"Behavior is easier to change than expectations are. […] Telling your enthusiasm and daydreams to sit in a closet till [the situation] proves worthy of them? That involves the hard work of identifying, and admitting, why you so badly need the validation. Repairing the source of the need is the answer here."
Carolyn Hax. I edited this quote to make it more general. Relates to another favorite line of hers: Let the facts write your dreams. Other Hax quotes I love.