Understanding Personal Achievement And The Principles Of Success
Napoleon Hill, best known for penning the book, Think and Grow Rich, spent his life studying personal achievement and the principles of success. Hill’s work is considered the cornerstone to what has become the modern field of motivation. Hill’s more than fifty years of research is the basis for much of the self-improvement literature on bookshelves today.
Of particular interest is Hill’s notion that ninety-eight out of one hundred people fail to achieve their desired level of personal achievement. If Napoleon Hill’s findings are correct, this means that only two percent of the population goes on to accomplish their most sacred and innermost dreams; only a few make it into the 2% Club.
This revelation is both shocking and sad. Shocking because two percent is such a small segment of humankind, and sad because this could mean that millions of people live a life of despair, dissatisfaction and disenchantment.
The good news is that while achieving your dreams may take some work, everything that you desire is certainly within your reach. In his work, Hill studied the world’s greatest achievers, finding a number of common factors. Hill identified seventeen principles of personal achievement that helped many dare to dream, spread their wings and go on to soar.
The first principle, although simple, appears to be earnestly pursued by so few. Yet, this characteristic has been found to be the basis for any personal or career success one hopes to achieve.
Think about it, if you get into your car without a destination in mind, where will you end up…almost anyplace. If you go into the grocery stores without a list, what will you buy…almost anything and definitely more than you intended. Both of these examples point to valuable food for thought, without direction and focus we flounder. Thus, the building block, the foundation that Hill found so critical to living our best lives, to achieving personal satisfaction and success is PURPOSE.
What is purpose? Purpose is intent, goals, a target or a personal aim. Purpose is identifying exactly what you seek to achieve and then developing a plan to make it happen, a plan that includes persistence, persistence and more persistence.
If we take the time to honestly assess our lives, most of us have put our dreams on the shelf to collect dust; most of us have simply decided to give up instead choosing to settle for whatever comes our way.
If you want more out of life, rarely is it ever too late to refocus and redefine one’s priorities. To do that, it all begins with specifically defining your goals, and then allowing those goals to become your personal mission. Developing your goal plan is not an impossible task; matter of fact, it mostly just takes commitment.
To begin, simply get yourself a journal and decide to get busy going for your goals. How? Use this seven-step process to get started: Know what you want and identify your goal (s) by writing them down; Write down the benefits of achieving the goal including why this goal is important to you; Set a deadline for achieving the goal by specifying a date; List both the resources you already have and obstacles you need to overcome to accomplish your goal; Identify the people and groups you need to work with to reach your goal, Develop a Plan of Action to reach your goal, and then implement your plan with tenacity.
As you work on achieving your purpose, review your goals often. Adjust deadlines as needed and make new goals as you achieve goals on your list. Always view obstacles as opportunities for personal growth; and remember the most important thing is to always persist. Refuse to give up; and choose to become unstoppable.
Cynthia Kersey, in her book Unstoppable, researched the characteristics of unstoppable people. At the top of this list was that unstoppable people, “Devote themselves to their true purpose.”
The importance of purpose cannot be stressed enough. Purpose will help you focus your time and energy, purpose will help you to develop expertise in your areas of interest, purpose will help you persist in the face of obstacles, purpose will help you remain determined when people try to discourage you; and purpose will help you to achieve the inner peace that our spirits constantly seek.
Diana Ross and Ray Charles were both told by teachers that they could not sing and needed to find other careers; market researchers told Sony’s chairman that the idea for a walkman to play music would never sell; the founder of Federal Express was told that there was no market for such delivery services; and Barbara Smith tried out three times before finally being accepted as a model for the Ebony Fashion show. B. Smith as we know her, refused to deviate from her dream, choosing to wade through a sea of challenges before going on to become the first woman of color to appear on the cover of Mademoiselle magazine. People like Steven Spielburg, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Bill Gates, 50 Cents, Dr. Seuss, and countless others, remained purpose driven even as they each faced difficult times and countless disappointments.
At birth, divinely we are given at least one talent, often more. The difficult part of life’s journey is discovering what that talent might be and then deciding to use that talent in a purposeful manner that brings us personal joy.
Our ideas and dreams are messages sent to us by our spirits in an attempt to help guide the personal seeds that we sow. Most times we let fear of failure, self-doubt, and past experiences keep us from answering these wake-up calls; wake-up calls that are indeed spiritual awakenings beckoning us to step through the gateways which lead to our unique personal opportunities.
Refuse to go through life sleepwalking, and instead choose to live your life filled with purpose. Commit to finding purpose for your life and you will become unstoppable!!!
Dr. Anita Davis DeFoe