Society implicitly tells us that if we follow our dreams, we are living in a dream world. If you let people know that you are investing yourself — time, money, energy — into your passion, you’ll get the standard three-penny lecture warning you about how few people “make it” (whatever your definition of “make it” may be).
But I think the important thing to realize is that we are all living in our dream world already. While I am not particularly spiritual, I believe the mind (brain, consciousness, what-have-you) is an incredibly powerful muscle. You may not be able to wish up a pot of gold or fly to Never-Never Land (or alternatively wish-away bad turns of luck), but you can determine what your life is going to be like in many ways.
I believe that people who tell you that you are living in a dream world are often living their own dreams of mediocrity. They can’t imagine that anyone other than the already successful are able to support themselves doing what they love, so the world they create for themselves is one of striving for nothing. Maybe many of them are happy that way, defining their lives by the standards others set for them or by their own fears…but I doubt it.
I try to remember all this when faced with people who “just have your best interests at heart.” I don’t doubt that they do, but I’m not a young child determined to grow up to become a pony. I’m an adult making informed decisions about something that is important to me. I understand the risks and what the fallout will be if I fail.
I think true friends are the ones who don’t tell you that you’re living in a dream world, but instead are the ones who ask you to describe what your dreams are.