No one counts or appreciates all of history's noble but lost causes, nor the human toll of misery that is the ignored, larger side of competing in any market. Our grasping obsession with winning blinds us to the contributions and, in the end, the wasted resources of the losers. As a society, there may be value in recognizing and even honouring the losers who actually tried to make a positive difference in the world. That would encourage more to try. But, at the personal level, an important question remains. At what point do we know when tenacity in pursuit of a dream becomes pathological? I suspect that you can only know that if you know what is fundamentally salient to your purpose in life. If that purpose doesn't include happiness, community and genuine service to others then it probably doesn't matter.
Graphic source: https://www.facebook.com/soulseeds?fref=photo Soulseeds
Over the last couple of years, I've made four small loans of $25 each to people in developing countries. I admit that's not much but I've helped buy a goat herd, helped someone get an education and helped people start a business. It's not charity. The loans have all been paid back and I've learned a lot. You may not get rich but what a good feeling!
It only takes about ten minutes to sign up and find someone to invest in. Give it a try. http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/chris6015