“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” ~Napoleon Hill
While on the surface it seems simple; this is one of my favorite quotes because it brings so many great concepts together.
Definiteness of Purpose
As the pace of the world speeds up, we are bombarded by distractions. In order to achieve success at a business or personal level it helps if you can blast through the noise and come back to your place of laser like focus.
Your purpose can range from making the world better through your business or having a business that allows you to accomplish a personal goal. Personal goals can encompass anything from making sure your family is taken care of, to objectives like being able to take time off to travel the world.
This isn’t just purpose though. It is definiteness of purpose.
You need to be absolutely clear or definite in knowing exactly what you want.
When we are working with business clients, we start with creating a vision. The vision is what winning or success will look like three, five or 10 years out. It needs to be a clear picture or story and has to create or support the desire for your team to accomplish it; it should evoke that primal emotion or desire in your gut.
It doesn’t matter if your vision changes over time. The key is that you have a very clear destination clearly in mind at any point in time. It keeps you focused and allows you and your entire team to see and then seize opportunities you would have missed if you had a vague purpose.
Once you have a clear vision we then draw out your core values. These are the 3-7 principles by which you will run your business. They range from ethics to the way things will be done here. Knowing what you won’t do is just as important as what you will do.
We then create a mission statement. The mission is a very short description of the purpose of the business and how it serves people. For example:
- Walt Disney defined their mission as: “To make people happy.”
- Ours is: “Helping small and mid-sized businesses, and the people in them, grow to their full potential.”
Yours should mean something to YOU.
When your mission is combined with core values and vision; your definiteness of purpose is very well defined.
Without the desire or passion to achieve the purpose most people will give up well before achieving their vision or goals.
Let’s face it. Creating a business or tackling a big personal goal is tough. You have to really want the result in order to make it happen and defer short-term gratification. You may even go through some really tough times.
It also really helps if you have a passion for the work or the journey to get to your vision or definite purpose. You don’t want to defer happiness to “someday” or “one day”.
In business, this means:
- Creating and implementing a strategy.
- Getting consistent results by putting systems and processes in place.
- Becoming a better leader.
- Building a great team.
At the end of the day it is all about creating that success; about winning.
Winning is not necessarily about someone else losing.
One of the measures of success may be money. There is nothing inherently wrong with money. It is merely a tool. What will you accomplish? What value you will exchange for it or what will you achieve with the money you accumulate?
Winning could be creating a flexible and successful business that allows runs without you and allows you enjoy quality time with your family and friends. Or it could be about losing 170 pounds and running a marathon. Or it could be creating a company that impacts people in a big way like Apple.
Ultimately only you know what your purpose is. Success is defined by you.
Achieving that success requires a clear vision and the desire and passion to achieve it.