Mindset Mastery 49 – Maintaining Desire And State Of Mind

Mindset Mastery eBookJust at the end of the last passage Hill mentioned something that was imperative to Barnes’ success—the cultivation and steeling of that desire into a “no retreat” recipe for success. As he says, Barnes burned the bridges back to the mediocre life before, so that the only place he had left to go was forward to greater success and wealth.

A Conversation With The Self

“When he went to Orange, he didn’t tell himself, “I’ll try to convince Edison to give me a job of some sort.” He said, “I will see Edison, and let him know clearly that I have come to go into business with him.

He did not say, “I’ll work there for a few months, and if nothing promising happens, I’ll quit and get a job somewhere else.” He did say, “I will start anywhere. I will do anything Edison tells me to do, but before I am through, I will be his associate.”

He did not say, “I’ll keep my eyes open for another opportunity in the meantime, in case Edison doesn’t give me what I want.” He said, “There is only one thing in this world that I am determined to have, and that is a business association with Thomas A. Edison. I will burn all bridges behind me, and stake my entire future on my ability to get what I want.”

No Going Back

In that, he left himself no possible way of retreat. He had to succeed or die!

That is all there is to the Barnes story of success! A long time ago, a general faced a situation which forced him to make a decision that would insure a successful campaign. He was about to send his armies against a powerful enemy, and he was outnumbered. He shipped out his troops, sailed to the enemy’s country, unloaded soldiers and equipment, then gave the order to burn the ships that brought them there. Addressing his men before the first battle, he said, “You see the ships going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice–we win—or we die! They won.

Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to burn his ships and cut all sources of retreat. Only by so doing, by creating that need, can a person be sure that they will maintain that state of mind known as a burning desire to win that is so essential to success.”

Maintaining Successful Mindset

Maintaining mindset is one of the most difficult parts of building wealth; it’s easy to be in a positive state of mind or a successful state of mind on occasion, but harder to develop that into a true way of life—the only way of life if you are to become wealthy! But Barnes found an extremely effective way to do just that. It is a path most people are not willing to take, safety being paramount in their minds, but it has been proven as elemental in cultivating the burning desire and finding that all-too-elusive steady state of mind.

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. Mark of Brisbane says:

    Now that’s a big call.

  2. Just before I sacked my boss recently, this story was at the front of my mind. I wanted to do or say something that made sure I could never get my job back, forcing me to rely on my new ventures. Things got even worse and my boss said if I ever wanted my job back, then I was just to ring him. It was quite a dilemma as the new boss was a fantastic guy, and yet I really wanted to burn my bridges.

    As much as I wanted to tell the employer/company what to do with their job, I decided to just make a quiet exit:)

    Since then, I figured my desire for a new life and new opportunities are so strong, that it really wasn’t an issue as retreat is not an option.

    Thanks Sean, I just wanted to share that little story of my own.

  3. Jazz Salinger says:

    Hi Sean,
    I admire Barnes immensely for not bargaining with success. He had a burning desire to be Edison’s partner and refused to consider alternatives if things didn’t work out the way he wanted.
    This is something that I struggle with. I find it difficult to not prepare for every eventuality in life. Security is important to me and so it is extremely rare for me to not have a backup plan or two. It flat out terrifies me.
    I’m happy to take a leap of faith but I’d have to have a lifeboat with me. Do you get the feeling this is something I need to work on? 🙂

  4. Security is something I have grown up with. Not unlimited riches, but always enough, always secure. And that felt very comfortable. So as long as I am happy with “comfortable” I can stay safe and warm in my comfort zone.

    If I want more, if I want to be the best I can be, surprise myself and everybody else, than I need to go out on that limb, leave security behind and jump. Scary. Very.

    I agree with Jazz, I prefer to have a backup plan – or at least to think I have one. If it is an alternative way to still get to my goal that is ok for me. But if the alternative, the “Plan B” is to give up on my dream and my desire – that is no option.
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker – Book review =-.

  5. Great advice, Renee.. Alternatives are great, while we are remembering that ‘this’ is my destination. And I think Sean’s last phrase is important: a ‘steady state of mind’, a clear and unobstructed aim and focus.
    .-= Jo Carey-Bradshaw´s last blog ..Empowering Mindset – Mindfulness =-.

  6. In that, he left himself no possible way of retreat. He had to succeed or die! Some people do die. You have to know when to say ‘enough’. How do you know the difference between winning through persistence and persistence to death?
    .-= Wal Heinrich´s last blog ..Think And Grow Rich Mindset Mastery =-.

  7. Hi Sean,
    To not take your eyes-off-the-prize can be a really hard thing to do sometimes that is unless one is totally committed from the beginning as was Edwin Barnes.

    I’m getting better at it because I am becoming more aware of what I want and need to do to get it. I am developing a whatever it takes attitude. Hopefully over time I will adopt the single mindedness to quickly go after what I want and see it through until I achieve it.

    The article is a great reminder to stay focused, thank-you, Sean
    .-= Jill Brown´s last blog ..Common Law Marriage – What is Common Law Marriage? =-.

  8. G’day Sean,
    Barnes’ close to fanatical burning desire was the KEY to his long term achievement of his goal to be Thomas Edison’s business associate. I believe he also used visualisation and autosuggestion as a way of getting to his goal. I am currently reading Mindset Mastery a little each day and reading the Autosuggestion chapter each night before getting some
    .-= Harry Lynn´s last blog ..SEAN RASMUSSEN’S ” LEARN AND EARN ” COMPETITION. =-.

  9. Great advice Harry,

    I also find that reading something of importance right before sleep helps to make it more concrete in my mind.

    From reading Mindset Mastery I am learning that the key for me is persistence. It’s the easiest thing to do… to give up when the going gets hard. But to keep on going even when the results don’t look great, keep on going because deep down we know the work we do today in working to develop our own wealth, will pay off, maybe not tomorrow but maybe next week, next month or next year.

    Each and every one of our positive efforts to take control of our own destiny does pay off!!
    .-= Bev Langford´s last blog ..Internet Marketing Competition – Win Cash and Prizes – Learn and Earn Free =-.

    • Hi Bev,

      I think that learning to be persistent is the most important thing you can do. You have to be able to burn your bridges and keep going until you’ve achieved your goals.

      It’s easy to maintain a successful mindset and persist when everything is going right. It’s not so easy when you can’t see your hard work and effort paying off.

      I’m still learning to have faith and to keep persisting with my goals even when I can’t see the results. Sometimes, the need for financial security takes over.
      .-= Jazz Salinger´s last blog ..Finding Your Passion =-.

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