Here is my first lesson from Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” book. “Desire is the starting point of all achievement.” – Napoleon Hill
The Man Who “Thought” His Way into Partnership with Thomas A.Edison:
- Barnes’ Desire
A little more than thirty years ago, Edwin C.Barnes discovered how true it is that men really do think and grow rich. His discovery did not come about at one sitting. It came little by little, beginning with a burning desire to become a business associate of the great Edison.
One of the chief characteristics of Barnes’ Desire was that it was definite. He wanted to work with Edison, not for him.
When this desire, or impulse of thought, first flashed into his mind he was in no position to act upon it. Two difficulties stood in his way. He did not know Mr.Edison, and he did not have enough money to pay his railroad fare to Orange, New Jersey.
These difficulties were sufficient to have discouraged the majority of men from making any attempt to carry out the desire. But his was no ordinary desire! He was so determined to find a way to carry out his desire that he finally decided to travel by “Blind baggage,” rather than be defeated. (To the initiated, this means that he went to East Orange on a freight train.)
He presented himself at Mr. Edison’s laboratory, and announced he had come to go into business with the inventor. In speaking of the meeting between Barnes and Edison, years later, Mr. Edison said, “He stood there before me, looking like an ordinary tramp, but there was something in the expression of his face which conveyed the impression that he was determined to get what he had come after. I had learned, from years of experience with men, that when a man really desires a thing so deeply that he is willing to stake his entire future on a single turn of the wheel in order to get it, he is sure to win. I gave him the opportunity he asked for, because I saw he had made up his mind to stand by until he succeeded. Subsequent events proved that no mistake was made.”
2. Being ready
Barnes did not get partnership with Edison on his first interview. He did get a chance to work in the Edison office, at a very nominal wage, doing work that was unimportant to Edison, but important to Barnes, because it gave him an opportunity to display his “merchandise” where his intended “partner” could see it.
Months went by. Apparently nothing happened to bring the coveted goal which Barnes had set up in his mind as his definite important was happening in Barnes’ mind. He was constantly intensifying his desire to become the business associate of Edison.
“When one is truly ready for a thing, it puts in its appearance,” have correctly said by psychologists.
Barnes was ready for a business association with Edison, moreover, he was determined to remain ready until he got that which he was seeking.
3. Definite Purpose
He did not say to himself, “Ah well, what’s the use” I guess I’ll change my mind and try for a salesman job.” But, he did say, “I came here to go into business with Edison, and I’ll accomplish this end if it takes the remainder of life.” He meant it!
4. A trick of an opportunity
When the opportunity came, it appeared in a different form, and from a different direction that Barnes had expected. That is one of the tricks of opportunity. It has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often it comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. Perhaps this is why so many fail to recognize opportunity.
5. Thoughts are things
“Thoughts are things,” and powerful things at that, when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for their translation into riches, or other material objects.
Barnes literally thought himself into a partnership with the great Edison! He thought himself into a fortune. He had nothing to start with, except the capacity to know what he wanted, and the determination to stand by that desire until he realized it.
Barnes had made himself rich in money, but he has done something infinitely greater, he has proved that one really may “Think and Grow Rich“.