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Quotations for Motivation #41 ---Purpose

Updated on March 8, 2011

Quotations on Purpose (Set No. 1)

When a person adopts a definite purpose in life, forms a definite purpose in life, forms a definite plan for attaining it, and brings this purpose and plan into his mind many times daily–fanning it into a white flame of enthusiasm as he lives it out step by step–he forms a definite thought habit which goes right on working while he sleeps the same as when he is awake. By this means one may condition his subconscious mind to aid him in circumventing his lack of formal education, and aid him in the solution of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

—Andrew Carnegie, quoted by Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, April 10, 1957.

Purpose is progress modified by intelligence.

—John A. Widtsoe, Y News, Provo, Utah, Jan. 29, 1937.

Singleness of purpose: No one may become truly great without the ability to focus his attention upon one thing at a time and stay with it until he has become its master.

—Woodrow Wilson, quoted by Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Aug. 23, 1956.

Perhaps the one human trait which stands above all others as an aid to success is the fixed habit of turning on more will power instead of quitting when the going becomes hard and defeat seems imminent.

Development of this habit begins with the adoption of a definite purpose fanned into a white head of enthusiasm through accurate thinking, applied faith and self-discipline. ...

Determine what you want most from life. Adopt that as your major definite purpose. Make your start toward your goal right where you stand. When you come to those uphill pulls where the going is hard, turn on your applied faith, back it with all the enthusiasm as your command, and lo, you will find yourself on the right path.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, May 10, 1956.

Definiteness of purpose, backed by enthusiasm and determination, is an unbeatable combination.

And you don't have to acquire enthusiasm from others. You can generate it yourself. You begin with a burning desire for something. Enthusiasm isn't possible without a motive.

But with its help, you can achieve any goal you set for yourself.

A man without a definite major purpose is like a ship without a rudder; he goes around in circles and always comes back to his starting point, empty-handed.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Nov. 10, 1956.

You will hit no target higher than your point of aim. You will get no more from life than you demand of it.

The big winner is the man or woman with a definite purpose activated by enthusiasm until that purpose becomes an obsession. Those who win nothing more than a "mere living" are willing to accept whatever life brings them.

These latter are the persons who go along waiting for "something to turn up." They don't realize that nothing great ever happens unless someone with enthusiasm and determination makes it happen.

But for the person with such a "magnificent obsession," nothing is impossible. ...

How to you acquire a magnificent obsession?

First of all, by deciding exactly where you want to go in life–and then mapping out step by step the plan that will lead you there. Decide upon a definite major goal. Write it down. Commit the words to memory. Repeat them frequently to yourself throughout the day, until you are thoroughly imbued with enthusiasm and determination.

Then put your plan into action. Remember that the journey of a thousand miles begins with but a single step. You need only take the first step of your plan to be on your way to success. You'll find each succeeding step easier to accomplish as you go along.

Nothing stands in the way of the person whose determination and will has brought him into a state of faith that can be applied as a living force to help him attain his ends. Through its power, he turns road blocks into stepping stones and defeat into victory. No handicap, physical or mental, can bar his way.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Nov. 23, 1956.

Every person who wants to climb to the upper brackets of success should possess what I call an "obsessional purpose"–an all-consuming determination to achieve a certain definite goal within a clearly set period of time.

Let's see how a man with an obsessional definite purpose thinks and acts.

First of all, he has learned how to take advantage of spiritual powers beyond himself, how to tune in on Infinite Intelligence for guidance when he is in doubt or meets seemingly insurmountable problems.

He conditions his mind with a positive mental attitude to gain an enduring capacity for faith in himself and his abilities. Constantly, he says to himself, "I can . . ." and "I will . . ." All his conscious thoughts are directed toward his goal.

The man with an obsessional purpose imagines himself as already attaining the level of achievement he is striving for, thus helping to condition his mind toward success. His capacity for faith pushes aside the fears and doubts raised by friends and acquaintances with negative attitudes.

He knows that the desire to gain something for nothing is not in harmony with universal law. Therefore, he makes sure that his goal will benefit all whom it may affect, that he gives something of equal or greater value to attain it. He recognizes that all great leaders in any endeavor carry others with them to success.

No one achieves truly big success without help of others who supply knowledge, characteristics, and brainpower he himself lacks.

Therefore, the person with obsessional purpose surrounds himself with a "Master Mind" group of qualified individuals each of whom contributes something to his goal. He motives them to the full extent of their individual abilities by sharing his success with each one in proportion to his or her contribution. He generates enthusiasm so strongly that it becomes contagious to everyone with whom he comes in contact.

Such a success-bound person is a master salesman, skilled in the art of inspiring others with a keen desire to buy whatever he offers for sale, whether it be a commodity, a service--or an idea.

If he lacks sufficient schooling for his tasks, he overcomes this handicap by associating himself with persons who have the necessary training, as did Thomas A. Edison.

He invites constructive criticism. Nor does he let unfriendly criticism ruffle him because he knows that if honestly given, no matter what the spirit of the giver, it can uncover any weakness in either his purpose or his plan for attaining it.

He judges men on their individual worth rather than on prejudice, knowing that human beings of all races and creeds can help him achieve his goal. He hates no one, knowing that hatred festers and poisons the mind, setting up negative barriers to his success.

Above all, the person with an obsessional purpose is prepared to render more and better service than is expected of him or that he is paid to perform. He knows that only thus can he extend the space he occupies in the world and attain the self-satisfaction of true accomplishment.

Nothing is impossible to the person with a definite purpose and an abiding faith in his ability to attain it.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Nov. 26, 1956.

No fate or destiny can stop a man who is dominated by a mighty purpose. ...

That which dominates the life, which is ever uppermost in the mind, generally comes somewhere near realization; but there is a great difference between a lukewarm desire and a red hot purpose. ...

Your opportunity is wrapped up in your personality. The potency of your achievement is in yourself, just as the future oak is wrapped up in the acorn. Your success must be an evolution, an unfoldment, an expression of yourself.

—Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., Sept. 4, 1918.

A perplexed young man wrote me the following: 'If I had some definite object in view, I know I could attain it, but I really believe that, for a person constituted as I am, it is harder to know what he is fitted for, than to attain the end after he finds out. I am sure there are hundreds--yes, thousands--of youths who would appreciate help along this line."

Here we have the secret of multitudes of failures--they had no definite object in view. When a man is lost in a forest, he often tramps for days until he is entirely exhausted, only to find that he has been walking in a circle, and has come back to his starting point. So, the man who does not know what he is aiming at, the man without a purpose, although he may be a hard worker, does not accomplish anything worthwhile.

My friend, if you are in doubt about your vocation, your life work, try to get into an ambition arousing atmosphere, with people who will arouse your ambition and stimulate your desire to make a name and a place for yourself in the world. Read good, inspiring books, read the biographies of great men and women: read of their wonderful achievements under iron conditions, seemingly insurmountable difficulties, and ask yourself over and over again: "If they could do these things, why can't I?"

Multitudes of men and women have caught the first glimpse of themselves by the reading of some inspiring book or some vigorous article. Without it they might have remained ignorant of their real power forever. Anything that will give us a glimpse of ourselves, awaken us to our possibilities, is invaluable.

A great life aim is a powerful health preserver and prevents premature aging. When the faculties are employed in working out a splendid destiny we are happy, contented, and the consciousness of doing something worthwhile is a tremendous stimulant, a powerful mental and moral tonic. A mind so occupied cannot rust out nor prematurely wear out.

A great life purpose is as necessary to a successful, complete life as the character of Hamlet is to Shakespeare's play. To feel that you were destined for something superb, something divine instead of a mere aimless existence--this is an experience which no human being can afford to forego.

No matter how poor you may be, how humble your lot, look up. Keep your eye fixed upon your star. Let others ridicule if they will, but do not let them induce you to relax the fixity of your gaze. It is this setting the eye on a single star that has distinguished the great men and women of every age and of every walk of life.

—Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., March 31, 1919.

No one ever amounts to much until he gets a life purpose. Such a purpose brings out the best that is in you, is a call upon your highest faculties. ...

Every life of power must have a master purpose, which takes precedence of all other motives--a supreme principle so commanding and so imperative in its demands for recognition and exercise that there can be no mistaking its call. Without this the water of energy will never reach the boiling point.

The man with a vigorous purpose is a positive, constructive, creative force. No one can be resourceful, inventive, original, or creative without concentration; and the undivided focusing of the mind is possible only along the line of the ambition. ...

If there is anything a person should fight for, it is freedom to pursue an ideal, because in that is his opportunity for self-expression, for the unfolding of the greatest thing possible to him. It is his chance to make his life tell in the largest, completest way, to do the most original, distinctive thing possible to him.

The inspiration of a positive aim transforms the life and revolutionizes a shiftless, ambitionless, dissipated, good for nothing man as if some divine energy had worked in him, even as love sometimes transforms a slovenly, purposeless man into a methodical, diviner being.

When the awakening power of a new purpose, a resolute aim, is born in a man he is a new creature. He sees everything in a new light. The doubts, the fears, the apathy, the vicious temptations which dogged his steps but yesterday, the stagnation which had blighted his past life, vanish as if by magic. They are dispelled by the breath of a new purpose. Beauty and system take the place of unsightliness and confusion. Order reigns in the place of anarchy. All his slumbering faculties awaken to activity.

—Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., Oct. 15, 1919.

Purpose governs all things. Hard work executes purpose. Idleness leads to delinquency, crime and trouble with the law. Purpose is a sure force that builds a great character. One with a strong character and right purpose can and will represent the people in crises.

Time frittered away by detail and uncertainty in youth may mean a sluggard, a beggar in times of harvest, a life of poverty. Time wasted on trifles leads to no great goals, puts one behind his fellows in the great race of life.

Sound preparation means creative thought and action in times of opportunity and prosperity--always visitors sometime in life. Preparation and power to think are forces that guarantee success and continued prosperity through depressions and times of struggle.

—X. Carson, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, June 8, 1954.

Have a purpose in life and then strike sledgehammer blows, in one place until you have accomplished that purpose. All successful men have succeeded in proportion as they have confined their powers to one particular channel. They went straight to their goal. There was no dreaming away time or building air castles; but one look and purpose, forward, onward, upward straight to success. In their lives we can trace the power of concentration, riveting every faculty upon one unvarying aim; perseverance in the pursuit of an undertaking in spite of every difficulty, and courage which enables one to bear up under all trials, disappointments and temptations.

—Adolph Dreyer, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., July 8, 1900.

Perseverance is based on purpose and will. Purpose settles our destiny. Will is the executor of life. A man's power is his idea multiplied by his purpose and his will, and projected through his moral character. Conceptions form ideas, and ideas form actions, and actions form destinies. A man is a bundle of ideas. Great and good ideas mold good and great men. Small and foolish ideas have their counterpart in failure. A man's ideas are clothed in his character. These make up man's life. Life is backed by purpose and will. Here is the battlefield of destiny. We may become whatever we will and determine and purpose. Each man selects his own place in life. Yes, he selects his future abode. Neither luck nor genius can settle destiny. Labor is essential to success.

—J.W. Lipsey, Baptist Record, Jackson, Miss., Dec. 5, 1912.

We must have a worthy purpose. I do not mean simply a great desire. Purpose is more than that. Purpose is the willingness to put all your eggs in one basket. Purpose is the highest form of thinking. To purpose is to summon all one's powers for that particular end.

Expectation. Next to a purposeless life is the unexpecting one. If one only desires to coast through life then he needs only to follow these directions--have no purpose, or having a purpose but having no expectancy. There are as many failures who have a purpose but expect no results as there are among those who have no purpose. A purposeless life is a rudderless one. A life without expectancy is a dull routine.

—Floyd Poe, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 21, 1952.

Success is but the interest upon the capital of persistency and laudable purpose.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Oct. 12, 1922.

Doubt is the mildew of purpose. It is non-existent in the high, dry atmosphere of confidence.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Oct. 12, 1922.

Vacillation is purpose with its gas tank empty.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 4, 1922.

Purpose may be defined as interest plus a plan of action that has been initiated.

—J.R. Shoptaugh, Louisiana Schools, Baton Rouge, La., December 1953.

Every man ought to work, but there should be a purpose to inspire him. He who works without a plan, without a purpose and without an inspiration is in danger of souring on the job.

—A.J. Gearheard, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Sept. 21, 1924.

Time spent in regretting without re-purposing is wasted.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Aug. 30, 1930.

If a man does not put purpose into his life he will never arrive at any goal.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Dec. 17, 1934.

A man without a steady purpose wastes a very great deal of energy.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Aug. 12, 1938.

The only way to meet disappointment is with a new purpose.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Nov. 15, 1938.

He who seeks life at its best must offer himself at his best; he must invest himself to the limit, and must learn to live the focused life, every motive and talent of which is brought under the control of one purpose.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 19, 1955.

Poverty of purpose is worse than poverty of purse.

—Earl Riney, Church Management, Cleveland, Ohio, April 1941.


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  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 

    7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    I love this one. It is full of wisdom and if one follows this advice, he/she is on a great path!


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