What Are You Destined to Be ?

Every day I get at least one email from someone proclaiming that they are “destined to be” XXXXX. You can fill in the blank with any number of dreams the person has for themself, be it rich, famous, the best this or that. Of course they aren’t emailing me just to tell me, they email me to ask for money to enable them to be whatever it is they dream of being. For me, its a good problem to have. But it leads to questions. Do we know what we are destined to be, or do we find it through experiences ? Are each of us really good at something, and its just a matter of finding it ? Do we all have something that we would love to do every day and do we inherently know it, or do we have to find it ? Will what you love to do always be what you are great at ?

Personally, I always have enjoyed business, but I never knew that I had an aptitude for technology until I got a job at Mellon Bank that lasted all of 8 months. But during the many hours of boredom, I found myself sitting in front of a mainframe teaching myself a scripting language called Ramis and loving every minute of it. Which lead to me buying a TI/99A I think it was, for 99 dollars, attaching a tape recorder as a drive (how is that for dating myself) and teaching myself basic. Which led to… You get the idea. I loved every minute of it. Maybe I wasnt the best programmer in the world, but in combination with business and sales skills, I found something that was a blast to me that I could and did do 24 hours at a time and not miss a beat.

Personally, I don’t think people “know” what they are destined to be until they try it for the first couple times.

Going to college should be about experiencing as much academically as you possibly can, but more importantly, it should be about learning how to learn and recognizing that learning is a lifelong endeavor. School isn’t the end of the learning process, its purely a training ground and beginning.

IMHO, once you have learned how to learn, then you can try as many different things as you can, recognizing that you don’t have to find your destiny at any given age, you just have to be prepared to run with it when you experience it.

Of course there is always a caveat to destiny, and thats obligation. The greatest obstacle to destiny is debt, both personal and financial. The more people you are obligated to, the harder it is to focus on yourself and figure things out. I’m a blg believer that getting married is about finding yourself first, which makes it a lot easier to find the right person. If you can’t stand on your own, it’s impossible to successfully be part of a couple.

I’m also a big believer that financial debt is the ultimate dream killer. Your first house, car, whatever stuff you might want to buy are going to be the primary reasons you stop looking for what makes you the happiest.

How crazy is it to settle for a house , car or ?? over what it is you would like to do on an hourly or daily basis ?

Never Settle and there is no reason to rush. If you aren’t happy with where you are at, simplify your life and go out and try as many things as it takes to find what you may be destined to be. If there is such a thing.

38 thoughts on “What Are You Destined to Be ?

  1. Lesser minds tend to say they have all the answers and that\’s because they don\’t ask many/proper questions to themselves. I must object though. I must object to your dept thesis though a dept can be a powerful learning experience and help with later dreams.

    While young I have had several tight turns in my life so far and am still not in the slightest sure about the destiny of mine. Knowing what comes can be a bigger dream killer than dept IMO.

    Comment by Nikola Dachev -

  2. I thought the being bored at work and learning programming was funny.

    I did that at one of my jobs in 2000. It was so slow I sat in front of a computer and taught myself HTML. It was pretty obessive for a long time when I first started learning it and hard to put down.

    Comment by Billy Gamble -

  3. Thanks for the words into sentences. I have had some of the same discoveries on my current journey.

    For me, the less I own in pursuing what makes happy the easier
    it becomes to carry the burden of truest intentions of what I seek.

    Fistfull of mistakes is better than a handfull of regrets is how I always try to do business.

    Have you seen that Google testing a search box for site search within general search results?

    My position has always been throwing millions of crap up against the wall with millions of results is worth what?

    Google adsense is as good as buying a movie ticket, paying extra to get ahead of the line into the theater but never getting a seat to actually watch it.

    Claiming a stake of the search market just to do it slighlty different is a waste of money.

    Craigslist really showed how not to think like a big shot and think that if I only had millions I could take a bite out of the Google share.

    You better off making the best porn search engine that money can build, it that\’s your interest, than trying to compete with Google heads up.

    Last but not least. History repeats itself alot so when you hear about the elderly people who used IBM stock as \”wallpaper\” and thirty years later it was worth millions is exactly what Microsoft is today.

    If I had the money to buy and forget about it 20 years it would be Microsoft because that will be the first 1,000/per share stock and expect them to slowly start buying it back.

    Comment by Peter -

  4. Passion and destiny can be the sure road to success…and calamity.

    I got my start on a TI-99/4A as well. We picked ours up when prices hit the floor. Then I spent hours upon hours as a 12-year-old writing questing games and even music videos. All the right stuff was there — the God-given talent, the passion, the excitement, the timing…all that. Yet I ended up in a very different place in life. Was that destiny?

    My son came in second place on the Mavs video competition. So he got some tickets to a Mavs game. He\’s euphoric while I\’m asking him the question: \”How can you get so excited about a bunch of guys that are millionaires by simply playing a game?\” His response is, of course, \”Dad, you just don\’t get it.\” But I think I do — we get excited about people who fulfill their destiny with outlandish success, and we should.

    We\’re all destined for that outlandish success but we can derail ourselves with both major and minor decisions along the way. Thankfully, the journey goes on and Jeremiah 29:11 remains the truth!

    Comment by Shane -

  5. I would love to Be that which I am, do the things which I have come to learn I excel at. Nobody told me what they were – at times I thought I knew what I was destined for. I had to work my way through all the external influences – the teachers, the parents – and at times, myself (poor judgement, lack of clarity, curiosity nearly killed the Saman). But looking back, all of it was necessary.

    As of current, I am that which I inherently always was and will be. I am daily getting my startup business closer to its launch, and I am doing so with a focused intent of making change ($ and social change)by radically redefining doing business online as we all know it!

    I come from a family of business owners, and I have always enjoyed business. I would go one step further in saying that I always had a vague notion that this would be my Destiny – the very word is terribly binding, I mean, what am I? Some sort of pre fabricated, predictable clump of matter, totally immune from any and all life-changing forces?

    I don\’t know. I\’m loving what I do and I am doing it as best as I can.

    So pretty much, Man (You don\’t call me Saman, it feels strange to call you Mark) whose blog inspired me to add my comment, everything\’s up for grabs – everything changes, everything can be learned and unlearned, THUS, don\’t ever deny doing more than that which you are already doing or have done with your life –

    Saman Baghestani,
    Inventor of http://www.WeMakeChange.com, aiming to be live by late summer of \’08

    Comment by Saman -

  6. Mark,

    And \”Yes\” I am still a diehard Mav\’s fan!


    Comment by Jim Hisle -

  7. Hey Mark, I guess your destiny is to use your power and leverage to manipulate the stock market for your own personal gain.I am referring to China Fire (CFSG) by shorting this stock before you released a smear piece that caused many small retail investors like myself to lose a bunch of money. I personally lost over 6 figures from your exploitation and manipulation of your power. I am sure that you justify what you did, but it was objectively wrong, immoral and unethical. You committed a sophisticated form of theft. At least a common thief is honest with their intentions when they say, \”this is a stick up!\” I dare you to post this!

    Comment by Jim Hisle -

  8. Great blog!
    Overall, I\’m just happy to wake up in the morning to enjoy and share this gift of life! All our emotions, senses, inventions, etc… is a gift! A gift must be respected and used with the utmost responsibility, and so with that comes all that you mentioned! But, no matter what we do and what we don\’t, we must never forget that its all a gift, and its OK when things don\’t go as we expected, and its very OK when they do! All is so powerfully addictive; a gift above and beyond all others!

    Comment by Mitchell -

  9. Mark,
    Thanks a lot for that very inspirational post. Your analysis about the rush into owning something speaks to me and shows what life priorities should be. I am also a big fan of the lifelong learning attitude which is not yet something very trendy in my country (France).
    Kind regards, JLT

    Comment by Jean-Louis -

  10. Good post, just catching up on your blog. I agree with you on the learning aspect… you can do anything if you know how to learn. I can and do wear so many different hats…. and I just keep learning more things and aquiring more hats and maybe someday I\’ll be able to focus it all enough to make it work.

    And yes, shedding stuff that bogs down your mind is very important to figuring out what the hell you supposed to do. I\’m still young, but looking back my life has been through so many different focuses… and by the time I\’m 40, I figure one of these will hit just right… and I\’m sure even then, I\’ll be on to something else again.

    Comment by Marisa -

  11. Mark,

    I\’m curious as to whether or not you\’ve ever given out money as a result of an email. I imagine it would be hard knowing that you have the power to change somebody\’s life for the better, but somehow having to restrain yourself from offering financial assistance. You would go broke if you gave money to everybody who made a request.

    At the same time I often find myself reading your blog and thinking \”wow this guy probably earns more in interest in a day than I make in a year of work\”. So I do understand the mentality of those who send you requests for assistance.

    Comment by D -

  12. Great post — I\’ll send a link to all of my students!

    Comment by Ken Carpenter -

  13. I would appreciate if this comment can be sent directly to Mark Cuban and not posted on the blog, Thanks!

    Mark, I have recently been looking for a way to contact you, as you said many people do in your \”What are you destined to be blog\” and \”its a good problem to have\” which encouraged me but I have shyed away because I too, am looking for your assistance. I feel I potentially may have the a vehicle to get want I\’m destined to be done, but I would greatly appreciate your direction and expertise.

    I realize I am being a little vague because my project is undevoloped at this point, but it is something that can potentially save many lives and I would like to see it produced.

    Is it possible you can contact me and let me know the proper procedures to contact you or your office and help my dream come true?

    I hope I get the opportunity to tell you more about my vision

    Thanks for your time!!!

    Comment by Arvel Richardson -

  14. I never read a blog before today. I only looked at Mark\’s blog because of an article I read on banning bloogers from the Mavs locker-room. I must say, the title to this post caught my attention and I was pleasantly surprised with the content. IMO, Destiny – the concept, is something most Americans can define and associate the theory. Destiny too many is abstract and intangible, a right bestowed upon individuals – granted by the warden of the future. Destiny could be considered one of those inalienable rights our fore fathers spoke of. The mere notion of destiny could and has promoted individuals to ranks, far surpassing perceived internal ability. Destiny like religion is a powerful motivator and intrinsic to society. However, like religion destiny is a set of beliefs that allows individuals to give border and box in free will. A guide for everyone to benchmark yourself against others. In my life destiny has been restricting, I was destine to be a drug addict and was, and I was destine to drop out of high school and did. What needs to be said about destiny; destiny is relative. The bases on which destiny is defined can only lead to restricting free will and human spirit. Once I realized – destiny is only a guide or measurement, relative to space and time, personal destiny will be shaped by forces the future can not control..then and only then I decided to read a blog.

    Comment by Corey Harley -

  15. Thank for this post Mark. As someone who is still trying to figure out what exactly I want my future to be I found it inspirational.

    Comment by Mike C. -

  16. \”I\’m also a big believer that financial debt is the ultimate dream killer. Your first house, car, whatever stuff you might want to buy are going to be the primary reasons you stop looking for what makes you the happiest. \”

    I\’m a big believer that having billions of dollars gives people the ability to take things like a reliable car and a comfortable home for granted.

    Comment by ColinToal -

  17. It is the difficult balance between doing what you want to do and lifestyle/making a living. Not all jobs or businesses are lucrative. Some say do what you love and the money will follow. That is very true in many cases. You can\’t really be successful at something if you don\’t enjoy it. Finding the balance between these two is the key. Someone told me once, \”If you can get paid for being who you already are, then you have won.\”
    I would agree though most people do want a certain lifestyle NOW. This is true when you see people around you with it. It is not easy to delay gratification until you truly can afford that lifestyle. But as Mark eluded to, the number one reason to save and live below your means is because it sets you free. It gives you options. If you want to start business/change jobs/play for a while you have money to fall back on and you are not a slave to your monthly obligations.

    Comment by Todd -

  18. Great post. Hits home here in Delaware.
    Several years back when Monster launched the \”When I Grow Up\” advertisement(s) my friends and I were sitting around after a few too many drinks and began talking about where we were in life. (you know how those conversations go). What was odd is that I remember the drunken induced conversation and more importantly, that my answer was \”I have no idea\”. I\’m 34 and still don\’t know what I want to do when/if I grow up. Working a full time job at sales & marketing I knew that I wasnt destined to do that forever (or at least with that company) so I decided to look into other things. I jumped into REI quite a bit and began learning web development and marketing as well. Now I sit here some 6 years later with a nice REI portfolio, a strong foundation in web design and marketing yet Im still sitting here selling for that very same company. Before you go off thinking my journey was a failure, my sales job has changed a bit because I was able to integrate my new web skills to target leads online versus endless cold calls. Also my REI ventures now bring in more cash flow than my primary job so Im not trapped by any means. My point- I dont have a clear picture of what I was meant to do & the only obsession I have is learning new things. I dont have the luxury of exhausting all of my efforts towards a specific goal so if you have a true Destiny you dont need a Cuban handout in order to achieve that personal success. For those of you that have no clear destiny, put your boots on and dig in. You may find the journey itself is your obsession.

    Comment by anthony -

  19. You truly have to have a passion for what you do for me, outside of my family it is software programming/development and basketball. I began working at the age of 14 and to name a few I have worked in everything from a Christmas tree farm to a Nursery to a Grave Yard (try burying people while you are still in high school really makes you think before you decide to party all the time) to door to door vacuum cleaner sales to the US Navy to Architecture/Engineering firms to now programming and I have found my niche and what I LOVE to do!! It is loving to get up in the morning to get started; it is constantly thinking, no matter what I am doing, about a way to make the software better or how to solve a software problem; or just simply setting down to program and it seems like only 30 minutes has passed but in actuality it is time to go home and then go home spend time with my family and can get back on my computer and work some more later that evening. It is the constant learning that also excites me technology is always evolving and there is no chance of ever not having enough information or never Ive learned enough already.

    You have to have a passion for what you do; believe in what you do and for what is coming to you; and have gratitude for ALL that have and ALL that you are going to get!

    Comment by James -

  20. Mark,

    I love golf but I\’m not meant to be a golf pro. I love cooking but I\’m not meant to be a chef. I love the open road but I\’m not meant to live in my car.

    I know this because I\’ve tried.

    I bring these experiences with me everyday it it makes me a better person. I still don\’t know what I\’m destined to be but I know I\’ll find it.

    Great post.

    Comment by Tom -

  21. Good topic. 9/09 I will have been at it for 40 years. Only 3 of those years was it my dream job. But at least I had that.

    I think all of us can do multiple things. Just look at Dirk who might have been a little known ice skater.


    Comment by tiptoe -

  22. \”it should be about learning how to learn and recognizing that learning is a lifelong endeavor.\”

    \”I\’m also a big believer that financial debt is the ultimate dream killer.\”

    Christ. You are clearly some kind of genius. I\’ve been out saying that exact thing in all of my interviews with college press. Nice to hear it from someone who isn\’t on the artist side of things, but instead, le business.

    Comment by jm -

  23. Mark… Great post!

    I, for instance, am in an expansion process with my company, to become and much larger firm, from Argentina, and its always encouraging to find sayings like this one.
    Kind regards.

    Comment by Guillermo -

  24. Thank you for the great wisdom 🙂

    Comment by Tags -

  25. Destiny is an interesting choice of words here. I would suggest that we are not destined for anything. We make and own our outcomes, by working hard, by putting ourselves in the right place.

    Comment by Ken Hanscom -

  26. My destiny is where my final destination is at the end of my life….if I keep having full and worthwhile experience my final distination will be a rewarding and full….if I fat ass, write stupid ass emails to Mark for money, day dream, and basically let life and its experiences pass me by….my final destination will be like how I lived my life…shit

    Comment by teddy -

  27. I agree, great topic Mark, thanks.

    Doesn\’t this question pre-suppose that we are only \”destined\” (same root as destination) for one place / achievement? In the same way we never stop learning, isn\’t our life\’s work marked by the journey rather than the destination? I would much rather be know for having a positive influence on 1,000 lives that reaching an arbitrary milestone of $1,000 net worth (hypothetical figures of course!).

    Our culture and society enables and rewards the relentless pursuit of more as though it were a destination when, in fact, once achieved we must continue on because the target has now moved.

    If we spend our entire lives searching for what we believe our destiny is we are in great danger of missing our lives along the way.

    Enjoy life, live it to the fullest being as generous as possible…and let your destiny find you.

    – Thom

    Comment by Thom -

  28. Heck, I\’m almost 39 and I have no idea what I want to be or do! 🙂 I\’m lucky to have an aptitude for education and technology to enable me to have a decent job and a decent wage. I\’ll figure out the rest later.

    Comment by Ryan -

  29. Thanks for the great wisdom.

    Comment by Ryan -

  30. Hi Mark,

    Great post.

    I also don\’t believe in debt and am totally debt free (although it wasn\’t always this way). It\’s such a joy to have my work efforts (ie. money coming in) affect my net worth directly, rather than goinog to paying off debts owed just to try to just get to zero.

    Now every time a check comes in, whether large or small, I feel tons more self worth and happiness.

    Comment by photoTristan -

  31. Hey Mark,

    Great post!!! I think you are right on. College should be about exploring your passions and finding your purpose. To help discover my destiny, I ask myself these 8 simple questions that I call the 8P:

    Part 1: Where am I?

    1. Principles: What beliefs do I believe will equate to success for me?
    2. Passions: What do I love doing and why?
    3. Problems & Pain: What social, science, technical, and/or personal question or pain do I want to solve?
    4. People & Place: Who do I want to serve and where?

    Part 2: Where am I going?

    5. Picture: What\’s my vision for myself and the world?
    6. Pioneers: Who are my models? Mentors? Guides?
    7. Positioning: What do I want to be #1 in the world at?
    8. Possibility: How will people experience life differently because of me?

    This framework works for individuals and businesses. I hope it blesses you and your readers.

    Much love,

    P.S. The Sport of Business was my favorite. I love extended metaphors.

    Comment by Jullien Gordon -

  32. Kenyon,

    \”Learn how to learn…Almost like the sound of one hand clapping.\”

    What does that mean?


    Comment by Mathew Thomas -

  33. Learn how to learn…Almost like the sound of one hand clapping. This comes at a very important time for me as I am taking actions to get out of debt and moving towards a financial position that doesn\’t require me to have a \”job\” but to focus more on what I believe I was created to do! How freeing is that?

    Comment by Kenyon -

  34. You are correct about debt, my dram was to have my own automation engineering business. I am married with 3 children, my first priority has always been to provide for my wife and children. Although my kids are all grown up, I find myself still supporting them.
    Currently, My debt load prevents me from attempting to start my own business, and the rate in which I am removing that debt will prevent me from ever starting it.

    I know what I am.


    Comment by Guy -

  35. If you do it right changing the world is torture – like scrubbing the runway at Boston\’s Logan Airport with a toothbrush then having to do it twice when you missed a spot– like living in a vacuum while the world moves around you- then when the world stops and looks at what you invented and says, \”that makes complete common sense. Why didn\’t I think of that?\” That\’s when you know you have it right and you nailed it – and if it is in your bones you might just clean that runway a third time just to show the world you can.

    Comment by M -

  36. Mark,
    I very much enjoyed this post. Destiny, I\’m convinced, has a curious sense of humor.
    I graduated from university with a Bachelor\’s degree in Mathematics as I had (and still have) a burning desire to understand the true nature of the universe. Along the way, I became interested in the classical arts and finished by degree in Math with a minor in classical ballet. I danced professionally for 3 years before encountering a career-ending injury and consequently got into computer software. I started learning at an entry level job but I LOVED every minute I was actually learning how to program. I quickly advanced and – twelve years later I\’m Director of Software Engineering at a cutting edge software security company. My degree taught me a bit about Mathematics – but more importantly, it taught me how to learn. Outside of my family, I love developing great software more than anything – yet when I started in school I would have NEVER envisioned being in this industry (I didn\’t even know what it was!).

    Again, I enjoyed your post.

    Best regards,
    Mathew Thomas

    Comment by Mathew Thomas -

  37. Or at least be willing to risk your lifestyle to chase your dream. I was lucky enough to live in California and have property that increased in value. Even though that are only two of us in the house, I bought a four bedroom house, and three of the bedrooms house my business. Then as that property increased in value I used a home equity line to finance the expansion of my business.

    We make products that assist in digital film/broadcast production. (http://www.digitalordnance.com) Making high end, high reliability, computer systems in a small business is a tough undertaking, particularly as we compete against companies like Thomson. I knew we could do it. I had to have faith in the dream.

    We\’ve made a lot of sacrifices over the last five years. Everything has been pumped back in to the business to build a broader technology base. Now it is paying off. There were some awfully scary nights thinking about the amount of debt we rolled up. There\’s been a lot of stress as we balanced all the business commitments.

    It seems to me the house isn\’t really the issue. The real question is how you value your \”lifestyle\”? What\’s the impact to your family family? Is it worth risking those things for a greater final result? I enjoy my work, even with the crazy amounts of time, effort, and stress it involves. So those were less of a sacrifice. We have no kids, so the consequences of my decision lay entirely on me and my girlfriend. I\’m not sure I could have made the same choices if I had a family and risked my children\’s welfare. Losing time with my children or having to move to a smaller house because my business failed was not a decision I had to make.

    Comment by Daryll Strauss -

  38. Excellent topic, Mark.

    Comment by David -

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