A Personal Journey from Financial Struggle to Finding True Purpose

Jaiylen Curry
3 min readNov 22, 2023

Means goals vs End goals

Embarking on the complex journey of goal setting, I learned the importance of distinguishing between ‘means goals’ and ‘ends goals’. This eye-opening concept, encountered in “Don’t Believe Everything You Think,” reveals why some goals ignite our passion, while others, seemingly crucial, lose their allure.

Joseph Nguyen frames it perfectly: “There are two sources of goals: those created out of inspiration and those created out of desperation.”

Personal Experience: From Financial Turmoil to Firearms Instructor

The year 2020 was a turning point. I had just faced my worst financial year, and my aspiration to earn a million as a social media marketing expert seemed like a distant dream. Swallowing my pride, I started working at a gun shop, initially to understand the industry for effective marketing.

However, life had other plans. The onset of COVID-19 and subsequent civil unrest caused the demand for Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) classes to skyrocket. Watching seasoned instructors handle the surge, I realized there was much more to learn beyond marketing.

The Car Breakdown and A New Goal

A pivotal moment occurred when my car’s engine failed. Struggling to afford repairs, I witnessed a new instructor’s success with large classes. Inspired, I set a goal to become an instructor, typical of means goals, driven by desperation rather than inspiration.

The Realization and TransitionInitially

My goal as an instructor was to earn significant money quickly. However, this financial motivation began to fade as I realized the profound impact of teaching. The euphoria after a class wasn’t from the money earned but from knowing I had effectively communicated crucial skills.

The Impact of End Goals

Gradually , my perspective shifted. It wasn’t about the monetary gain but the satisfaction of imparting knowledge. I learned that the real joy came from the act of teaching itself, from making a meaningful connection with each student.

Transforming Aspirations into Actions

This revelation refocused my aspirations. I moved beyond the financial ‘means goal’ and embraced the ‘end goal’ of becoming an impactful educator and speaker. It wasn’t just about fixing a car; it was about fulfilling a deeper, more meaningful purpose.

Conclusion

A Call for IntrospectionReflecting on this journey, I realized the importance of aligning our goals with our innermost desires.

Nguyen’s words resonate deeply: “If we end up achieving a goal created out of desperation, we end up feeling even more empty than we did before.”

The transition to pursuing end goals has been both liberating and fulfilling, marking a new chapter in my life’s work. Now, as I work towards becoming a more articulate and engaging public speaker, each successful class brings me closer to my true ambition.

Looking back, teaching a small class was merely a stepping stone. The real triumph lies ahead, in leaving a lasting impression on a larger stage, transcending the confines of a gun shop classroom.

Author’s Note: This narrative is more than a career change; it’s about understanding and embracing one’s true calling. It’s a testament to the power of aligning actions with genuine ‘end goals’ for a fulfilling life.

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Jaiylen Curry

Educator | Spirituality & Growth | Technology Enthusiasts |