When pursuing a dream you have the underlying assumption that when you reach it you will be happy. That is false.
Achieving goals doesn’t make you happy because achievements on their own hold no lasting emotional value. Only growth, fulfilment and passion has value.
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All efforts towards correctly pursuing your own personal development must take into account reality, not how you think the world should work. The truth is reality isn’t fair and just trying your best towards your dream doesn’t always cut it.
Almost no popular self-help authors are going to have had the experience of pursuing a dream (like becoming an author) and not having it eventually work out.
Understanding reality means that you have to accept that some of your dreams won’t come true just because you work hard enough, be creative enough or go to enough seminars. Don’t base your decisions on a false model of reality.
Instead of judging whether or not you should quit pursuing your dream based on your chances of success you ask a different question. Would I like to experience building a business from the ground up?
In this perspective goals merely guide your travels through interesting waters. By taking up this mindset the question of whether you will fulfill your dream becomes irrelevant.
Quit when you have an alternative path that will give you more growth, passion and fulfillment.
If a new experience will be better, then switch to that. There is no shame in leaving a path that has become barren.
Either the process is enjoyable, or you feel accomplished when you are finally done or you have reached a milestone.
On the flip side, there are situations or projects that you dread starting, you hate the process, and when you are finally done, you wish you never did it. If there is no benefit of doing it and you hate everything about it, doing more of it won’t help. 5 times 0 is still 0.
... using the SMART criteria: