I seem to recall some parenting advice on setting realistic goals and expectations for your kids. The rationale being that if you set unrealistic expectations, you may end up setting them up for failure or worse, setting them up for a life of disappointment.
I believe that life has a natural way of tempering dreams, channeling passions, and closing doors (assuming you're willing to knock on the door in the first place). Perhaps it's better to work on and solidify two mindsets / temperaments: experiment and resilience. In our house, we require and celebrate experiments, trial, and tinkering while simultaneously managing and encouraging through the subsequent failures. We don't help our boys (which is painful to watch), we simply let them try nearly everything out for themselves (we obviously exclude life-death safety events). The same holds true for me and my wife; probably why we've relocated so many times and why our savings account isn't quite where experts say it should be.
Nevertheless, it works for us: we're somewhat anti-fragile and we have plenty of stories. So, to my boys: think you can crack the quantum code using Legos while pursuing your PhD/MD in philosophy, herpetology, and neurosurgery and competing for American Ninja Warrior? Give it a shot, you'll figure something out one way or the other; just don't get bogged down.
Off to make more messes.
PS. If you want an extensive deep dive into the concept of resiliency vs. antifragility I highly recommend Nassim Taleb's Antifragile.
PPS. Limiting Factor
What is the difference between being comfortable versus being complacent? I have no idea, so I challenge myself. Challenge my thinking, my parenting, my husband-ing; attempt to challenge my assumptions and my understanding of things. I won't get it right all the time so I welcome all constructive feedback. The goal? To "...be satisfied with life always but never with one's self." (George Jean Nathan)