A reality check requires you to narrow your perspective, reassess your priorities and focus on the most important tasks. Thankfully, you don't need to abandon your optimism; you only need to tighten the reins a little bit to navigate your way through this eye of the needle. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect." Be strong and do the work; success is not for the faint-hearted.