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How do you know when it's time to stop following a dream and find another?

No one wants to be a quitter, but it also takes a lot of character to acknowledge that your capabilities will only take you so far.

When I was 10, I dreamed of being an olympic gymnast but I later realized that it was too late to build enough talent and strength to compete (esp. since I didn't have Superman genes). I've gone through a graduate program and 4 years of work experience that have given me professional stability in a career path that interests me but doesn't ignite my passion... should I throw in the towel, start over and say the past 4 years and grad school were just a bad investment, or just be content with my success and stability and refocus my energy on personal hobbies?

Tenacity is such a great asset, but sometimes we must accept that some things really are out of our reach. Everyone is talented in their own ways, but not everyone can be an olympian, president or a billionaire... how do you know when a dream is just a dream?

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    Feb 27 2013: I can tell you what I do, actually have done several times throughout my life. I understand the feeling of being 'stuck.' That restless feeling that comes with questions like, "Is this all there is?" and "Why am I not happy?" and "I really don't like what I am doing now."

    When I get that feeling I start looking towards the 'horizon.' I can't explain that any better. But I start putting myself in new situations professionally and personally. If I do not like practice perhaps I should explore politics. Or maybe finance. All of this is done with hard soul searching and connecting what I enjoy with what I do.

    After doing this several times I have come to the conclusion that I am in training now, for what I am to do next. This little truth has held up through several career bending events. I could never do what I do now without having made certain decisions. Even though, at the time, I would never have pictured myself in this position. It was really more of an experience of walking through doors that opened at the right time. But you have to watch the horizon for the doors.

    I know that may be wackadoodle mystic stuff but it is the best I can articulate it. Be patient, watch for opportunities, and strategically place yourself in positions for future growth. Even if you have to pause in those positions for a while.