How to Acquire a Definite Major Purpose | Napoleon Hill

Definiteness of Purpose develops self-reliance, personal initiative, imagination, enthusiasm, self-discipline and concentration of effort, and all of these are prerequisites for the attainment of material success.

It induces one to budget time and to plan all the day-to-day endeavors so they lead toward the attainment of his Major Purpose in life.

It makes one more alert in the recognition of opportunities related to the object of one’s Major Purpose, and it inspires the necessary courage to act upon those opportunities when they appear.

It inspires the cooperation of other people.

It prepares the way for the full exercise of that state of mind known as Faith, by making the mind positive and freeing it from the limitations of fear and doubt and indecision.

It provides one with a success consciousness, without which no one may attain enduring success in any calling.

It destroys the destructive habit of procrastination.

Lastly, it leads directly to the development and the continuous maintenance of the first of the Twelve Riches, a Positive Mental Attitude.

These are the major characteristics of Definiteness of Purpose, although it has many other qualities and usages, and it is directly related to each of the Twelve Riches because they are attainable only by singleness of purpose.

Compare the principle of Definiteness of Purpose with the Twelve Riches, one at a time, and observe how essential it is for the attainment of each.

Then take inventory of the men of outstanding achievement which this country has produced, and observe how each of them has emphasized some Major Purpose as the object of his endeavors.

Henry Ford concentrated upon the building of low-priced, dependable automobiles.

Thomas A. Edison devoted his efforts entirely to scientific inventions.

Andrew Carnegie specialized in the manufacture and sale of steel.

F. W. Woolworth centered his attention upon the operation of Five and Ten Cent Stores.

Philip D. Armor’s specialty was that of meat packing and distribution.

James J. Hill concentrated on the building and maintenance of a great Transcontinental Railway System.

Alexander Graham Bell majored in scientific research in connection with the development of the modern telephone.

Marshall Field operated the world’s greatest retail store. Cyrus H. K. Curtis devoted his entire life to the development and publication of the Saturday Evening Post.

Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Paine devoted the better portion of their lives and their fortunes to a prolonged fight for the freedom of all people.

Men with singleness of purpose, each and every one!

And the list might be multiplied until it contained the name of every great American leader who has contributed to the establishment of the American way of life as we of today know and benefit by it.

How to Acquire a Definite Major Purpose

The procedure for the development of a Definite Major Purpose is simple, but important:

1. Write out a complete, clear and definite statement of your Major Purpose in Life, sign it and commit it to memory; then repeat it orally at least once every day, more often if practicable. Repeat it over and over, thus placing back of your purpose all of your faith in Infinite Intelligence.

2. Write out a clear, definite plan by which you intend to begin the attainment of the object of your Definite Major Purpose. In this plan state the maximum time allowed for the attainment of your purpose, and describe precisely what you intend to give in return for the realization of your purpose, remembering that there is no such reality as something for nothing, and that everything has a price which must be paid in advance in one form or another.

3. Make your plan flexible enough to permit changes at any time you are inspired to do so. Remember that Infinite Intelligence, which operates in every atom of matter and in every living or inanimate thing, may present you with a plan far superior to any you can create. Therefore, be ready at all times to recognize and adopt any superior plan that may be presented to your mind.

4. Keep your Major Purpose and your plans for attaining it strictly to yourself except insofar as you will receive additional instructions for carrying out your plan, in the description of the Master Mind Principle, which follows.

Do not make the mistake of assuming that because you may not understand these instructions the principles here described are not sound. Follow the instructions to the letter; follow them in good faith, and remember that by so doing you are duplicating the procedure of many of the greatest leaders this nation has ever produced.

The instructions call for no effort that you may not easily put forth. They make no demands upon time or ability with which the average person may not comply.

And they are completely in harmony with the philosophy of all true religions.

Decide now what you desire from life and what you have to give in return. Decide where you are going and how you are to get there. Then make a start from where you now stand. Make the start with whatever means of attaining your goal that may be at hand. And you will discover that to the extent you make use of these, other and better means will reveal themselves to you.

That has been the experience of all men whom the world has recognized as successes. Most of them started with humble beginnings with little more to aid them than a passionate desire to attain a definite goal.

There is enduring magic in such a desire! And lastly, remember:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Yesterday has gone forever! Tomorrow will never arrive, but Today is Yesterday’s Tomorrow within your reach. What are you doing with it?

Presently I shall reveal to you a principle which is the keystone to the arch of all great achievements; the principle which has been responsible for our great American way of life; our system of free enterprise; our riches and our freedom. But first let us make sure that you know what it is that you desire of life.

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