My blog posts in large part have been focused this month on Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.

This book’s introductory chapter is styled: “The Man Who “Thought” His Way into Partnership with Thomas A. Edison.”

Well, this morning’s news about the Con Edison explosion in Queens, NY had me thinking that I ought to give this chapter some treatment. So here goes …

Most people are aware that Edison invented the lightbulb. What’s more, the lightbulb has become the quintessential means for depicting an idea.

It’s perfect in doing so, because the lightbulb both serves to illuminate and it serves as a brilliant example of what it takes to reduce an idea to form.

Where do ideas come from? Somewhere out of the subconscious. Yet, as far as I am to understand through the reading of this book and review of ideas from others who have as well, it seems that the subconscious draws from beyond the individual.

Regardless, reducing the lightbulb to form was a process in which Edison was deemed to have “failed” 1,000 times before achieving success.

When asked by a reporter to comment, Edison instead insisted: “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

That shows incredible persistence and the result of course changed the world far beyond turning blue the night sky in a New York burrough.

Returning to Hill’s book, he relates the story of Edwin C. Barnes.

According to the book, though he didn’t even have the money to take the train and instead went the way of “blind baggage” – i.e. as a hobo – and wasn’t dressed for appearances, Barnes was determined to fulfill his vision – to become Edison’s partner!

Barnes obtained an audience with Edison and precisely told him this as well. What next?

Barnes did not get his partnership with Edison on his first interview. He did get a chance to work in the Edison offices, at a very nominal wage, doing work that was unimportant to Edison, but most important to Barnes, because it gave him an opportunity to display his “merchandise” where his intended “partner” could see it.

Hill relates that months went by and no external progress. But, inside Barnes’ mind his desire only grew.

Then the opportunity presented itself. Edison created a ‘Dictating Machine’ which his sales force was reluctant to sell. Barnes stepped up!

He indicated that he could and would sell the Edison Dictating Machine. And when it became apparent how successful he was at doing so the slogan was born: “Made by Edison and Installed by Barnes.”

Hill remarks that Barnes made a lot of money as a result – perhaps $2 or 3 Million. Yet, even more valuable than the money according to Hill was the fact that Barnes learned …

an intangible impulse of thought can be transmuted into its physical counterpart by the application of known principles. Emphasis in original quote.

That is an explosive thought. I’m still doing my very best to wrap my head around it. Can you? Cheers!

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