Mindset Mastery 182 – Making The Most Of It

The next selection from Napoleon Hill‘s Think and Grow Rich teaches us something about maximising the opportunities that we create through our dedicated decision-making processes. This lesson comes also from those characters of the American Revolution.

Maximum Opportunity

Before the first meeting of the new Congress, another leader, in a different section of the country, was deep in the process of publishing a “Summary View of the Rights of British America.” He was Thomas Jefferson, of the Province of Virginia, whose relationship to Lord Dunmore, (representative of the Crown in Virginia), was as strained as that of Hancock and Adams with their Governor.

Shortly after his famous Summary of Rights was published, Jefferson was informed that he was subject to prosecution for high treason against his majesty’s government. Inspired by the threat, one of Jefferson’s colleagues, Patrick Henry, boldly spoke his mind, ending his remarks with a sentence which will forever remain a classic, “If this be treason, then make the most of it.”

The Power Within

It was such men as these who, without power, without authority, without military strength, without money, who sat in solemn consideration of the destiny of the colonies, beginning at the opening of the First Continental Congress, and continuing at intervals for two years—until on June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee rose, addressed the Chair, and made this motion to the startled Assembly:

“Gentlemen, I make the motion that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states, that they be absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be totally dissolved.”

Lee’s astounding motion was discussed fervently, and for so long that he began to lose patience. Finally, after days of argument, he again took the floor, and declared, in a clear, firm voice, “Mr. President, we have discussed this issue for days. It is the only course for us to follow. Why, then Sir, do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American Republic. Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to re-establish the reign of peace, and of law. The eyes of Europe are fixed upon us. She demands of us a living example of freedom, which may exhibit a contrast, in the felicity of the citizen, to the ever increasing tyranny.”

Before his motion was finally voted on, Lee was called back to Virginia because of serious family illness, but before leaving, he placed his cause in the hands of his friend, Thomas Jefferson, who promised to fight until favorable action was taken. Shortly thereafter the President of the Congress (Hancock) appointed Jefferson as Chairman of a Committee to draw up a Declaration of Independence.

The Committee labored long and hard on a document which would mean, when accepted by the Congress, that every man who signed it would be signing his own death warrant should the Colonies lose in the fight with Great Britain, which was sure to follow.

No Turning Back

For these men, their commitment to their cause and their decided course of action meant that there was no turning back for them. This is not the first time that Napoleon Hill has tried to impress the importance of this upon us, but it is an important lesson to heed—when you continue to only make half-hearted attempts, you will continue to only enjoy half the result. Sometimes it takes a leap and having your only option be success!

Sean Rasmussen
Success Communicator
Aussie Internet Marketer © 2004 – 2010

About Sean Rasmussen

Sean Rasmussen is a passionate blogger and has been a full time internet marketer since 2005. When he's not with his family, or dog Buddy, Sean is usually blogging or doing something related to the internet.


  1. Hey Sean – interesting stuff reading about Thomas Jefferson, but it was your last paragraph that made me sit up and pay attention. In some instances I am definitely guilty of half-heated attempts. I’m on with a few things at the moment and I’ll keep your words of wisdom close at hand – commitment to cause – decided course of action – no turning back – only option success. Of course, I’ve heard it all before, but I need constant reminders. Thanks. 🙂
    .-= Jan Littlehales´s last blog ..Raising Great Kids – Nippers =-.

    • Yes Jan. That last paragraph was certainly going all in. Thankfully I have never been in a situation that required it but I am fairly sure that there are some things worth risking your life for.

      When it comes to less drastic things going all in is a tense time but as long as the risk is managed, may pay off handsomely.

    • Good on for your honesty, Jan. We all grow from it. I don’t think you’ll find you’re the only one guilty of that… Me too, Jan 🙂
      .-= Lina Nguyen´s last blog ..What life is about =-.

  2. Jazz Salinger says:

    Hi Sean,
    I’ve always loved reading about history. I actually watched a mini series on SBS recently called John Adams and it was about the life of the American President John Adams and it was really interesting to see these characters, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin etc come to life.
    We can learn a lot from these men. They were passionate and committed to their cause. They were willing to do whatever it took to secure their freedom. We might not have to literally go to war to secure our freedom but I think we need to be willing to fight just as hard for the freedom to choose how to live our lives. We owe it to ourselves and our families to be totally and utterly committed to this fight.

  3. Hi Sean, Amazing example of “the power within” – the history of self sacrifice and “total commitment” – the dedication of people who change the world. Powerful message here. Thank you, Sean.

  4. Hi Sean,
    the message can’t be repeated often enough – it’s action that makes the difference. I can discuss ideas (with myself or with others) forever. As long as I don’t take any action, nothing will happen.
    And the more I am committed/passionate about my idea, the easier it is to take action. But still it sometimes needs a leap of faith – because someone out there might accuse me of treason against existing ideas or opinions.
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker – Book review =-.

  5. This is similar to Procrastination for me 🙁

    It’s not like I sit around and then finally get around to something and only give 50% – but something inside does tell me that I could put in more, give more effort and that’s why things sometimes get delayed.
    .-= Cemil´s last blog ..Thesis Theme 1.7 – Update =-.

    • Hi Cemil,
      have a read through the earlier chapters of the book, especially the part about auto-suggestion. That can help you. And I have a post on my blog about Overcoming Procrastination, maybe there is a tip there that can help you take as much action as you feel you can do.

  6. I want to focus on the part about how the 56 men signed their own death warrants had the colonies lost the fight with Great Britan. I love the committment of putting something on paper that there is no turning away from. For me this is my goals and my purpose. People often say go back to a proper job, or swallow some pride and quit when they see the things I do that don’t go to plan.
    Sean where is the 2010 document I can sign my name to show the world turning back is no option!

  7. Hi Sean

    I’m glad to see you using US history as the basis for your story telling. I will always hold the US very close to my heart – having studied, worked and spent a lot of time over there. It’s a beautiful and complex country, they have been very good to me. I love the American passion, determination and ferocious pursuit of their dreams. A lot of it has to do with their history, from which I personally get a lot of spirit and hope. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    .-= Lina Nguyen´s last blog ..What life is about =-.

  8. Historically America had everything to lose but everything to gain – there was no turning back. Essentially, they burnt their bridges – one of my favourite comediennes Maria Bamford has a great joke about going on a “Burning Bridges Tour”.

    I heard a great story a long time ago about a man who led his army to a foreign country in boats and when they arrived that man destroyed ALL the boats – sounds pretty drastic but his army watched and they knew the only option was to succeed.

    The Power Within has to be strong and persist against all odds. How simple and complex it can be! I know it… everyone here knows it but what does it take? How much fight do I have… do you have deep down to fight the good fight? Am I going to let my fears always get in the way of my dreams? It’s tough – bloody tough but there are so many examples throughout history that tells many stories of succeeding because of their commitment & passion.

    But what will it take for me… and you?
    .-= Samantha Banfield´s last blog ..Ultimate Dream Jobs… =-.

    • Hi Sam,
      I think how much “fight” we have in us depends how important the cause is to us. Something that is really really important to you you will fight much longer and stronger for than something that is more “nice to have”.
      For me my determination always tells me a lot about how committed I actually him. Or if I am lying into my own pocket.
      .-= Renee´s last blog ..Overcoming Procrastination =-.

      • Or how much pain will it cause you to not follow your dreams?

        Personally, I am sick & tired of having others decide my future. I decide now. But it’s in the planning – and I still think it’s in the how (to some degree).

        But I have the quote “without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value” firmly in my grasp.
        .-= Samantha Banfield´s last blog ..Sean Rasmussen and his crazy talk! =-.

        • I agree with you, Samantha. I was so tired of hearing that we had to have kids as soon as we got married. 8 years later when I announced that I was pregnant the pestering started all over again regarding us having a second child. Not to mention the name suggestions for our first child. It seems no matter what we decide our family has other decisions already made for us.

          Me? I’m completely delighted to have a son, happy I waited 8 years and didn’t give into pressure and as for a second child, every time it’s mentioned it convinces me more to not have another.
          .-= Sarah Butland´s last blog ..Attracting Good People and Good Books =-.

  9. Obedience to the higher law of seeking collective freedom, far outweighs the lower law of self preservation in the face of tyranny. I’m reminded of many tyrannical actions of our sometimes bungling government departments and multi-national companies, which are so often met by silence from those negatively affected by their actions; i.e. many of us – and I speak for myself too. For example the mass-medication of our water supply, now illegal in the EU, struggles to be recognised as an issue here. And I am yet to write a proper letter to my MP! It seems to take a huge effort to take action when there is seemingly high opposition, but I’m sure that once I do, I will see that I have a great deal more personal power than I imagine.

    • Is it that the focus is on too many issues at once that cause procrastination. I hear the struggle against something too big to overcome.

      Take smaller steps… nothing can be achieved overnight – especially what you write about. It makes my head spin!!! As terrible as those things are, I have my own “grrrrr…” issues but I choose to change the world using humour. We can use our unique gifts and attract people who are attracted to your authenticity – and it’s taking that leadership role that you can lead people towards change.
      .-= Samantha Banfield´s last blog ..Sean Rasmussen and his crazy talk! =-.

      • Well said Sam. And you are definitely taking action. I love your approach, because if we can’t laugh anymore, what is left?

        And John – as Sam said, start with a small step. Maybe your MP has a facebook account, then you can leave a comment on his wall, doesn’t have to be a full letter. Start with one (small) step and you are on your way, one step at a time.
        .-= Renee´s last blog ..Motivational Music =-.

        • I don’t know how many small steps I’ve taken to promote my book and they are just now snowballing after 2 years. Word of mouth – the most effective form of marketing – starts with telling just one person and then time will tell who it will reach.

          True humour is a great form of looking at things as laughter is contagious and, like Renee said, what is left if we can’t laugh anymore. Many good friendships start with a joke about ourselves…
          .-= Sarah Butland´s last blog ..Attracting Good People and Good Books =-.

  10. It’s not necessarily what we learn from history but that we embrace what we CAN learn BECAUSE of history. I love that you have gotten so many people making public declarations of their future commitment and trust that everyone here will continue on a path much like these men. Although we may not be crucified for living mediocre lives but we’re killing ourselves if we don’t put effort into ourselves.
    .-= Sarah Butland´s last blog ..My Book Review of Wondrous Strange by Leslie Livingston =-.

  11. I love that book, its actual facts! Burning bridges behind you and focusing on your goal is the only way. The moment there is an escape route or alternative you’ll take it.

    When I started my own business everyone said dont do it…”What if..you will not make it…there’s no going back.” It was on my “to-do” list long enough, I’m doing it! Even if I fail 99 times I’ll do it again. Two years later and I’m still going and have 99 tries left!

    Don’t listen to others, do it. The others are safely at the bottom of the mountain…unhappy; you are at the top, alive and celebrating! Failure should not be a deterrent, but an inspiration.

    If Sean can do it, I will do it better!
    .-= Philip Theron´s last blog ..Blacklist =-.

    • What an inspiration you are, Philip, to your family and friends and strangers alike. I know when I was getting ready to go on maternity leave (a year in Canada) I prepared myself to complete my first novel and people told me I’d have my hands full and would never complete it having a new born at home. I’m on my 4th month of being home and have it in the hands of editors as we speak!

      People need to listen to what’s happening around them, believe and achieve. Thanks for sharing 🙂
      .-= Sarah Butland´s last blog ..My Book Review of Wondrous Strange by Leslie Livingston =-.

  12. i read and re-read this blog. It has really hit home with me. Sometimes I attempt to try to make a system work, but really I am only putting in half an effort. Because if I was really putting my all into the system, then it would without a doubt be a 100% successful. So Making the most of it hit a spot within me, To Be The Best, To Be The Best 110% all of the time, not 50% of the time. Success is within us all, its the determination that makes it possible, the dream and the faith 🙂
    .-= Lisa Wood´s last blog ..Its Meant To Be =-.

    • Hi Lisa,
      I find that I try to follow too many goals at once, and the result is that even my 120% effort is split between several things leaving only less than 100% for each. That is what I am learning at the moment – one goal at a time. I am achieving much more in the same time because I don’t have to re-focus all the time.
      .-= Renee´s last blog ..Overcoming Procrastination =-.

      • Renee and Lisa – I do think it’s important to get one thing accomplished at a time but also know how difficult this is. I find myself too often writing something and thinking I’m wasting my time because I’m not working on something else. For instance, every time I look at working on my novel I feel that I should instead be advertising what I already have published. It’s difficult to know what to spend your time on when there’s so much to do but the only way to narrow down your list is to start accomplishing something.
        .-= Sarah Butland´s last blog ..I Am Attracting You and Your Vote Via Law Of Attraction =-.

        • Hi Lisa, Renee and Sarah,

          I find that by focusing on the task at hand and giving it 100% makes it more likely that I will succeed. I find that having a routine helps.

          This way you can schedule in everything that needs to be done. Then, you just give each task all of your attention for a set period of time until it’s time to move onto the next one.
          .-= Jazz Salinger´s last blog ..Finding Your Passion =-.

  13. Take a leap with the only option success? Yes, at any given time we can be on the brink of disaster or the verge of a miracle! mmm, must remember this next time I need to take a leap of FAITH!

  14. A very “strange” thing has happened today.

    I have been opening up here in Sean’s blog and last night I spoke about being torn between a temp office job that I am not happy in and my passion for writing comedy – as seen in my blog 😉

    I have been shifting since participating in the Fistful of Dollars and today I was told my temp assignment will be ending at the end of this week.

    So I have to make the most of my opportunity & now it’s up to me….

    I am excited and yet scared – and a tiny bit courageous…. the pioneers who signed the declaration of Independance were far more courageous than I – so I gotta step up now!!!!
    .-= Samantha Banfield´s last blog ..Sean Rasmussen and his crazy talk! =-.

  15. Nancy Moyle says:

    woo, hoo, you go girl, seize the day – you can do it Samantha!

    • Thankyou Nancy!

      I have written a plan – as soon as I got home.

      I have read & read Sean’s blog & it has sunk in. What stuck out firstly is – PLANNING. As soon as I got home I wrote a plan the title is: WITTY SAM’S MISSION DECLARATION.

      I have 5 main points that I am going to cover over the next few days. Friday is D Day so I have to balance writing comments in Sean’s blog (cause it’s doin’ something to me) with using my blog to make the most of my opportunities on the net, make the most of my God given talents as a comic writer, make the most out of the time I have & every minute is so valuable…

      I just need to hold the state of fierce determination… & I aint known (with myself) for that. Deep breaths I guess & just do it.
      .-= Samantha Banfield´s last blog ..Sean Rasmussen and his crazy talk! =-.

  16. Keep pushing forward that is what i say slowly but be affective. You do not have to make it to the line first, just make sure you understand and get it right.
    .-= Richard Colum´s last blog ..Tips for First Time Home Buyers =-.

  17. Sometimes we have to burn our bridges and sometimes our bridges are burned for us, either way we move forwards.

    There are those who might say that circumstances, similar to those of Jefferson’s day are once again demanding we stand and say… only ‘this’ is acceptable.

    No matter our goal, committment is essential to success.
    .-= Jo Carey-Bradshaw´s last blog ..Empowering Mindset – Mindfulness =-.

  18. it is also very good to read information from the past this was a good read and really even though we in today’s era we follow much the same ways
    .-= Richard Colum´s last blog ..Tips for First Time Home Buyers =-.

  19. Great to read this Sean

    The history of the forging of the US is very empowering. I’m not sure they still hold all the same ideals
    .-= Gee´s last blog ..Why You Should Just Ignore Fad Diets (Part 2) =-.

  20. Hi Sean,
    If you have made a wrong decision then making the most of the situation is very worthwhile advice. The important thing is to make sure not to make the same mistake twice. Taking this action also means we are not chopping and changing our minds.

    The stand of the Eureka Stockade in Australian history is similar to that of Richard Henry and Lee Rose in 1776. The Eureka Stockade rebellion in Ballarat, Victorian goldfields in 1854. The rebellion was against a proposed mining license to be introduced. Miners claimed they were not making strikes so could not afford a license. Around 9 miners died but they stood firm and won their right not to have a mining license introduced.

    “The role of the Eureka Stockade in generating public support for miners demands beyond the goldfields resulted in Eureka being controversially identified with the birth of democracy in Australia” (Quote from Wikipedia)
    .-= Jill Brown´s last blog ..Common Law Marriage – What is Common Law Marriage? =-.

  21. Hi Sean

    I agree with Renee. At the end of the day, it is action and it always speaks louder than words.

    Men like Thomas Jefferson were brave action takers. You can have a thought, make a decision but then you have to take action and it’s your actions that make all the difference as history has shown us.

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