give a shitload before you magically “arrive” at the life you want.

And for those of you whose passion might involve building a business or becoming an entrepreneur:

Guess what? If you’ve never done that before, you can look at investing hundreds of hours (like 500) before even earning your first dollar consistently.

Do the math – that’s 1.5 hours a day for a year – and that’s being optimistic. Most of you it will take several years of failures before creating a business that succeeds.

It Ain’t All Unicorns and Rainbows…


Really, what I’ve been going on about here at Milk the Pigeon is a few key things:

  1. You have to figure out what kind of stuff you like (Read this)
  2. You have to figure out what in the hell you want – what success means for you (otherwise you’re a drifting leaf)
  3. You have to figure out what path to take, in other words, how to actually make it happen
  4. You have to work smart, hard, be unique, push yourself, and be comfortable living in discomfort

And the most important one of all.

You have to be content with failing 100x a day.

Seriously, you’re going to fail so much you’re going to cry… and then wonder if driving your car off a cliff would be easier than following the path you’re on now.

The past two years have produced more man-tears and sleepless nights for me than the past 26 combined.

That’s just the nature of the beast.

If you’re jumping into the darkness, following a path few people have blazed, this is just the way it goes. Gotta find the path first. Then you gotta hustle down the path. Then you get lost, and realize you went down the wrong path. Then you realize you got the wrong map.

… Then you start over again, a 100 times, and keep going.

And eventually, you get there.

This is the nature of pursuing your destiny. Doing that which is in your DNA (as Gary V says).

Follow your DNA. Don’t question it.

The Reality is This

Following your dreams, pursuing your passion, building a business, architect-ing your dream life is anything but easy.

Easy is dying slowly in your cubicle, in a boring existence you didn’t even want, that just kinda happened to you.

Easy is drinking yourself retarded on Friday, rather than using that time to take one micro step closer to the life you want.

Easy is just staying paralyzed and not taking action, because anything else requires “effort” and thinking.

… But not everything that’s easy makes you happy, right?

Follow your DNA. Pursue your destiny. Live the life you know you were meant to live.

You will fail 100x a day. I promise you that. You’ll work on something for a year and realize you had the wrong map the entire time.

You’ll talk yourself up immensely, and then get punched in the face by life.

Doesn’t matter.

Just keep going, it’s your own unique path, your mission, and you can’t let it go no matter what.

Plus, one day you’ll arrive. And it will be epic.

- Alex

(Don’t forget to enjoy the ride).

Thoughts? Tell me below.

P.S. Coaching is starting today, and I’ve already started emailing people back. I’m limiting it to 5 spots right now as I test out to see what you guys really wanna make happen in your own life. If you’re ready, watch this video and get started.

 

 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

ChrisA March 7, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Dude! I really hope you make it – i’m feeling your pain.

My situation is KIND of similar in that I get up early, do passion stuff for an hour, work 8:30-5, come home, workout (garage gym, which makes things much easier), eat and then passion stuff again. My job is not actually very stressful and my life isn’t that hectic, but in the name of being disciplined i’ve had to neglect things like social/love life, drinking/partying (which I don’t really miss) and general freedom to do what I want. I have inner hissy fits and there are days where I just think “F*** all of this”, but being able to continue on your path in the face of adversity is absolutely crucial.

I think having a financial/money based things as your dream is a huge challenge because it toys with your patience and emotions on an almost daily basis. There is no proven formula for success and hard work doesn’t necessarily translate into results. There is also a crazy amount of luck involved.

With this in mind, I honestly believe that everyone should have a “rock” passion that they can turn to. By this I mean something (a skill, a hobby, a creative art) that you can slow burn progress with, that delivers tangible results, and is not dictated by money. Something that’ll continue to serve your soul whether you become a billionaire or not. Failure is essential for growth, but as human beings we also depend on reward. Some people choose alcohol, junk food, drugs as their reward, but it’s 100x more fulfilling to be learning and developing a skill.

Sorry for the essay. Keep going brother!

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sebastian March 8, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Great post! It fits my experience 100% …

I quit my banking job last year. Today I work twice as long, seven days a week. In retrospect, my banking job was pretty easy. All I had to do was “show up, produce some results, and earn decent money”.

Today I have less money and less free time. But I have something invaluable. Purpose.

I wake up early up and I burn through the day. I simply like what I do. I`ve failed so many times over the last months, but it doesn`t matter.

For me it`s a good deal.

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olivia March 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Completely on point. This is the heart of the issue I think, a lot of people have an idea of what they want to but aren’t used to pushing themselves that hard and think it’ll some sort of automatic process once they’ve found their “passion.” I’m saying this because this is 110% me, ugh.

I’ve thought about being a writer my whole life – but now have this nagging feeling like I’m not good enough. The truth is, I’m probably not right now, but through giving it everything I can get better.

I’m also guilty of reading tons of motivational articles like this daily and never doing much about it .. thinking I should just stop reading now since I pretty much know what I need to be doing. But for what it’s worth – yours is by far the best blog I’ve read on this sort of topic :D

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Alexander Heyne March 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm

“This is the heart of the issue I think, a lot of people have an idea of what they want to but aren’t used to pushing themselves that hard and think it’ll some sort of automatic process once they’ve found their “passion.” I’m saying this because this is 110% me, ugh”

Olivia, let me start with this – it IS easier once you’ve found your passion. It isn’t always hard work, and 90% of the time (for me anyways) it’s purely fun, even when working long hours.

“but now have this nagging feeling like I’m not good enough. The truth is, I’m probably not right now, but through giving it everything I can get better.”

I disagree. Chances are, you ARE good enough, you just have to begin and get over that psychological hurdle.

“I’m also guilty of reading tons of motivational articles like this daily and never doing much about it .. thinking I should just stop reading now since I pretty much know what I need to be doing.”

Start :)

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Dong Cheadle March 10, 2014 at 6:25 pm

“Seriously, you’re going to fail so much you’re going to cry… and then wonder if driving your car off a cliff would be easier than following the path you’re on now.

The past two years have produced more man-tears and sleepless nights for me than the past 26 combined.

For almost three years I made virtually no progress in any facet of my life, which was the scariest goddamn thing possible.”

This is why I love reading your Blog, “real talk” you don’t sugar coat shit

I’m still trying to find my passion, too bad our society doesn’t encourage and facilitate this process more.

I like going to heavy metal/hardcore shows, cooking/brewing beer, weight lifting and working on my motorcycle/JEEP (went to school for Mechanical Engineering, now im stuck in a “sales” job).

So if you see a Brewery/Gym/Mechanic/Concert Venue pop up, then it will be me chasing my dream(s).

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Alexander Heyne March 10, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Hey Dong,

No prob dude, I try to keep it real here. There is so much artificial bullshit these days… people are already so misled and have a hard time finding “themselves” as is, so I try my best to be 100% real and upfront about my successes and failures.

Keep fighting and testing dude – you will find it, sooner than later. Test test test, take people out for coffee, pick their brain, make connections, hustle and make it happen.

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Drea March 11, 2014 at 12:06 am

You rock. Dead on every time. I’m writing a book that will be controversial but good. Hoping to connect after it’s published.

Thanks for the work you do!!

Best,
Drea

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Alexander Heyne March 16, 2014 at 10:47 am

Cheers Drea !

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Wlad Huber March 20, 2014 at 3:44 am

Love this post. Agree 100% with you. The path is hard and when you believe to own the world on monday you can be in a huge depression on tuesday. It is the path of the one`s who are fighting for their dreams. It is not easy to keep going but what else is there to do, right? Wish everybody a wonderful day. Wlad @upupandout

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Alexander Heyne March 20, 2014 at 9:26 am

Spot on Wlad!

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Niki March 24, 2014 at 6:45 am

Useful article Alex. So many people work so much to make money but they never get the chance to enjoy life. Living your dream is certainly not easy. I quit my job a few years ago because I didn’t like the job and the program. Since then I managed to have a dayjob that I like and also have some free time and work on my personal projects. It sounds good but it’s a constant work to keep it this way. But I love what I do and I hope things will get better in the future.
Failing …oh yes and it’s a constant learning process. Sometimes I feel lost and there are moments when I’m thinking if all this is in vain. But I know it’s just the pressure talking so I usually disconnect from everything for a while and remember why I started. It helps very much to keep yourself motivated every day.

Wish you all the best Alex ! :)

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Alexander Heyne March 24, 2014 at 10:51 am

Cheers Niki :)

Reply

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