David Walsh recently asked on Twitter what bad advice people were given when starting out in their career. He summed up his highlights in this blog post.
I like this final thought:
Every generation lets down the younger generation with bad advice; sometimes on purpose, other times for lack of vision. What I’ve learned from my experiences and those of others is that you can’t go wrong trying to inspire. No one will ever get mad when you support them chasing their dreams — but they will suffer if you keep them from the clouds.
Every situation and person is different, of course. But from my experience, there's always enough people around who will give the realistic, often pessimistic perspective. I hope, more often than not, that I can inspire and motivate someone to chase a dream a little further down the road.