By Will Robinson
January 27, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Chris Pratt’s career is soaring. He starred Jurassic World — one of the highest-grossing films in history — and is currently working on two high-profile projects: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 and Passengers with Jennifer Lawrence.

But on Wednesday Pratt took time to recall where he was a decade and a half ago, sharing an Instagram photo of an Atlanta freeway paired with a reflective and inspirational message.

“I am doing what I love. It doesn’t feel like work. Even though it is,” Pratt writes after being up for three days straight. “I’m having fun. I’m overcome with joy and gratitude.

“I felt like posting this to say to anyone out there chasing your dream,” Pratt continues. “Fifteen years ago I felt the same passion I feel today, but I had very little opportunity. I had to hustle hard and go hungry. I had to eat sardines and figure out how to get gas money. And I never had a plan B.”

Once upon a time, Pratt lived in a van in Hawaii and struggled to make ends meet. (“I had a friend who was like, ‘Dude, you’ve got to come out here,'” Pratt told EW in 2014.) While waiting tables, the then-19-year-old Pratt was discovered by director/actress Rae Dawn Chong and given his first break: a role in Cursed Part III.

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“I never stopped believing. Ever,” Pratt writes. “Don’t give up. Apply constant pressure for as long as it takes. It will break before you do. Go get it.”

Pratt’s next scheduled film is The Magnificent Seven remake with Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, set for a Sept. 23 release.