James Lombard Dublin, Leinster, Ireland
Ctrl/Cmd Thoughts are Things
Two years after Barnes became a janitor working for Edison, his opportunity to go into partnership with Edison arrived. Hill says that during those years “He was constantly intensifying his desire to become the business associate of Edison”. In other words, he was saying his self-talk.
He had a definite desire. Was it just hero-worship, or was it just to make money so that he could live a life of luxury? What was behind the desire to go into partnership with Edison? I believe that at this point in his book Hill, because he was illustrating the power of thought, could not tell the full story. Barnes wanted to do much more with his life than become a partner with the great man; he wanted to make a success of his life.
What Barnes did after he secured the contract to sell the dictating machine and made his fortune, tells us what lay behind his goal to go into partnership with Edison. He believed that the machine would be of benefit to business men by enabling them to record their thoughts without the presence of a stenographer/typist; it could be used 24 hours a day, would save time and increase profits which could be put to good use by increasing employment. Barnes, not just content with selling the machine, provided 100 per cent customer satisfaction by keeping in constant touch with his customers and offering to service them when problems arose. Shortly after the Rotary Club was founded in 1915, to provide humanitarian services, Barnes became a prominent member. For his services to the organization, he was awarded a medal of honour. The motto of this club is: “He profits most who serves best”. On one occasion, having organized an industrial exhibition that was open to the public free of charge, he told a Chicago Daily News reporter: “Each exhibit pays $5 of which $1 goes to pay the expenses and the rest will be turned over to charity”.
The point I am making is that Barnes’ purpose was not just hero-worship or a desire for money for its own sake: it was about helping others. We were created to leave a legacy of goodness for those living and for those to come. Only such a purpose could drive one to make the sacrifices necessary for success in life.
Regards and best wishes to all.
James Lombard, Dublin, Ireland.