In Napoleon Hill’s seminal work, Think & Grow Rich, he professed, “all who are ready may learn, not only what to do, but also how to do it; and receive, as well, the needed stimulus to make a start.”

Eighty years have passed since those words were first published, but their truth continues to resonate. If you are ready and willing, everything you need to be successful in both your professional and personal life is available to you right now.

Hill talked about an essential component to the secret to attaining wealth and that was DESIRE, a desire that was definite, focused and specific — without the worries of implementation overshadowing or lessening its realization. When that desire was combined with the conviction of your thoughts it created your DEFINITE PURPOSE.

But, how to do you discover your true desire? Is it a general desire like wealth and influence, or more specific like attaining the position of bank manager by 35? Each of us has our own unique desire based on what we want.

Not Sure What You Want? Start by Asking Yourself These 4 Questions.

1- What are you passionate about? Passion is a powerful force that can propel us to take leaps and bounds beyond our comfort zone. For many, that passion is what gets them out of bed every morning. Look for those aspects of life or business that put a smile on your face. Those actions or responsibilities that come naturally and/or effortlessly. Once you identify that passion, ask why? What about this sparks my passion?

2- What are your strengths? Too often we focus on the areas of our lives that aren’t working or we obsess over our weaknesses, instead of identifying our strengths and nurturing what is working. If you’re great at numbers and love spreadsheets, don’t force yourself to tackle all the creative responsibilities in your business. Play to your strengths.

3- What did you learn from your past experiences? Sometimes we need to identify what we don’t want in order to clearly understand what we do want. There is no better way to do that then to look back at your previous experiences. In your old jobs, careers or businesses, what didn’t you like? What areas of those experiences do you not want to repeat going forward? Having that understanding ahead of time can help facilitate the answer to question 4.

4- What does your ultimate goal look like? Be specific! If you want your business to be more profitable, what increase in profitability do you want to achieve? Do you want a 5% growth and why? If you attain that 5% in growth, what will that allow you to accomplish? If you want a business where you are supported by employees, then how many employees and what responsibilities will they have?

In Think & Grow Rich, Hill recounted the story of Edwin Barnes whose desire was to become a business associate of the great inventor, Thomas A. Edison. Edwin ultimately reached his goal with the greatest of success, but at the start he had nothing except “the capacity to know what he wanted, and the determination to stand by that desire until he realized it.”

Determination and conviction were two of the keys to Edwin Barnes’ ultimate success. Instead of wallowing in all the reasons why he wouldn’t succeed, he focused his efforts on attaining his ultimate goal. To foster that kind of faith in yourself and your desire, you first must be clear whether you are in a state of success or failure consciousness.

5 Ways to Determine if You Are You Stuck in Failure!

1- Always making excuses, instead of looking for options and solutions. If you’re always making excuses for why you can’t achieve this or can’t accomplish that, you most likely are not fully committed to your desire and purpose. You also might be afraid of what will happen if you actually succeed.

2- Always accepting what is, instead of focusing on what could be. Clinging to what hasn’t worked will only continue a cycle of failure. One must accept change and see it as an opportunity for gain and not as the possibility for loss.

3- Always focusing on your weaknesses, instead of appreciating your gifts. We all have strengths and weaknesses; it’s a part of being human. No one is good at all things at all times. That’s why it is essential to identify your gifts and appreciate the unique value you provide.

4- Always staying within your comfort zone, instead of taking risks. In order to discover what is possible, we often have to venture into the impossible. And that can only happen when we choose to take the initiative to move beyond our comfort zone.

5- Always settling for what you can get, instead of fighting for what you want. People’s greatest limits are often self-imposed. Giving in to fear, loss and failure can prevent you from staying the course and reaching your ultimate goal. Too many people quit and give up right before they have achieved success.