Sunday, July 11

Because I know so many without jobs at the moment...


The other day I was reading about a man named Edwin C. Barnes. He was born in 1876 in Wisconsin, not to a wealthy or famous family. As a matter of fact, he was often referred to as a "tramp," (what we might call a "bum" these days) but Barnes had a big desire, and the determination to turn that desire into reality. He’d read about the things Thomas Edison was doing, and decided, uncompromisingly, that his future included working alongside the great inventor.

Instead of letting the obstacles between where he was and where he wanted to be get in his way, he went around them. He disregarded the fact that he had no money to take a train to Orange, NJ where Edison was, instead he rode on a freight car, dropping from the moving train when passing through the town. Neither did Barnes let the fact that he did not know Mr. Edison hold him back. He set his sights on what he wanted, and went forward with all intentions of attaining it. When he arrived in NJ, he went to Edison’s office, knocked on the door, and informed him he was there to be his associate, and that he was willing to start at the bottom and work his way up. His determination paid off. He got a job scrubbing floors and within 5 years had worked his way up, becoming a partner of Thomas Edison, and even a close friend over the long term. When Mr. Barnes passed away in 1952 in Bradenton, FL, he was a very wealthy man.

We can learn a few important lessons from the life of Edwin C. Barnes:

1. Think Big! Don’t hem and haw, always doubting or making excuses why you can’t do something. Decide what you want, make a plan, then set out to achieve your goal.

2. Step out in faith. Trust there will be pavement under each footfall and forge your own path.

3. Don’t let circumstances and details hold you back.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Be bold in all your endeavors.

4. No job is too small. Mr. Barnes started scrubbing floors. Instead of seeing it as “beneath” him, he saw it as a stepping stone to his ultimate goal.

So often in life we see stumbling blocks instead of stepping stones, and we tend to stay within our own self-imposed boundaries. The secret that the successful have found out, is that those amazing opportunities; those ‘once in a lifetime’ chances, are almost always found outside of our comfort zones. Can it be daunting to step out of bounds, leaving the safety of the familiar for the unknown? Absolutely. The potential rewards, however, are limitless once we stop limiting ourselves.

4 comments:

Corine said...

This is so true! I love the quote (though I don't remember by who...) that if we knew what we were capable of we would astound ourselves.

And I LOVE THE TITLE of your blog! We all need to 'fake it' regularly... as we act as though we already are... the thing we are working to become. What a beautiful constant reminder this title must be to you! Thank you for sharing!

Corine :D

Karen Mortensen said...

Great story and great advice from a great person. I love this. We all need to have this attitude in this country. Everybody wants to start at the top of the ladder without first climbing it.

Myrna R. said...

What a great reminder to help us follow our dreams. Thanks.

TIGHTWAD said...

Thank you! Very inspirational!