Major Definite Purpose
Excerpts from The Laws of Success
Napoleon Hill – 1928
….Ninety-five per cent of the people of the world are drifting aimlessly through life, without the slightest conception of the work for which they are best fitted, and with no conception whatsoever of even the need of such a thing as a definite object toward which to strive.
There is a psychological as well as an economic reason for the selection of a definite chief aim in life. It is a well established principle of psychology that a person’s acts are always in harmony with the dominating thoughts of his or her mind.
Any definite chief aim that is deliberately fixed in the mind and held there, with the determination to realize it, finally saturates the entire subconscious mind until it automatically influences the physical action of the body toward the attainment of that purpose.
The principle of psychology through which you can impress your definite chief aim upon your subconscious mind is called Auto-suggestion, or suggestion which you repeatedly make to yourself. It is a degree of self –hypnotism.
Your definite chief aim in life should be selected with deliberate care, and after it has been selected it should be written out and placed where you will see it at least once a day.
There is some one thing that you can do better than anyone else in the world could do it. Search until you find out what this particular line of endeavor is, make it the object of your definite chief aim and then organize all of your forces and attack it with the belief that you are going to win. In your search for the work for which you are best fitted, it will be well if you bear in mind the fact that you will most likely attain the greatest success by finding out what work you like best, for it is a well known fact that a man generally best succeeds in the particular line of endeavor into which he can throw his whole heart and soul.
You choose, for example, a definite purpose as your lifework and make up your mind that you will carry out that purpose. From the very moment that you make this choice, this purpose becomes the dominating thought in your consciousness, and you are constantly on the alert for facts, information and knowledge with which to achieve that purpose. From the time that you plant a definite purpose in your mind, your mind begins both consciously and unconsciously, to gather and store away the material with which you are to accomplish that purpose.
The habit of working with a definite chief aim will breed in you the habit of prompt decision, and this habit will come to your aid in all that you do. Moreover, the habit of working with a definite chief aim will help you to concentrate all your attention on any given task until you have mastered it. Concentration of effort and the habit of working with a definite chief aim are two of the essential factors in success which are always found together. One leads to the other. The best known successful businessmen were all men of prompt decision who worked always with one main, outstanding purpose as their chief aim.
- Wright Brothers concentrated on the airplane and mastered the air.
- Wrigley concentrated his mind on the production and sale of a five-cent package of chewing gum and turned this one idea into millions of dollars.
- Edison concentrated upon the work of harmonizing natural laws and made his efforts uncover more useful inventions than any other man who ever lived.
- Lincoln concentrated his mind on freeing the slaves and became our greatest American President while doing it.
- Carnegie concentrated on steel and made his efforts build a great fortune and plastered his name on public libraries throughout America.
- Gillette concentrated on a safety razor, gave the entire world a “close shave” and made himself a multimillionaire.
When you organize your faculties … and direct them toward the attainment of a definite purpose in life, you then take advantage of the co-operative or accumulative principle out of which power is developed, which is called Organized Effort. Andrew Carnegie’s advice was this: “Place all your eggs in one basket and then watch the basket to see that no one kicks it over.” By that advice he meant, of course, that we should not dissipate any of our energies by engaging in side lines.
Desire is the factor which determines what your definite purpose in life shall be. No one can select your dominating desire for you, but once you select it yourself it becomes your definite chief aim and occupies the spotlight of your mind until it is satisfied by transformation into reality, unless you permit it to be pushed aside by conflicting desires.
I believe it not unreasonable to suggest that to be sure of successful achievement, one’s definite chief aim in life should be backed up with a burning desire for its achievement.
A definite purpose is something that you must create for yourself. No one else will create it for you and it will not create itself. What are you going to do about it? And when? And how?
Start now to analyze your desires and find out what it is that you wish, and then make up your mind to get it.
Also keep in mind the never-varying truth that you’ll get nowhere if you start nowhere. If your aim in life is vague your achievements will also be vague, and it might well be added, very meager. Know what you want, when you want it, why you want it and HOW you intend to get it. This is known to teachers and students of psychology as the WWWH formula – “what, when, why and how.”