Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Life of Purpose

Day 17 of 365 Tiny Changes

Clear Definiteness of Purpose (Napoleon Hill)
Mission Statement (Steven Covey)
Big Hairy Audacious Goal (James Collin and Jerry Porras)

These are all terms for self defining a purpose for a life.  My purpose.  The idea is to verbally create a clear, compelling, vision, for the ultimate goal of a lifetime.

What is it that I want to be, do, create?  What is the legacy I want to leave behind?

These purposes can range from raising and mentoring my children to lead a life of purpose, to creating a bank account of a billion dollars, or both.

Success does not always equal purpose.  Some are successful with no purpose.  Look at some of the headliners of today, especially out of the sports and entertainment industries.  Young people who have been successful in creating fame and fortune for themselves, and then get off track by partying too hard and getting arrested for one socially unacceptable act or another.

I think these people reached their goal of stardom without a purpose behind it.  They met their goal and then didn’t know where to go from there.  They probably didn’t have a mentor to watch out for their personal interests and to guide them properly to the next step in their life.

I have done some research on Andrew Carnegie.  He was an industialist at the turn of the last century.  He was one of the wealthiest and most influential men of his day.   By the age of 29 he had his mission statement for his life in place, and he lived a very goal oriented, purpose filled life.

Though he had what would equate to billions of dollars by today’s standards he wrote that, “Man must have no idol and the amassing of wealth is one of the worst species of idolatry! No idol is more debasing than the worship of money! Whatever I engage in I must push inordinately; therefore should I be careful to choose that life which will be the most elevating in its character.”

Character appears to be the element missing from some of today’s newly wealthy.  A person of strong character can lead a life of disciplined purpose, instead of throwing away everything earned on frivolous partying and trouble making.

Carnegie argued that the life of a wealthy industrialist should comprise of two parts. The first part was the gathering and the accumulation of wealth. The second part was for the subsequent distribution of this wealth to benevolent causes. The philanthropy was key to making the life worthwhile.

The last 18 years of Mr. Carnegie’s life was spent solely in the endeavor of giving his money away.  Perhaps, his most famous act was that of donating money for the construction and stocking of neighborhood libraries.  All told there were 47 Carnegie Libraries built here in the US,  Canada, and the UK.  His goal was to be able to make available to the masses books and information so that they might educate themselves to improve their lives, much as he had done.

Carnegie had the ear of Presidents and other political leaders, world wide.  He also was a mentor to Napoleon Hill, one of the first personal success writers. 

Mr. Hill, believed that everyone needs a mentor.  He also realized that not every one had the opportunity to meet and befriend the type of people who would be willing mentors.  His solution was to create a virtual Master-mind group of one’s own. 

He suggested that one read and study famous, successful, people from the past.  He said a group of 4-6 was best.  He even suggested pictures of the people chosen for the Master-mind group be hung in a place where they could be seen daily, as a reminder of who each man was, and what he stood for.

I have been to many seminars on sales, leadership, and personal growth.  In many of them, the question of how a mentor can be found and convinced to champion someone, comes up.  The answer is always, pretty much, “Good luck, with that.” 

Napoleon Hill’s version gives the control back to the mentor seeker.  A book, or video, can never turn anyone down.  The mentor is chosen at the seekers desire.  The Master-mind group is developed from hundreds, even thousands, of lives, spanning hundreds, even thousands, of years.  Any one who can be studied is a potential member of my Master-mind group.

Once the Master-mind group is chosen and their lives have been studied to the point that I understand their thought processes, I can pose any question to my group.  By focusing on each member and how I believe they would react to and answer my question.  I have the minds of 4-6 highly successful people at my beck and call. 

I’ve actually seen this technique of a virtual mentor put to use in the acronym WWJD, “What would Jesus do?”   I think, many people would choose Jesus to be a member of their Master-mind group.  Some may choose Mohammad, some may choose Lee Iacoca, or all three.  It’s totally a choice.

I need Master-mind group of mentors that I can go to when I’m stuck in my progression of changes toward leading a more successful life.  I have actually been a fan of Napoleon Hill for several years, and have read much about him.  He is the first member of my virtual Master-mind group.

Tiny Change 17:  Choose and study the second member of my virtual Master-mind group.

I’m looking for suggestions of goal oriented, character driven, disciplined people, from the past, as potential members of my Master-mind group.  Please forward any names that come to mind.

Best Regards,

Napoleon Hill
Andrew Carnegie

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