Napolean Hill calls Definiteness of Purpose a critical key to success in life. Watched Chariots of Fire last night. Definiteness of Purpose is once again illustrated. Gold medal winners have a clarity of aim that enables them to surpass their peers. ~May 25, 1998
A prerequisite to achieving "great things" (it would seem) is a conviction that one is able to achieve or accomplish great things. This notion is accompanied by a desire to do great things, which flies in the face of current cultural beliefs that it is wrong, even elitist, to suppose oneself different from the herd. But it is not elitism that propels us to strive to do more and be more. It is not a belief that we're better... rather, it is a concern that we each, should strive to fulfill our full capacity. ~ May 30, 1998
These journal notes should not be taken to suggest that everyone should make their aim to be president of the U.S. or a world famous musician. There are actually two important matters outined here. The first is that without a definitie purpose or aim, our lives will drift, and that people who accomplish great things or even lesser things (providing for one's family, sending a child to college) do so by eliminating distractions and doing whatever it takes to accomplish the goal.
An example: Albert J. Amatuzio, the founder of AMSOIL, spent more than a decade learning all he could about lubrication before finally achieving his lifelong dream of producing a new product for the auto industry. This man's determination and definiteness of purpose was directly responsible for the synthetic motor oil market.
There is a flip side to this matter, however. Be sure your aim corresponds to who you are. That is, if you are middle aged and not particularly athletic, don't imagine that you will set a new world record for the hundred yard dash. Or if you have shaky hands and poor eye-hand coordination, it is not the time to pursue a career as a brain surgeon. The point being that self awareness is also useful.
I am reminded of the Aesop's Fable about the Monkey and the Camel.
THE BEASTS of the forest gave a splendid entertainment at which the Monkey stood up and danced. Having vastly delighted the assembly, he sat down amidst universal applause. The Camel, envious of the praises bestowed on the Monkey and desiring to divert to himself the favor of the guests, proposed to stand up in his turn and dance for their amusement. He moved about in so utterly ridiculous a manner that the Beasts, in a fit of indignation, set upon him with clubs and drove him out of the assembly.
It is absurd to ape our betters.
This in no way implies that camels are inferior to monkeys. Quite the contrary. There are many things monkeys can not do that camels are utterly equipped for.
So it is that our dreams should correspond with who we are. Though I'll add yet one more caveat. When we're young, we really don't know very well who we are. We can be so influenced by a bad experience or peers that we have a misguided picture of ourselves in our heads. Or, we see a barrier to achievement that is really no barrier at all. So perhaps our first definite purpose should be to find out who we are. From this starting point, we really can make a difference.