You can accomplish anything you set your mind to, provided you overcome these barriers first.
1. Your student loans: There’s not a whole lot you can accomplish while you’ve got that $126,000 cloud looming over your head, but give it 10 or 15 years and you’ll eventually see your bright future shining through!
2. Your significant other: Achieving your dreams requires a lot of time and attention, so all you’ve got to do is part ways with the person you love more than anyone else on earth and you’ll be completely free to dive into things headfirst.
3. Paying rent every month: In order to get paid to do what you love, usually you’ve got to do it for free first. But as long as your landlord still expects $900 every month, you can’t really afford to take any chances. Don’t worry, though, this is just a minor setback!
4. Your current location: Listen, maybe it’s possible to find your dream job where you’re currently living, but in all likelihood you’re going to need to pack up and move across the country to an entirely new city where the market’s more hospitable to your aspirations.
5. Your ex: When you broke up, your ex made some really fair points about how you didn’t have any balls and you would never work up the nerve to leave your hometown. But even though your ex had three years to intimately assess your capabilities and limitations, you’ve just gotta ignore the analysis and keep chugging!
6. Complacency: It’s hard to do what you really want to do when, all in all, the job you currently have is actually pretty good. Most people would be very pleased to have your job, and while it’d absolutely be ungrateful of you to throw it away to try something new, you can’t let your generally excellent circumstances repel you from pursuing something that very well could leave you penniless and unhappy.
7. Generally speaking, things are pretty decent right now: All things considered, things are pretty good for you. There’s really no need for you to strive toward something greater. But don’t let that stop you from striving toward something greater.
8. Your appearance: Take a look at those at the pinnacle of industry and entertainment, and you’ll realize that there aren’t many ordinary-looking people doing extraordinary things. Of course, don’t let the fact that most successful people look the part discourage your frumpy ol’ self from reaching for the stars!
9. Parental expectations: Your parents have often discouraged you from chasing after nonsense, and they’re proud of you just the way you are. In order to make it big, you’ll need to be ready to take on the crushing weight of their disappointment.
10. Your dog: Your dog isn’t the young pup he used to be, and moving to a faraway city to achieve your dreams would probably be pretty hard on the ol’ boy. But don’t mind those big, dopey, watery eyes of his. This is all about you!
11. Crippling doubt: Maybe you don’t really have anything to offer the world. Maybe you’re already doing exactly what you should be doing and you should just learn to be happy with it. But even if that’s the case, so what? You’ve got this!
12. Lack of necessary job experience: Your résumé doesn’t lie, and it’s clear you don’t have the experience it takes to do what you really want to do. While this definitely throws a wrench in your ambitions, it’s nothing that three to five years of low-paying cog work at a thankless-yet-prominent company can’t fix.
13. Your past: You’ve made some mistakes in your past that would almost certainly come back and bite you in the ass should you ever try to do anything better than what you’re currently doing. But who knows? You have to scroll through nine Google results for your name in order to find anything damaging, and maybe potential employers wouldn’t go through all that hassle.
14. The finite nature of time: If you don’t even have enough time to keep up with everything on your DVR, then it seems almost impossible that you’d be able to find the hours to completely overhaul your life. But if you just believe in yourself, anything is possible.
15. Your personality: You’re nice and all, but you don’t really come across as a go-getter. Be sure to work on that!
16. Your car payments: Like your rent, your car payments are really holding you back right now. When you get a chance, completely pay off your car so you can focus on what really matters.
17. Lack of a safety net: Let’s face it: If you try to pursue your dreams and you fail, there’s nothing really keeping you from ending up in the gutter. This is a towering psychological hurdle for you to overcome, but you can do it, buddy!
18. Your mediocre education: If you look at the Notable Alumni section of your school’s Wikipedia page, you’ll see a mass murderer, a guy who briefly pitched for the Cincinnati Reds, and the bassist for the Gin Blossoms. That’s incredibly depressing. Try not to dwell on that too much.
19. Your age: You’re already in your late 20s, and pretty soon all sorts of windows in life will start closing. Don’t worry, though—you still have a good two or three years before you have to fully resign to your current circumstances.
20. Embarrassment: If you think about it, it’s a little embarrassing to let your friends and family know that you’re chasing after your dreams. It’s basically saying, “I think I’m way more awesome than my current life situation would suggest,” and that’s weird. Not only that, but just think about how humiliating it would be to face all of them if and when you fail.
21. Patent law: Chances are someone’s already claimed exclusivity on any idea you may have, so don’t try anything if it’s already been tried before.
22. Statistical probability: You’ve gotta figure that, what, maybe only 3 percent or 4 percent of people actually truly achieve their dreams, which means that, right out of the gate, you really don’t have a shot. You never know, though!
23. Fear of commitment: To achieve your aspirations, you’ve really gotta go all in. You can’t half-ass things, and if there’s even a seedling of uncertainty about what you’re doing, it’s game over. But as long as your confidence is 100 percent unshakable, you should be fine.
24. Fear in general: So many things can go wrong! So many things are terrifying! Try to ignore all those things.
25. Lack of connections: To get a foot in the door on your bright new future, you’re going to need to know some key people. Be sure to establish relationships with important individuals at the forefront of your interests.
26. Corporations: No matter what you want to do, there are going to be corporations that are already doing it more profitably and efficiently, and they sure as hell won’t have any patience for little guys trying to make it on their turf.
27. Your laziness: In order to succeed, you’ll need to get over the fact that it would be way easier and more enjoyable to just stay inside and binge-watch TV shows for the rest of your days.
28. You were born into the wrong family: The life you’ve always wanted is definitely attainable! But you would’ve already made it happen had you been born into a better-connected family.
29. Thousands of people who are more talented than you: There are so many people who are more capable than you who are trying to do the exact thing you want to do. No biggie, though!
30. Not knowing where to start: How do you even get started on the road toward your ideal future? Who do you need to talk to? What qualifications do you need? What sorts of steps do you need to take? It’s unclear, but just go with your gut.
31. The economy: It’s a tough job market out there right now, even for people who have it all together and know exactly what they’re doing. But with any luck, the global economic tides will improbably shift in your favor, thousands of uncontrollable factors will align to your benefit, and the life you’ve always wanted will finally be within your reach.
And that’s it! Just get past these 31 minor impediments and you’ll be able to do anything you want!