How to Find Your Major Definite Purpose in Life

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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How do you define your major definite purpose? What do you do after identifying your goal in life?

You can define your definite purpose by identifying your clear, specific goal in life, and visualizing a future where you have fulfilled your desires. Create a specific plan to achieve your goals, and start on it right away.

Read on to discover how having a definite purpose can help you turn your desires for riches into reality.

Visualize Your Definite Purpose

Beyond having a desire, you need to set a clear, specific goal. You can’t hit a vague target. 

Define your goal as clearly as you possibly can. Visualize it happening in vivid detail.

For many people, making money is the definition of success, and that is also Hill’s focus. He offers six steps to turn your desire for riches into reality.

  1. Define the exact amount of money you want.
  2. Decide you are willing to sacrifice to get the money (like how many years of work, where you will live). Nothing comes without a price.
  3. Set a specific date for when you’ll have the money in hand.
  4. Create a specific plan for getting the money, and start on it right away.
  5. Write down on paper the above: how much money you intend to get, what you will give to get it, the date when you will have it, and your plan for acquiring it.
  6. Read your statement out loud twice a day, morning and evening. See, feel, and believe that you already have the money.

(Shortform note: You can adapt these steps for your personal goal, even if it’s not money.)

These steps don’t require particularly hard work, sacrifice, or a lot of education — just an understanding that you can’t count on chance or good luck to reach your goal. You must have a definite purpose in life, desire it to the point of obsession, and plan. 

Tips for Effective Goal-Setting

  • Keep your most important thoughts to yourself (or share them only with your Master Minds), so competitors won’t know your plans.
  • Gather the facts and information you need quietly. Keep your mouth shut, and your eyes and ears open. People who know little talk the most to impress others. When you talk rather than listen, you miss the chance to learn something useful. And you give people outside your Master Mind group the chance to shoot down your ideas.
  • Show the world what you plan to do by doing it rather than talking about it.
  • Don’t be swayed by negative opinions from close friends and relatives.
  • If you know what you want and have a plan to achieve it, be decisive and undeterred.
How to Find and Reach Your Definite Purpose in Life

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Think and Grow Rich summary:

  • Napoleon Hill's 1937 guide to success
  • How to use thoughts, visualization, and affirmation to achieve wealth
  • The importance of a Master Mind group and how to start one

Joseph Adebisi

Joseph has had a lifelong obsession with reading and acquiring new knowledge. He reads and writes for a living, and reads some more when he is supposedly taking a break from work. The first literature he read as a kid were Shakespeare's plays. Not surprisingly, he barely understood any of it. His favorite fiction authors are Tom Clancy, Ted Bell, and John Grisham. His preferred non-fiction genres are history, philosophy, business & economics, and instructional guides.

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