If men obeyed accountants, there would be no internal combustion engine, no airplane, and no light bulb; no steps taken on the untried and the new. A visionary is a man who holds his own view as paramount, motivationally equating the concept of investment with the concept of breakthrough, sensing the inherent risk in predictability. He is only at ease when he is safely out in front. He may weigh the ideas of others, but he never substitutes those ideas for his own cognitive process. If a visionary alters his course, it is by conviction; he learns the new facet as thoroughly as its creator, and accepts full responsibility for its use and result.
At any time, the effort necessary to reach spiritual fulfillment is dictated by the limit of our personal vision, which is also in a state of expansion over the course of our lives. As we mature, our undertakings must evolve to reflect our depth. The pinnacles of men embark on endeavors that encompass the whole of the world. They address the universal problems of existence and arrive at the next summit of questions to be answered. The most extreme of the pinnacles takes actions in life—runs errands, dines, works—oblivious to the world around him. People and the rest of the world are often just background. He has blinders on, seeing only the quickest route between two points; the issues of his mind and their solution. Self-made Man has instilled an automatic preoccupation that steals away the focus of his consciousness from others during all idle time. Confronted by people asking questions, he answers as he moves, not breaking stride when possible.
Like most people, I began my career in the pattern of a painful grind and cherished weekends, with torturous years and precious vacations. It was all backwards! Now, when I think of vacation, I think “To escape from what?” I love everything I do. There is no such thing as forever in human terms. Each second that goes by cannot be recalled, as it is ruthlessly subtracted from the span of our lives. No matter what happens—good or bad—we must enjoy our time here to our fullest capacity. No matter what we accumulate—money, fame, enlightenment—nothing compares to the satisfaction of squeezing every ounce of joy, passion and adventure out of our conscious hours. The goals of a Self-made Man are fully obtainable—even the long-range goals of his philosophers—and he expects to be rewarded without unnecessary delay. He accepts no undefinable gap between cause and effect; between required action and reward, as his time is too precious to be wasted. He expects both to be proven within a reasonable and determinableinterval, and sets his hierarchy of pursuits accordingly. He shows as much concern for the expense of time as for the expense of money, and manages both in a businesslike manner.
All men have dreams, but their nature varies in regard to personal integrity. They all include riches and glamour, but his dreams differ from others in that Self-made Man exalts the effortnecessary to achieve them. He knows that this is the source of his self-worth; not the havingalone, but the earning. The capacity to deserveis the glory of any human being, in wealth, in love and in honor. He reveres the elements of the complete process—the chosen ideal, the training, the battle and the victory. His respect for time is a result of the crucial undertakings for which he wishes to spend every waking moment. When he does pause to look at the world, his glance is not that of a stranger, but of an appreciation beyond any depth the others could reach. When he looks upon men, he sees the same potential he feels about his own life, imagining their pursuits to be as profoundly important to them as his own, and his living eyes reflect the acceptance he feels in looking upon his own creations. His primary focus is his conscious purpose; his secondary is all other communication and action. Men are not a part of his inner world—they are not needed to achieve his goals—and consequently there is a total absence of fear. It is a world where no form of submission or violence need be accounted for, as there are no external authorities to undermine his course. There is only what he will do. And when he does take a break, he astonishes most with the untroubled lightness of his manner.