“He conceives of, mentally builds up, an ideal condition of life; the vision of a wider liberty and a larger scope take possession of him; unrest urges him to action, and he utilizes all his spare time and means, small thought they are, to the development of his latent powers and resources.” – As A Man Thinketh
Read carefully these 52 words and you will find the keys to success in any endeavor. James Allen is describing a young person who is unschooled, mired in poverty and working in unhealthy conditions. He goes on to write that the young person follows the formula above and becomes a person of “world-wide influence and almost unequaled power.” He finishes the story noting that “He has realized the vision of his youth. He has become one with his ideal.”
It’s a formula for success that’s so simple that most people might overlook or discount its effectiveness. And it’s built around one guiding principle—what Napoleon Hill called “a definiteness of purpose.”
That’s what creates the unrest that moves us to action. That’s what gives us the energy and drive to spend our spare time and means in developing ourselves to achieve at levels we’ve never reached before.
One prominent study found that 94 percent of the 3,000 people interviewed had no definite purpose for their lives. Is it any wonder then that so many people reach their twilight years feeling like life has passed them by?
We have the choice to live our live on purpose or without a purpose. Life doesn’t make the distinction, it simply rewards our choice. And the rewards may not always be what we had hoped, as this old poem from Think and Grow Rich illustrates:
“I bargained with Life for a penny And Life would pay no more, However I begged at evening When I counted my scanty store. For Life is a just employer, He gives you what you ask, But once you have set the wages, Why, you must bear the task. I worked for a menial’s hire, Only to learn, dismayed, That any wage I had asked of Life, Life would have willingly paid.”
And that’s worth thinking about.