Just 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.
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