Mindset Mastery 48 – Causes Of Success

Mindset Mastery eBookWhen last we left Napoleon Hill he had just started to tell us how people came to envy the easy break that life dealt to Edwin Barnes, when in fact it was nothing of a break at all. What Barnes had backing him was the real cause of his success, and it was much more than happenstance.

Success, Cause And Effect

“Barnes succeeded because he chose a definite goal, placed all his energy, all his will power, all his effort—everything—behind that goal. He did not become the partner of Edison the day he arrived. He was content to start in the most menial work, as long as it provided an opportunity to take even one step toward his cherished goal.

Five years passed before the chance he had been waiting for appeared. During all those years not one ray of hope, not one promise of attaining his desire had been held out to him. To everyone, except himself, he looked like just another cog in the Edison business wheel, but in his own mind, he was Edison’s partner every minute of every hour, from the very day that he first started working there.

Desire, Illustrated

It is a remarkable illustration of the power of a definite desire. Barnes reached his goal because he wanted to be a business associate of Edison more than he wanted anything else. He formed a plan in order to attain that purpose. But he burned all his bridges behind him.

He stood by his desire until it became his dominating life obsession—and—finally, a fact.”

Successful Reasoning

This begins to show us the real cause, the reason that Barnes succeeded. He did all he could to keep his desire burning, and to see it through to fruition. He made it so that he had to succeed, so that failure, or “going back” was not an option, and then made that desire a true fact of his life, one that was certainly not something left to chance as people would be so quick to assume.

Sean Rasmussen
Success Communicator
SeanRasmussen.com © 2004 – 2008

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. Richard Colum says:

    thanks sean look forward to the next chapter.

    richard Colum

  2. Hi there sean, TrudyVan here, I believe in cause and effect. What you give you will recieve. It is true in all aspects of life. I believe in my visions and my goals. I believe if you work on them everyday, have them pasted on the wall right in front of you, it helps you keep your focus.

    Kindest regards

    TrudyVans last blog post..It sure is hard to move house

  3. I totally agree, TrudyVan

  4. Jazz Salinger says:

    Hi Sean,
    I find Barnes to be a really interesting man. How many of us would be willing to start with menial work when we believed we were worth being the company’s business partner? How long would we persist?
    I feel that the day Barnes burnt his bridges and left himself no way to go back; he put himself in a position where he had no choice but to achieve his goal. There was no backup plan because as far as he was concerned he didn’t need one. He was determined to be Edison’s partner.
    I always think that when everything is on the line, you have two choices. You can lay down and die or you can get up and fight like hell. I choose to fight like hell.

    • Hey Jazz,

      If we all felt the determination and had the burning desire to become the company’s business partner, then all of would be willing to. What seems like an incredible sacrifice to most of us only seems so because we don’t have the same passion and drive and determination that the particular person has.

      Just a thought!


      .-= Pete´s last blog ..peteboyr: @bullhunter Thanks, Sean. Just reviewing the webinar, and will get to your blogs after that. Big night ahead, pizza on the way! =-.

      • Hi Pete,

        Good point. You’re right, if you are passionate and determined to be, do, or have something; you will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

        Sometimes I think people aren’t willing to take the risk of a lower paying position to get where they want to go. Still, that may have more to do with needing to pay the mortage and take care of their family.
        .-= Jazz Salinger´s last blog ..Finding Your Passion =-.

    • Hi Jazz

      I think the cause of success for Barnes, besides his definite desire and determination was that he burned his bridges.

      I left my corporate job and burned my bridges. I made a proclamation when I left that I was never going to work for a boss again. I had my back up against the wall, so there was nothing behind me and everything in front of me.

      Every minute of every day as I plan for the future, I am writing my history as well.
      .-= Elly´s last blog .. =-.

  5. I also believe in cause and effect more than in “luck”. Yes, some situations might be more advantageous than others, but that doesn’t mean that it will automatically lead to more success, wealth or happiness.
    Otherwise all the lottery-winners would be multi-millionaires by now as they had the luck to be handed money to work with. But statistics show that most of them go back to the same situation they started from before winning the lottery.
    Why? Because they don’t have a “why”, they lack that burning desire to achieve something that is really important to them. They are the best example that achieving your goals doesn’t depend on “luck” but on yourself, how much you really want to reach your goal.
    Which is good news – as that is something I have an influence on 🙂
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Overcoming Procrastination =-.

  6. There’s a lot to be said about the person who goes for the “burn all bridges” strategy in making a big life change. It isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure. I think this is about assessing your risk profile and personal circumstances. You have to be prepared to sink if worst comes to worst with this approach. But the person who can come back from that and still be a success, well that’s the spirit of a champion.
    .-= Lina Nguyen´s last blog ..Richard Branson Business School: A day visit =-.

  7. “Barnes succeeded because he chose a definite goal, placed all his energy, all his will power, all his effort—everything—behind that goal. So really, in a way he didn’t stop to burn bridges, he just got over them on the way to his chosen goal.

    i had a dog like that – he was so focussed on his goal, he often hit fences that was between him and the goal. I admire the determination he had, but like to add wisdom, just a little bit!
    .-= Jo Carey-Bradshaw´s last blog ..Empowering Mindset – Mindfulness =-.

  8. This is a very inspiring story. There are many stories like this one. Each individual has the same ingredients for their success. Coaches inspire their charges with such stories. It is not a guarantee for the success a person wants exactly how they want it. eg has anyone seen American So You Think You Can Dance? Each year the same guy appears with the same burning desire to be selected and each year the result is the same. NO! And he will never succeed – you will have to see the shows to find out why.
    .-= Wal Heinrich´s last blog ..Think And Grow Rich Mindset Mastery =-.

  9. Hi Sean,
    It is incredible, how we can so often assume that someone has got a lucky break, – or that they just landed a good position by luck – when in fact they have deliberately placed themselves correctly and then waited 5 years for an opportunity to present itself.

    Such action is to be commended and used as a fine example of determination, faith and persistence.

    Great work Sean.
    .-= Jill Brown´s last blog ..Common Law Marriage – What is Common Law Marriage? =-.

  10. Hi Sean,

    I need no convincing of the principals of cause and effect. It really is an immutable law.

    What stood our for me most in this story is ‘burning your bridges’. This is exactly what I have done. I left my JOB 1 year ago tomorrow.

    I wouldn’t say it is for everyone to burn their bridges but for me it would be too easy to know there was a way back. There is only a way forward now and I have to succeed with my plan.

    I tend to be a bit ruthless like that and I don’t like the thought of going ‘back’ when I have completed that part of my journey. All the fun is now as each thought I have today makes my tomorrow. Each action I take, is the cause of tomorrow’s effect so I need to be vigilant. I keep this in mind at all times as I strive to make tomorrow even better than today.


  11. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve always been “lucky” according to some. I’ve always believed that I simply got what I asked for. Or rather, the Universe has always provided. Whenever I’ve needed something desperately, it’s always come to me or happened. Always. But, I’ve never asked for much. I was taught that it was wrong to be greedy, so I was to only ask for that which was needed badly to keep the most necessary bills paid, or food on the table or a roof over our heads.

    So, I didn’t focus on my alternate dream of going to college and becoming a genetisist. Nor on my real dream of becoming a famous singer. Those kind of dreams were beyond my reach and it would be wrong to ask for it. If I’d known then what I know now… Well, at least I do know now. And now I will dream and it will come to be, just like Mr. Barnes. It may take a few years, but it will happen.

  12. Now all I have to do is find my ‘Edison”

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