There is no need to fear choosing the wrong purpose. Rational endeavors all share the correct fundamental premises: the preservation of life by civil means as its primary, the exaltation of its master as reward. There are so many endeavors to expand one’s fulfillment that they can never be exhausted. Self-made Men search until they find the perfect fit. Even if you never find it, you’ll have a hell of a lot better time looking than if you weren’t. My first career was automotive design, the second was real estate, the third was the stock market and now I am a writer. In between, I gorged myself on philosophy, law, economics, business acquisitions and even considered founding a bank. I try whatever sparks my interest on this planet because I love being alive, but the pursuit of purpose certainly grows more refined as we gather experience. As we see farther, we can look back and understand why a previous goal suited our level at the time, and what made us move on. For example in my teens I could have trained to become a professional bicycle freestylist as some of my riding acquaintances went on to be. What stopped me was that I could not dedicate my life to it. My life’s pursuit was still to be discovered and I knew if I tried to make my mark in freestyle, I would die inside. Likewise, if they tried to do what I do, it would be the same for them. They would feel trapped where I feel freed. Freestyle gives them a feeling about their lives which I could only experience through writing, and vice-versa. They could appreciate what I’ve done, but could not make it their purpose. So freestyle remained a sideline, while I kept searching. You must be able to say, “This is what I want to do with my life, or at least what I want to do right now.” Take the first steps into purpose and further steps will be revealed. Reflecting back, I tried this and that, responding with, “No, that’s not it,” time and time again, but investigated each correctly. I had a serious interest to learn all I could about a subject, enjoyed it thoroughly, and worked hard to make it pay.
Outside of one’s living purpose, other goals appear to be ends in themselves, but often prove to have significant value. Some such goals are not lifelong and just have to run their course. Starting out poor in youth, all I wanted was my dream car, a Lamborghini Countach. That dream led me to become a business owner, to study law, economics and finance—all knowledge I constantly draw from, long after the car has gone. With that experience, I realized my working hours should give me as much pleasure as the car did. Self-made Men watch their well-rounded educations take form through their passions. We do things because they excite us, and when the thrill subsides, we move on to a different challenge. It’s that simple. Discarding old endeavors is not failure; we simply close chapters in our lives, and with greater vision, open new ones. If we enjoyed the way we spent our time, we need regret nothing. This is life; the knowledge and experience from every venture is carried forward into bigger plans and deeper exaltation until the time comes for us to let go.