“Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat. Only by so doing can one be sure of maintaining that state of mind known as a BURNING DESIRE TO WIN, essential to success.”

If you haven’t Napoleon Hill’s, Think and Grow Rich”, go read it. Now. It’s an essential read for any entrepreneur or anyone looking to do big things in their life. In his book, Hill highlights three clear ingredients necessary for success:

  1. A defined purpose.
  2. A burning desire.
  3. A definite plan.

Most of us can define what our passions are. What we love doing. What inspires us and excites us. And most of us can make plans.

But we get hung up at step one. Defining our purpose. What do you want to do? How do you want to contribute? What story do you want to tell? What legacy do you want to leave behind?

Answering these questions requires you to really know yourself. It demands deliberate decision-making. It takes guts and unwavering courage. Defining your purpose is nowhere near as easy as it sounds.

It’s easy to know what you don’t want. It’s much, much more difficult to decide what really matters.

But if you’re walking through life only knowing that you don’t want what you have, you’ll end up never arriving at the destination of getting what you want.

Hill lists the following obstacles as the primary causes of failure:

  • Lack of a well-defined purpose in life.
  • Procrastination.
  • Lack of persistence (not finishing what you start)
  • Lack of power to make and stick to a decision.
  • Overwhelming fear
  • Wrong selection in a spouse/relationship
  • Being over-cautious
  • Wrong selection of vocation/career
  • Indiscriminate spending due to fear of poverty.
  • Guessing instead of thinking (acting on opinion rather than fact)

All of these, every one, points back to purpose. Once you’re confident in what you want to accomplish; What you will accomplish, nothing, absolutely nothing will stand in your way.

When I chat with folks about how I arrived to where I am today as a business-owner, I share with them how I defined my purpose. My purpose isn’t to code websites or consult with businesses about their brands. It isn’t to send invoices or answer emails.

My purpose is to create. My purpose is to inspire and motivate anyone and everyone who will listen to achieve what they want, personally or professionally. I believe I can make a difference. I believe that the only way to be truly fulfilled is to contribute to something bigger than yourself.

Once I established my purpose, I worked backwards to turn that purpose into profit.

So today, if you’re wondering what your purpose is, I ask you to take a step back and think about the big picture. Don’t think on a micro “what-my-day-to-day-tasks-should-be” level – think more holistically about the life and legacy you want to build. Don’t hold back. Think big. Dream bigger. As Hill says:

“If you do not see great riches in your imagination, you will never see them in your bank balance.”

Purpose. Passion. Plan. The three keys to success. Start with step one. The only thing holding you back is yourself. And there’s no better time than now.

What’s your purpose?

About Matt Cheuvront

I empower folks to do the work they want to do and live the life they want to live. I also watch entirely too much Saved by the Bell, run marathons, and drink plenty of craft beer. Check out the work my company is doing at Proof Branding.