The Power of Concentration By Theron Q. Dumont | Video/Audiobook –  Unleash your creative potential

The Power of Concentration By Theron Q. Dumont | Video/Audiobook – Unleash your creative potential

The Power of Concentration, by Theron Q. Dumont
INTRODUCTORY We all know that in order to accomplish a
certain thing we must concentrate. It is of the utmost value to
learn how to concentrate. To make a success of anything
you must be able to concentrate your entire thought upon the idea
you are working out.
Do not become discouraged, if you are unable to hold your thought
on the subject very long at first. There are very few that can.
It seems a peculiar fact that it is easier to concentrate on
something that is not good for us, than on something that is
beneficial. This tendency is overcome when we learn to
concentrate consciously. If you will just practice a few concentration
exercises each day you will find you will soon develop this wonderful
power. Success is assured when you are able to concentrate
for you are then able to utilize for your good all constructive
thoughts and shut out all the destructive ones. It is of
the greatest value to be able to think only that which will be beneficial.
Did you ever stop to think what an important part your thoughts,
concentrated thoughts, play in your life? This book shows their
far-reaching and all-abiding effects. These lessons you will find very practical.
The exercises I have thoroughly tested. They are arranged so that
you will notice an improvement from the very start, and this
will give you encouragement. They point out ways in which
you can help yourself.
Man is a wonderful creature, but he must be trained and developed
to be useful. A great work can be accomplished by every man if he
can be awakened to do his very best. But the greatest man would
not accomplish much if he lacked concentration and effort. Dwarfs
can often do the work of giants when they are transformed by the
almost magic power of great mental concentration. But giants will
only do the work of dwarfs when they lack this power.
We accomplish more by concentration than by fitness; the man that
is apparently best suited for a place does not always fill it
best. It is the man that concentrates on its every possibility
that makes an art of both his work and his life.
All your real advancement must come from your individual effort.
This course of lessons will stimulate and inspire you to achieve
success; it will bring you into perfect harmony with the laws of
success. It will give you a firmer hold on your duties and
responsibilities. The methods of thought concentration given
in this work if put into practice will open up interior avenues
that will connect you with the everlasting laws of Being and their
exhaustless foundation of unchangeable truth.
As most people are very different it is impossible to give
instructions that will be of the same value to all. The author
has endeavored in these lessons to awaken that within the soul
which perhaps the book does not express. So study these lessons
as a means of awakening and training that which is within
yourself. Let all your acts and thoughts have the intensity and
power of concentration. To really get the full benefit of these lessons
you should read a page, then close the book and thoughtfully
recall its ideas. If you will do this you will soon cultivate a
concentrated mental habit, which will enable you to read with
ordinary rapidity and remember all that you read. LESSON I. CONCENTRATION FINDS THE WAY Everyone has two natures. One wants us to
advance and the other wants to pull us back. The one that we cultivate
and concentrate on decides what we are at the end. Both natures
are trying toa gain control. The will alone decides the issue.
A man by one supreme effort of the will may change his
whole career and almost accomplish miracles. You may be that man.
You can be if you Will to be, for Will can find a way or make one.
I could easily fill a book, of cases where men plodding along in
a matter-of-fact way, were all at once aroused and as if
awakening from a slumber they developed the possibilities within
them and from that time on were different persons. You alone can
decide when the turning point will come. It is a matter of choice
whether we allow our diviner self to control us or whether we
will be controlled by the brute within us. No man has to do
anything he does not want to do. He is therefore the director of
his life if he wills to be. What we are to do, is the result of
our training. We are like putty, and can be completely controlled
by our will power. Habit is a matter of acquirement. You hear
people say: “He comes by this or that naturally, a chip off the
old block,” meaning that he is only doing what his parents did.
This is quite often the case, but there is no reason for it, for
a person can break a habit just the moment he masters the “I will.”
A man may have been a “good-for-nothing” all his life up
to this very minute, but from this time on he begins to amount
to something. Even old men have suddenly changed and accomplished
wonders. “I lost my opportunity,” says one. That may be true,
but by sheer force of will, we can find a way to bring us another
opportunity. There is no truth in the saying that opportunity knocks
at our door but once in a lifetime. The fact is, opportunity
never seeks us; we must seek it. What usually turns out to be
one man’s opportunity, was another man’s loss. In this day one man’s
brain is matched against another’s. It is often the quickness
of brain action that determines the result. One man thinks “I will
do it,” but while he procrastinates the other goes ahead and
does the work. They both have the same opportunity. The one will
complain of his lost chance. But it should teach him a lesson,
and it will, if he is seeking the path that leads to success.
Many persons read good books, but say they do not get much good
out of them. They do not realize that all any book or any lesson
course can do is to awaken them to their possibilities; to
stimulate them to use their will power. You may teach a person
from now until doom’s day, but that person will only know what he
learns himself. “You can lead him to the fountain, but you can’t
make him drink.” One of the most beneficial practices I know
of is that of looking for the good in everyone and everything, for
there is good in all things. We encourage a person by seeing his
good qualities and we also help ourselves by looking for them. We
gain their good wishes, a most valuable asset sometimes. We
get back what we give out. The time comes when most all of us need
encouragement; need buoying up. So form the habit of encouraging
others, and you will find it a wonderful tonic for both those encouraged
and yourself, for you will get back encouraging and uplifting
thoughts. Life furnishes us the opportunity to improve.
But whether we do it or not depends upon how near we live up
to what is expected of us. The first of each month, a person should
sit down and examine the progress he has made. If he has not come
up to “expectations” he should discover the reason, and by extra
exertion measure up to what is demanded next time. Every time
that we fall behind what we planned to do, we lose just so much
for that time is gone forever. We may find a reason for doing it,
but most excuses are poor substitutes for action. Most things are
possible. Ours may be a hard task, but the harder the task, the
greater the reward. It is the difficult things that really develop
us, anything that requires only a small effort, utilizes very
few of our faculties, and yields a scanty harvest of achievement.
So do not shrink from a hard task, for to accomplish one of these
will often bring us more good than a dozen lesser triumphs.
I know that every man that is willing to pay the price can be a
success. The price is not in money, but in effort. The first
essential quality for success is the desire to do–to be
something. The next thing is to learn how to do it; the next to
carry it into execution. The man that is the best able to
accomplish anything is the one with a broad mind; the man that
has acquired knowledge, that may, it is true, be foreign to this
particular case, but is, nevertheless, of some value in all
cases. So the man that wants to be successful must be liberal; he
must acquire all the knowledge that he can; he must be well
posted not only in one branch of his business but in every part
of it. Such a man achieves success. The secret of success is to try always to
improve yourself no matter where you are or what your position.
Learn all you can. Don’t see how little you can do, but how much
you can do. Such a man will always be in demand, for he establishes
the reputation of being a hustler. There is always room for
him because progressive firms never let a hustler leave
their employment if they can help it.
The man that reaches the top is the gritty, plucky, hard worker
and never the timid, uncertain, slow worker. An untried man is
seldom put in a position of responsibility and power. The man
selected is one that has done something, achieved results in some
line, or taken the lead in his department. He is placed there
because of his reputation of putting vigor and virility into his
efforts, and because he has previously shown that he has pluck
and determination. The man that is chosen at the crucial time
is not usually a genius; he does not possess any more talent
than others, but he has learned that results can only be produced
by untiring concentrated effort. That “miracles,” in business
do not just “happen.” He knows that the only way they
will happen is by sticking to a proposition and seeing it through.
That is the only secret of why some succeed and others fail.
The successful man gets used to seeing things accomplished and
always feels sure of success. The man that is a failure gets used
to seeing failure, expects it and attracts it to him.
It is my opinion that with the right kind of training every man
could be a success. It is really a shame that so many men and
women, rich in ability and talent, are allowed to go to waste, so
to speak. Some day I hope to see a millionaire philanthropist
start a school for the training of failures. I am sure he could
not put his money to a better use. In a year’s time the science
of practical psychology could do wonders for him. He could have
agencies on the lookout for men that had lost their grip on
themselves; that had through indisposition weakened their will;
that through some sorrow or misfortune had become discouraged. At
first all they need is a little help to get them back on their
feet, but usually they get a knock downwards instead. The result
is that their latent powers never develop and both they and the
world are the losers. I trust that in the near future, someone
will heed the opportunity of using some of his millions in
arousing men that have begun to falter. All they need to be shown
is that there is within them an omnipotent source that is ready
to aid them, providing they will make use of it. Their minds only
have to be turned from despair to hope to make them regain their
hold. When a man loses his grip today, he must win
his redemption by his own will. He will get little encouragement
or advice of an inspiring nature. He must usually regain the
right road alone. He must stop dissipating his energies and turn
his attention to building a useful career. Today we must conquer
our weakening tendencies alone. Don’t expect anyone to help
you. Just take one big brace, make firm resolutions, and resolve
to conquer your weaknesses and vices. Really none can do this
for you. They can encourage you; that is all.
I can think of nothing, but lack of health, that should interfere
with one becoming successful. There is no other handicap that you
should not be able to overcome. To overcome a handicap, all that
it is necessary to do is to use more determination and grit and
will. The man with grit and will, may be poor today
and wealthy in a few years; will power is a better asset than
money; Will will carry you over chasms of failure, if you but
give it the chance. The men that have risen to the highest positions
have usually had to gain their victories against big odds.
Think of the hardships many of our inventors have gone through before
they became a success. Usually they have been very much
misunderstood by relatives and friends. Very often they did
not have the bare necessities of life, yet, by sheer determination
and resolute courage, they managed to exist somehow until
they perfected their inventions, which afterwards greatly helped
in bettering the condition of others.
Everyone really wants to do something, but there are few that
will put forward the needed effort to make the necessary
sacrifice to secure it. There is only one way to accomplish
anything and that is to go ahead and do it. A man may accomplish
almost anything today, if he just sets his heart on doing it and
lets nothing interfere with his progress. Obstacles are quickly
overcome by the man that sets out to accomplish his heart’s
desire. The “bigger” the man, the smaller the obstacle appears.
The “smaller” the man the greater the obstacle appears. Always
look at the advantage you gain by overcoming obstacles, and it
will give you the needed courage for their conquest.
Do not expect that you will always have easy sailing. Parts of
your journey are likely to be rough. Don’t let the rough places
put you out of commission. Keep on with the journey. Just the way
you weather the storm shows what material you are made of. Never
sit down and complain of the rough places, but think how nice the
pleasant stretches were. View with delight the smooth plains that
are in front of you. Do not let a setback stop you. Think of it
as a mere incident that has to be overcome before you can reach
Man from a psychological standpoint of development is not what he
should be. He does not possess the self-mastery, the
self-directing power of concentration that is his by right.
He has not trained himself in a way to promote his self-mastery.
Every balanced mind possesses the faculties whose chief duties
are to engineer, direct and concentrate the operations of the
mind, both in a mental and physical sense. Man must learn to
control not only his mind but his bodily movements. When the controlling faculties (autonomic)
are in an untrained condition, the impulses, passions, emotions,
thoughts, actions and habits of the person suffer from lack
of regulation, and the procedure of mental concentration is not good,
not because the mind is necessarily weak in the autonomic
department of the faculties, but because the mind is not properly
trained. When the self-regulating faculties are not
developed the impulses, appetites, emotions and passions
have full swing to do as they please and the mind becomes impulsive,
restless, emotional and irregular in its action. This
is what makes mental concentration poor.
When the self-guiding faculties are weak in development, the
person always lacks the power of mental concentration. Therefore
you cannot learn to concentrate until you develop those very
powers that qualify you to be able to concentrate. So if you
cannot concentrate one of the following is the cause: 1. “Deficiency of the motor centers.”
2. “An impulsive and emotional mind.” 3. “An untrained mind.” The last fault can soon be removed by systematic
practice. It is easiest to correct.
The impulsive and emotional state of mind can best be corrected
by restraining anger, passion and excitement, hatred, strong
impulses, intense emotions, fretfulness, etc. It is impossible to
concentrate when you are in any of these excited states.
These can be naturally decreased by avoiding such food and drinks
as have nerve weakening or stimulating influences, or a tendency
to stir up the passions, the impulses and the emotions; it is a
very good practice to watch and associate with those persons that
are steady, calm, controlled and conservative. Correcting the deficiency of the motor centers
is harder because as the person’s brain is undeveloped he lacks
will power. To cure this takes some time. Persons so afflicted
may benefit by reading and studying my course, “The Master
Mind.”[*] [*] To be published by Advanced Thought Publishing
Co., Chicago, Ill.
Many have the idea that when they get into a negative state they
are concentrating, but this is not so. They may be meditating,
though not concentrating. Those that are in a negative state a
good deal of the time cannot, as a rule, concentrate very well;
they develop instead abstraction of the mind, or absence of mind.
Their power of concentration becomes weaker and they find it
difficult to concentrate on anything. They very often injure the
brain, if they keep up this state. To be able to concentrate you
must possess strength of mind. The person that is feeble-minded
cannot concentrate his mind, because of lack of will. The mind
that cannot center itself on a special subject, or thought, is
weak; also the mind that cannot draw itself from a subject or
thought is weak. But the person that can center his mind on any
problem, no matter what it is, and remove any unharmonious
impressions has strength of mind. Concentration, first, last and
all the time, means strength of mind. Through concentration a person is able to
collect and hold his mental and physical energies at work. A concentrated
mind pays attention to thoughts, words, acts and plans.
The person who allows his mind to roam at will will never
accomplish a great deal in the world. He wastes his energies.
If you work, think, talk and act aimlessly, and allow your brain
to wander from your subject to foreign fields, you will not be
able to concentrate. You concentrate at the moment when you say,
“I want to, I can, I will.”
Some Mistakes Some People Make. If you waste your time reading
sensational stories or worthless newspaper items, you excite the
impulsive and the emotional faculties, and this means you are
weakening your power of concentration. You will not be a free
engineer, able to pilot yourself to success. Concentration of the mind can only be developed
by watching yourself closely. All kinds of development
commence with close attention. You should regulate your every
thought and feeling. When you commence to watch yourself and your
own acts and also the acts of other people, you use the faculties
of autonomy, and, as you continue to do so, you improve your
faculties, until in time you can engineer your every thought,
wish and plan. To be able to focalize the mind on the object at
hand in a conscious manner leads to concentration. Only the trained
mind can focalize. To hold a thought before it until
all the faculties shall have had time to consider that thought
is concentration. The person that cannot direct his thoughts,
wishes, plans, resolutions and studies cannot possibly succeed
to the fullest extent. The person that is impulsive one moment
and calm the next has not the proper control over himself. He
is not a master of his mind, nor of his thoughts, feelings and
wishes. Such a person cannot be a success. When he becomes irritated,
he irritates others and spoils all chances of any concerned
doing their best. But the person that can direct his energies
and hold them at work in a concentrated manner controls his every
work and act, and thereby gains power to control others. He
can make his every move serve a useful end and every thought a noble
purpose. In this day the man that gets excited and
irritable should be looked upon as an undesirable person. The
person of good breeding now speaks with slowness and deliberation.
He is cultivating more and more of a reposeful attitude. He is consciously
attentive and holds his mind to one thing at a time. He
shuts out everything else. When you are talking to anyone give
him your sole and undivided attention. Do not let your attention
wander or be diverted. Give no heed to anything else, but
make your will and intellect act in unison.
Start out in the morning and see how self-poised you can remain
all day. At times take an inventory of your actions during the
day and see if you have kept your determination. If not, see that
you do tomorrow. The more self-poised you are the better will
your concentration be. Never be in too much of a hurry; and,
remember, the more you improve your concentration, the greater
are your possibilities. Concentration means success, because you
are better able to govern yourself and centralize your mind; you
become more in earnest in what you do and this almost invariably
improves your chances for success. When you are talking to a person have your
own plans in mind. Concentrate your strength upon the purpose
you are talking about. Watch his every move, but keep your own plans
before you. Unless you do, you will waste your energy and not
accomplish as much as you should.
I want you to watch the next person you see that has the
reputation of being a strong character, a man of force. Watch and
see what a perfect control he has over his body. Then I want you
to watch just an ordinary person. Notice how he moves his eyes,
arms, fingers; notice the useless expenditure of energy. These
movements all break down the vital cells and lessen the person’s
power in vital and nerve directions. It is just as important for
you to conserve your nervous forces as it is the vital forces. As
an example we see an engine going along the track very smoothly.
Some one opens all the valves and the train stops. It is the same
with you. If you want to use your full amount of steam, you must
close your valves and direct your power of generating mental
steam toward one end. Center your mind on one purpose, one plan,
one transaction. There is nothing that uses up nerve force
so quickly as excitement. This is why an irritable person
is never magnetic; he is never admired or loved; he does not develop
those finer qualities that a real gentleman possesses.
Anger, sarcasm and excitement weaken a person in this direction.
The person that allows himself to get excited will become
nervous in time, because he uses up his nerve forces and his
vital energies. The person that cannot control himself and keep
from becoming excited cannot concentrate.
When the mind can properly concentrate, all the energy of every
microscopic cell is directed into one channel and then there is a
powerful personal influence generated. Everyone possesses many
millions of little trembling cells, and each one of these has a
center where life and energy are stored up and generated. If this
energy is not wasted but conserved and controlled, this person is
influential, but when it is the opposite, he is not influential
or successful. Just as it is impossible for a steam engine
to run with all its valves open, so is it impossible for you to
waste your energy and run at your top speed. Each neuron in the
gray layers of the brain is a psychic center of thought and action,
each one is pulsating an intelligent force of some kind,
and when this force, your thoughts and motions, are kept in cheek
by a conservative, systematic and concentrated mind, the result
will be magnetism, vitality and health. The muscles, bones, ligaments,
feet, hands and nerves, etc., are agents for carrying
out the mandates of the mind. The sole purpose of the volitional faculties
is to move the physical mechanism as the energy travels along
the wires of nerves and muscles. Just for that reason,
if you throw a voluntary control over these messages, impulses,
thoughts, emotions, physical movements and over these
physical instruments you develop your faculties of self-mastery
and to the extent you succeed here in proportion will you develop
the power of concentration.
Any exercise or work that excites the mind, stimulates the
senses, calls the emotions and appetites into action, confuses,
terrifies or emotionalizes, weakens the power of concentration.
This is why all kind of excitement is bad. This is the reason why
persons who drink strong drinks, who allow themselves to get into
fits of temper, who fight, who eat stimulating food, who sing and
dance and thus develop their emotions, who are sudden, vehement
and emotional, lack the power to concentrate. But those whose
actions are slower and directed by their intelligence develop
concentration. Sometimes dogmatic, wilful, excitable persons can
concentrate, but it is spasmodic, erratic concentration instead
of controlled and uniform concentration. Their energy works by
spells; sometimes they have plenty, other times very little; it
is easily excited; easily wasted. The best way to understand it
is to compare it with the discharge of a gun. If the gun goes off
when you want it to, it accomplishes the purpose, but if it goes
off before you are ready for it, you will not only waste
ammunition, but it is also likely to do some damage. That is just
what most persons do. They allow their energy to explode, thus
not only wasting it but endangering others. They waste their
power, their magnetism and so injure their chance of success.
Such persons are never well liked and never will be until they
gain control over themselves. It will be necessary for them to practice
many different kinds of concentration exercises, and to keep them
up for some time. They must completely overcome their sudden, erratic
thoughts, and regulate their emotions and movements. They
must from morning to night train the mind to be steady, and direct
and keep the energies at work.
The lower area of the brain is the store house of the energy.
Most all persons have all the dynamic energy they need if they
would concentrate it. They have the machine, but they must also
have the engineer, or they will not go very far. The engineer is
the self-regulating, directing power. The person that does not
develop his engineering qualities will not accomplish much in
life. The good engineer controls his every act. All work assists
in development. By what you do you either advance or degenerate.
This is a good idea to keep always in mind. When you are
uncertain whether you should do something or not, just think
whether by doing it you will grow or deteriorate, and act
accordingly. I am a firm believer in “work when you work,
and play when you play.” When you give yourself up to pleasure
you can develop concentration by thinking of nothing else
but pleasure; when your mind dwells on love, think of nothing but
this and you will find you can develop a more intense love than you
ever had before. When you concentrate your mind on the “you”
or real self, and its wonderful possibilities, you develop concentration
and a higher opinion of yourself. By doing this systematically,
you develop much power, because you cannot be systematic
without concentrating on what you are doing. When
you walk out into the country and inhale the fresh air, studying
vegetation, trees, etc., you are concentrating. When you see
that you are at your place of business at a certain time each morning
you are developing steadiness of habit and becoming
systematic. If you form the habit of being on time one morning,
a little late the next, and still later the following one, you
are not developing concentration, but whenever you fix your mind
on a certain thought and hold your mind on it at successive
intervals, you develop concentration.
If you hold your mind on some chosen object, you centralize your
attention, just like the lens of the camera centralizes on a
certain landscape. Therefore always hold your mind on what you
are doing, no matter what it is. Keep a careful watch over
yourself, for unless you do your improvement will be very slow.
Practice inhaling long, deep breaths, not simply for the
improvement of health, although that is no small matter, but also
for the purpose of developing more power, more love, more life.
All work assists in development. You may think it foolish to try to develop
concentration by taking muscular exercises, but you must not
forget that the mind is associated with muscle and nerve. When
you steady your nerves and muscles, you steady your mind, but let
your nerves get out of order and your mind will become erratic and
you will not possess the power of direction, which, in other words,
is concentration. Therefore you understand how important exercises
that steady the nerves and muscles are in developing concentration. Everyone is continually receiving impulses
that must be directed and controlled if one is to lead a successful
life. That is the reason why a person must control the movements
of his eyes, feet, fingers, etc.; this is another reason why
it is important to control his breathing. The slow, deep, prolonged
exhalations are of wonderful value. They steady the circulation,
the heart action, muscles and nerves of the mind. If
the heart flutters, the circulation is not regular, and when the
lung action is uneven, the mind becomes unsteady and not
fit for concentration. This is why controlled breathing is very important
as a foundation for physical health.
You must not only concentrate your mind, but also the action of
the eyes, ears and fingers. Each of these contain miniature minds
that are controlled by the master engineer. You will develop much
quicker if you thoroughly realize this. If you have ever associated with big men,
or read their biographies, you will find that they usually
let the others do the talking. It is much easier to talk than
it is to listen. There is no better exercise for concentration
than to pay close attention when some one is talking. Besides
learning from what they have to say, you may develop both mental
and physical concentration.
When you shake hands with some one just think of your hand as
containing hundreds of individual minds, each having an
intelligence of its own. When you put this feeling into your hand
shake it shows personality. When you shake hands in a listless
way, it denotes timidity, lack of force and power of personality.
When the hand grip is very weak and stiff, the person has little
love in his nature, no passion and no magnetism. When the hand
shake is just the opposite, you will find that the nature is
also. The loveless person is non-magnetic and he shows that he is
by his non-magnetic hand shake. When two developed souls shake
hands, their clasps are never light. There is a thrill that goes
through both when the two currents meet. Love arouses the
opposite currents of the positive and negative natures. When
there is no love, life loses its charm. The hand quickly shows
when love is being aroused. This is why you should study the art
of hand shaking and develop your social affections. A person that
loves his kind reflects love, but a person that hates reflects
hate. The person with a bad nature, a hateful disposition, evil
thoughts and feeling is erratic, freakish and fitful. When you
allow yourself to become irritable, watch how you breathe and you
will learn a valuable lesson. Watch how you breathe when you are
happy. Watch your breathing when you harbor hate. Watch how you
breathe when you feel in love with the whole world and noble
emotions thrill you. When filled with good thoughts, you breathe
a plentiful supply of oxygen into your lungs and love fills your
soul. Love develops a person, physically, mentally and socially.
Breathe deeply when you are happy and you will gain life and
strength; you will steady your mind and you will develop your
power of concentration and become magnetic and powerful.
If you want to get more out of life you must think more of love.
Unless you have real affection for something, you have no
sentiment, no sweetness, no magnetism. So arouse your love
affections by your will and enter into a fuller life.
The hand of love always magnetizes, but it must be steady and
controlled. Love can be concentrated in your hand shake, and this
is one of the best ways to influence another. The next time you feel yourself becoming irritable,
use your will and be patient. This is a very good exercise
in self-control. It will help you to keep patient if you will
breathe slowly and deeply. If you find you are commencing to
speak fast, just control yourself and speak slowly and clearly.
Keep from either raising or lowering your voice and concentrate
on the fact that you are determined to keep your poise, and
you will improve your power of concentration.
When you meet people of some consequence, assume a reposeful
attitude before them. Do this at all times. Watch both them and
yourself. Static exercises develop the motor faculties and
increase the power of concentration. If you feel yourself getting
irritable, nervous or weak, stand squarely on your feet with your
chest up and inhale deeply and you will see that your
irritability will disappear and a silent calm will pass over you.
If you are in the habit of associating with nervous, irritable
people, quit it until you grow strong in the power of
concentration, because irritable, angry, fretful, dogmatic and
disagreeable people will weaken what powers of resistance you
have. Any exercises that give you better control
of the ears, fingers, eyes, feet, help you to steady your mind;
when your eye is steady, your mind is steady. One of the best
ways to study a person is to watch his physical movements,
for, when we study his actions, we are studying his mind. Because
actions are the expressions of the mind. As the mind is, so
is the action. If it is uneasy, restless, erratic, unsteady, its
actions are the same. When it is composed, the mind is composed.
Concentration means control of the mind and body. You cannot secure
control over one without the other.
Many people who seem to lack ambition have sluggish minds. They
are steady, patient and seemingly have good control, but this
does not say they are able to concentrate. These people are
indolent, inactive, slow and listless, because they lack energy;
they do not lose control because they have little force to
control. They have no temper and it therefore cannot disturb
them. Their actions are steady because they possess little
energy. The natural person is internally strong, energetic and
forceful, but his energy, force and strength, thoughts and
physical movements are well under his control. If a person does not have energy, both mental
and physical, he must develop it. If he has energy which he
cannot direct and hold to a point he must learn to do so. A man may
be very capable, but, unless he Wills to control his abilities,
they will not do him any good. We hear so much talk about the benefit of
physical culture, but the real benefit of this is really lost sight
of. There is nothing that holds the faculties at work in
a sustained and continuous manner as static exercises do.
For, as stated before, when you learn to control the body, you are
gaining control over the mind. LESSON III. HOW TO GAIN WHAT YOU WANT THROUGH
CONCENTRATION The ignorant person may say, “How can you
get anything by merely wanting it? I say that through concentration
you can get anything you want. Every desire can be gratified. But
whether it is, will depend upon you concentrating to have that
desire fulfilled. Merely wishing for something will not bring
it. Wishing you had something shows a weakness and not a belief
that you will really get it. So never merely wish, as we are not
living in a “fairy age.” You use up just as much brain force
in “vain imaginings” as you do when you think of something worth while.
Be careful of your desires, make a mental picture of what you
want and set your will to this until it materializes. Never allow
yourself to drift without helm or rudder. Know what you want to
do, and strive with all your might to do it, and you will
succeed. Feel that you can accomplish anything you
undertake. Many undertake to do things, but feel when they
start they are going to fail and usually they do. I will give an
illustration. A man goes to a store for an article. The clerk
says, “I am sorry, we have not it.” But the man that is determined
to get that thing inquires if he doesn’t know where he can get
it. Again receiving an unsatisfactory answer the determined buyer
consults the manager and finally he finds where the article
can be bought. That is the whole secret of concentrating
on getting what you want. And, remember, your soul is a center
of all-power, and you can accomplish what you will to. “I’ll find
a way or make one!” is the spirit that wins. I know a man that
is now head of a large bank. He started there as a messenger boy.
His father had a button made for him with a “P” on it and put
it on his coat. He said, “Son, that ‘P’ is a reminder that some
day you are to be the president of your bank. I want you to
keep this thought in your mind. Every day do something that will
put you nearer your goal.” Each night after supper he would say,
“Son, what did you do today?” In this way the thought was always
kept in mind. He concentrated on becoming president of that
bank, and he did. His father told him never to tell anyone what
that “P” stood for. A good deal of fun was made of it by his associates.
And they tried to find out what it stood for, but they never
did until he was made president and then he told the secret.
Don’t waste your mental powers in wishes. Don’t dissipate your
energies by trying to satisfy every whim. Concentrate on doing
something really worth while. The man that sticks to something is
not the man that fails. “Power to him who power exerts.”–Emerson.
Success to-day depends largely on concentrating on the Interior
law of force, for when you do this you awaken those thought
powers or forces, which, when used in business, insures permanent
results. Until you are able to do this you have not
reached your limit in the use of your forces. This great universe
is interwoven with myriads of forces. You make your own place,
and whether it is important depends upon you. Through the Indestructible
and Unconquerable Law you can in time accomplish
all right things and therefore do not be afraid to undertake whatever
you really desire to accomplish and are willing to pay
for in effort. Anything that is right is possible. That which
is necessary will inevitably take place. If something is right
it is your duty to do it, though the whole world thinks it to
be wrong. “God and one are always a majority,” or in plain words,
that omnipotent interior law which is God, and the organism
that represents you is able to conquer the whole world if your
cause is absolutely just. Don’t say I wish I was a great man.
You can do anything that is proper and you want to do. Just say:
You can. You will. You must. Just realize this and the rest is
easy. You have the latent faculties and forces to subdue anything
that tries to interfere with your plans.
“Let-the-troubles-and-responsibilities-of-life-come-thick-and-fas t. I-am-ready-for-them. My-soul-is-unconquerable.
I-represent-the-Infinite-law-of-force,-or-of-all-power. This-God-within-is-my-all-sufficient-strength-and-ever-present-he
lp-in-time-of-trouble. The-more-difficulties-the-greater-its-triumphs-through-me.
The-harder-my-trials,-the-faster-I-go-in-the-development-of-my-in herent-strength. Let-all-else-fail-me.
This-interior-reliance-is-all-sufficient. The-right-must-prevail.
I-demand-wisdom-and-power-to-know-and-follow-the-right. My-higher-self-is-all-wise. I-now-draw-nearer-to-it.” LESSON IV. CONCENTRATION, THE SILENT FORCE
THAT PRODUCES RESULTS IN ALL BUSINESS I want you first to realize how powerful thought
is. A thought of fear has turned a person’s hair gray in a
night. A prisoner condemned to die was told that if he would
consent to an experiment and lived through it he would be
freed. He consented. They wanted to see how much blood a person
could lose and still live. They arranged that blood would apparently
drop from a cut made in his leg. The cut made was very slight,
from which practically no blood escaped. The room was
darkened, and the prisoner thought the dropping he heard was
really coming from his leg. The next morning he was dead through
mental fear. The two above illustrations will give you
a little idea of the power of thought. To thoroughly realize the
power of thought is worth a great deal to you.
Through concentrated thought power you can make yourself whatever
you please. By thought you can greatly increase your efficiency
and strength. You are surrounded by all kinds of thoughts, some
good, others bad, and you are sure to absorb some of the latter
if you do not build up a positive mental attitude. If you will study the needless moods of anxiety,
worry, despondency, discouragement and others that
are the result of uncontrolled thoughts, you will realize how
important the control of your thoughts are. Your thoughts make you
what you are. When I walk along the street and study the
different people’s faces I can tell how they spent their lives.
It all shows in their faces, just like a mirror reflects their
physical countenances. In looking in those faces I
cannot help thinking how most of the people you see have wasted
their lives. The understanding of the power of thought
will awaken possibilities within you that you never dreamed
of. Never forget that your thoughts are making your environment,
your friends, and as your thoughts change these will also. Is
this not a practical lesson to learn? Good thoughts are constructive.
Evil thoughts are destructive. The desire to do right carries
with it a great power. I want you to thoroughly realize the
importance of your thoughts, and how to make them valuable, to
understand that your thoughts come to you over invisible wires
and influence you. If your thoughts are of a high nature, you
become connected with people of the same mental caliber and you
are able to help yourself. If your thoughts are tricky, you
will bring tricky people to deal with you, who will try to cheat
you. If your thoughts are right kind, you will
inspire confidence in those with whom you are dealing.
As you gain the good will of others your confidence and strength
will increase. You will soon learn the wonderful value of your
thoughts and how serene you can become even when circumstances
are the most trying. Such thoughts of Right and Good Will bring
you into harmony with people that amount to something in the world
and that are able to give you help if you should need it, as nearly
everyone does at times. You can now see why it is so important to
concentrate your thoughts in the proper channels. It is very
necessary that people should have confidence in you. When two people
meet they have not the time to look each other up. They accept
each other according to instinct which can usually be relied on.
You meet a person and his attitude creates a suspicion in you.
The chances are you cannot tell why, but something tells you,
“Have no dealings with him, for if you do, you will be sorry.”
Thoughts produce actions. Therefore be careful of your thoughts.
Your life will be molded by the thoughts you have. A spiritual
power is always available to your thought, and when you are
worthy you can attract all the good things without a great effort
on your part. The sun’s rays shine down on our gardens,
but we can plant trees that will interfere with the sun light. There
are invisible forces ready to help you if you do not think
and act to intercept these. These forces work silently. “You reap
what you sow.” You have concentrated within powers that if
developed will bring you happiness greater than you can even imagine.
Most people go rushing through life, literally driving away
the very things they seek. By concentration you can revolutionize
your life, accomplish infinitely more and without a great
effort. Look within yourself and you will find the
greatest machine ever made.
How to Speak Wisely. In order to speak wisely you must secure at
least a partial concentration of the faculties and forces upon
the subject at hand. Speech interferes with the focusing powers
of the mind, as it withdraws the attention to the external and
therefore is hardly to be compared with that deep silence of the
subconscious mind, where deep thoughts, and the silent forces of
high potency are evolved. It is necessary to be silent before you
can speak wisely. The person that is really alert and well poised
and able to speak wisely under trying circumstances, is the
person that has practiced in the silence. Most people do not know
what the silence is and think it is easy to go into the silence,
but this is not so. In the real silence we become attached to
that interior law and the forces become silent, because they are
in a state of high potency, or beyond the vibratory sounds to
which our external ears are attuned. He who desires to become
above the ordinary should open up for himself the interior
channels which lead to the absolute law of the omnipotent. You
can only do this by persistently and intelligently practicing
thought concentration. Hold the thought: In-silence-I-will-allow-my-higher-self-to-have-complete-control.
I-will-be-true-to-my-higher-self. I-will-live-true-to-my-conception-of-what-is-right.
I-realize-that-it-is-to-my-self-interest-to-live-up-to-my-best. I-demand-wisdom-so that-I-may-act-wisely-for-myself-and-others.
In the next chapter I will tell you of the mysterious law, which
links all humanity together, by the powers of co-operative
thought, and chooses for us companionship and friends. LESSON V. HOW CONCENTRATED THOUGHT LINKS ALL
HUMANITY TOGETHER It is within your power to gratify your every
wish. Success is the result of the way you think. I will show
you how to think to be successful.
The power to rule and attract success is within yourself. The
barriers that shut these off from you are subject to your
control. You have unlimited power to think and this is the link
that connects you with your omniscient source. Success is the result of certain moods of
mind or ways of thinking. These moods can be controlled by
you and produced at will.
You have been evolved to what you are from a lowly atom because
you possessed the power to think. This power will never leave
you, but will keep urging you on until you reach perfection. As
you evolve, you create new desires and these can be gratified.
The power to rule lies within you. The barriers that keep you
from ruling are also within you. These are the barriers of
ignorance. Concentrated thought will accomplish seemingly
impossible results and make you realize your fondest ambitions.
At the same time that you break down barriers of limitation
new ambitions will be awakened. You begin to experience conscious
thought constructions.
If you will just realize that through deep concentration you
become linked with thoughts of omnipotence, you will kill out
entirely your belief in your limitations and at the same time
will drive away all fear and other negative and destructive
thought forces which constantly work against you. In the place of
these you will build up a strong assurance that your every
venture will be successful. When you learn thus how to
concentrate and reinforce your thought, you control your mental
creations; they in turn help to mould your physical environment,
and you become the master of circumstances and the ruler of your
kingdom. It is just as easy to surround your life with
what you want as it is with what you don’t want. It is a question
to be decided by your will. There are no walls to prevent you
from getting what you want, providing you want what is right.
If you choose something that is not right, you are in opposition
to the omnipotent plans of the universe and deserve
to fail. But, if you will base your desires on justice and good
will, you avail yourself of the helpful powers of universal
currents, and instead of having a handicap to work against, can
depend upon ultimate success, though the outward appearances may
not at first be bright. Never stop to think of temporary appearances,
but maintain an unfaltering belief in your ultimate success.
Make your plans carefully, and see that they are not contrary
to the tides of universal justice. The main thing for you
to remember is to keep at bay the destructive and opposing forces
of fear and anger and their satellites.
There is no power so great as the belief which comes from the
knowledge that your thought is in harmony with the divine laws of
thought and the sincere conviction that your cause is right. You
may be able seemingly to accomplish results for a time even if
your cause is unjust, but the results will be temporary, and, in
time, you will have to tear down your thought edifice and build
on the true foundation of Right. Plans that are not built on truth produce
discordant vibrations and are therefore self-destructive. Never
try to build until you can build right. It is a waste of time to
do anything else. You may temporarily put aside your desire to do
right, but its true vibrations will interfere with your unjust
plans until you are forced back into righteous paths of power.
All just causes succeed in time, though temporarily they may
fail. So if you should face the time when everything seems
against you, quiet your fears, drive away all destructive
thoughts and uphold the dignity of your moral and spiritual life. “Where There Is A Will There Is A Way.” The
reason this is so is that the Will can make a way if given the
chance to secure the assistance of aiding forces. The more it is
developed the higher the way to which it will lead.
When everything looks gloomy and discouraging, then is the time
to show what you are made of by rejoicing that you can control
your moods by making them as calm, serene and bright as if
prosperity were yours. “Be faithful in sowing the thought seeds of
success, in perfect trust that the sun will not cease to shine
and bring a generous harvest in one season.”
It is not always necessary to think of the success of a venture
when you are actually engaged in it. For when the body is
inactive the mind is most free to catch new ideas that will
further the opportunity you are seeking. When you are actually
engaged in doing something, you are thinking in the channels you
have previously constructed and the work does not have to be done
over again. When you are in a negative mood the intuitions
are more active, for you are not then controlling your thoughts
by the will. Everything we do. should have the approval
of the intuition. When you are in a negative mood you attract
thoughts of similar nature through the law of affinity. That is
why it is so important to form thoughts of a success nature
to attract similar ones. If you have never made a study of this
subject, you may think this is all foolishness, but it is a
fact that there are thought currents that unerringly bring thoughts
of a similar nature. Many persons who think of failure
actually attract failure by their worries, their anxieties,
their overactivity. These thoughts are bound to bring failure.
When you once learn the laws of thought and think of nothing but
Good, Truth, Success, you will make more progress with
less effort than you ever made before.
There are forces that can aid the mind that are hardly dreamed of
by the average person. When you learn to believe more in the
value of thought and its laws you will be led aright and your
business gains will multiply. The following method may assist you in gaining
better thought control. If you are unable to control your
fears, just say to your faulty determination, “Do not falter
or be afraid, for I am not really alone. I am surrounded by invisible
forces that will assist me to remove the unfavorable appearances.”
Soon you will have more courage. The only difference between
the fearless man and the fearful one is in his will, his hope.
So if you lack success, believe in it, hope for it, claim
it. You can use the same method to brace up your thoughts of desire,
aspiration, imagination, expectation, ambition, understanding,
trust and assurance.
If you get anxious, angry, discouraged, undecided or worried, it
is because you are not receiving the co-operation of the higher
powers of your mind. By your Will you can so organize the powers
of the mind that your moods change only as you want them to
instead of as circumstances affect you. I was recently asked if I advised concentrating
on what you eat, or what you see while walking. My reply was
that no matter what you may be doing, when in practice think of
nothing else but that act at the time. The idea is to be able to
control your unimportant acts, otherwise you set up a habit
that it will be hard to overcome, because your faculties have
not been in the habit of concentrating. Your faculties cannot
be disorganized one minute and organized the next. If you allow
the mind to wander while you are doing small things, it will
be likely to get into mischief and make it hard to concentrate on
the important act when it comes.
The man that is able to concentrate is the happy, busy man. Time
does not drag with him. He always has plenty to do. He does not
have time to think over past mistakes, which would make him
unhappy. If despite our discouragement and failures,
we claim our great heritage, “life and truth and force, like
an electric current,” will permeate our lives until we enter into
our “birthright in eternity.”
The will does not act with clearness, decision and promptness
unless it is trained to do so. There are comparatively few that
really know what they are doing every minute of the day. This is
because they do not observe with sufficient orderliness and
accuracy to know what they are doing. It is not difficult to know
what you us doing all the time, if you will just practice
concentration and with a reposeful deliberation, and train
yourself to think clearly, promptly, and decisive. If you allow
yourself to worry or hurry in what you are doing, this will not
be clearly photographed upon the sensitized plate of the
subjective mind, and you therefore will not be really conscious
of your actions. So practice accuracy and concentration of
thought, and also absolute truthfulness and you will soon be able
to concentrate. LESSON VI. THE TRAINING OF THE WILL TO DO The Will To Do is the greatest power in the
world that is concerned with human accomplishment and no
one can in advance determine its limits.
The things that we do now would have been a few ages ago
impossibilities. Today the safe maxim is: “All things are
possible.” The Will To Do is a force that is strictly
practical, yet it is difficult to explain just what it is. It can
be compared to electricity because we know it only through
its cause and effects. It is a power we can direct and to
just the extent we direct it do we determine our future. Every
time you accomplish any definite act, consciously or unconsciously,
you use the principle of the Will. You can Will to do
anything whether it is right or wrong, and therefore the way you
use your will makes a big difference in your life.
Every person possesses some “Will To Do.” It is the inner energy
which controls all conscious acts. What you will to do directs
your life forces. All habits, good or bad, are the result of what
you will to do. You improve or lower your condition in life by
what you will to do. Your will has a connection with all avenues
of knowledge, all activities, all accomplishment. You probably know of cases where people have
shown wonderful strength under some excitement, similar to
the following: The house of a farmer’s wife caught on fire. No
one was around to help her move anything. She was a frail woman,
and ordinarily was considered weak. On this occasion she removed
things from the house that it later took three men to handle.
It was the “Will To Do” that she used to accomplish her task.
Genius Is But A Will To Do Little Things With Infinite Pains.
Little Things Well Done Open The Door Of Opportunity For Bigger
Things. The Will accomplishes its greater results
through activities that grow out of great concentration in acquiring
the power of voluntary attention to such an extent that
we can direct it where we will and hold it steadily to its task until
our aim is accomplished. When you learn so to use it,
your Will Power becomes a mighty force. Almost everything
can be accomplished through its proper use. It is greater than
physical force because it can be used to control not only physical
but mental and moral forces.
There are very few that possess perfectly developed and balanced
Will Power, but those who do easily crush out their weak
qualities. Study yourself carefully. Find out your greatest
weakness and then use your will power to overcome it. In this way
eradicate your faults, one by one, until you have built up a
strong character and personality. Rules for Improvement. A desire arises. Now
think whether this would be good for you. If it is not, use your
Will Power to kill out the desire, but, on the other hand, if
it is a righteous desire, summon all your Will Power to your
aid, crush all obstacles that confront you and secure possession
of the coveted Good.
Slowness in Making Decisions. This is a weakness of Will Power.
You know you should do something, but you delay doing it through
lack of decision. It is easier not to do a certain thing than to
do it, but conscience says to do it. The vast majority of persons
are failures because of the lack of deciding to do a thing when
it should be done. Those that are successful have been quick to
grasp opportunities by making a quick decision. This power of
will can be used to bring culture, wealth and health.
Some Special Pointers. For the next week try to make quicker
decisions in your little daily affairs. Set the hour you wish to
get up and arise exactly at the fixed time. Anything that you
should accomplish, do on or ahead of time. You want, of course,
to give due deliberation to weighty matters, but by making quick
decisions on little things you will acquire the ability to make
quick decisions in bigger things. Never procrastinate. Decide
quickly one way or the other even at the risk of deciding wrong.
Practice this for a week or two and notice your improvement.
The Lack of Initiative. This, too, keeps many men from
succeeding. They have fallen into the way of imitating others in
all that they do. Very often we hear the expression, “He seems
clever enough, but he lacks initiative.” Life for them is one
continuous grind. Day after day they go through the same
monotonous round of duties, while those that are “getting along”
are using their initiative to get greater fullness of life. There
is nothing so responsible for poverty as this lack of initiative,
this power to think and do for ourselves. You Are as Good as Anyone. You have will power,
and if you use it, you will get your share of the luxuries
of life. So use it to claim your own. Don’t depend on anyone else
to help you. We have to fight our own battles. All the world loves
a fighter, while the coward is despised by all.
Every person’s problems are different, so I can only say “analyze
your opportunities and conditions and study your natural
abilities.” Form plans for improvement and then put them into
operation. Now, as I said before, don’t just say, “I am going to
do so and so,” but carry your plan into execution. Don’t make an
indefinite plan, but a definite one, and then don’t give up until
your object has been accomplished. Put these suggestions into
practice with true earnestness, and you will soon note
astonishing results, and your whole life will be completely
changed. An excellent motto for one of pure motives is: Through
my will power I dare do what I want to. You will find this
affirmation has a very strengthening effect. The Spirit of Perseverance. The spirit of
“sticktoitiveness” is the
one that wins. Many go just so far and then
give up, whereas, if they had persevered a little longer, they
would have won out. Many have much initiative, but instead of
concentrating it into one channel, they diffuse it through several,
thereby dissipating it to such an extent that its effect is lost.
Develop more determination, which is only the Will To Do, and
when you start out to do something stick to it until you get
results. Of course, before starting anything you must look ahead
and see what the “finish leads to.” You must select a road that
will lead to “somewhere,” rather than “nowhere.” The journey must
be productive of some kind of substantial results. The trouble
with so many young men is that they launch enterprises without
any end in sight. It is not so much the start as the finish of a
journey that counts. Each little move should bring you nearer the
goal which you planned to reach before the enterprise began.
Lack of Perseverance is nothing but the lack of the Will To Do.
It takes the same energy to say, “I will continue,” as to say, “I
give up.” Just the moment you say the latter you shut off your
dynamo, and your determination is gone. Every time you allow your
determination to be broken you weaken it. Don’t forget this. Just
the instant you notice your determination beginning to weaken,
concentrate on it and by sheer Will Power make it continue on the
“job.” Never try to make a decision when you are
not in a calm state of mind. If in a “quick temper,” you are likely
to say things you afterwards regret. In anger, you follow impulse
rather than reason. No one can expect to achieve success
if he makes decisions when not in full control of his
mental forces. Therefore make it a fixed rule to make decisions
only when at your best. If you have a “quick temper,” you
can quickly gain control over it by simple rule of counting
backwards. To count backwards requires concentration, and you
thus quickly regain a calm state. In this way you can break the
“temper habit.” It will do you a lot of good to think over
what you said and thought the last time you were angry. Persevere
until you see yourself as others see you. It would do no
harm to write the scene out in story form and then sit in judgment
of the character that played your part.
Special Instructions to Develop the Will To Do. This is a form of
mental energy, but requires the proper mental attitude to make it
manifest. We hear of people having wonderful will power, which
really is wrong. It should be said that they use their will power
while with many it is a latent force. I want you to realize that
no one has a monopoly on will power. There is plenty for all.
What we speak of as will power is but the gathering together of
mental energy, the concentration power at one point. So never
think of that person as having a stronger will than yours. Each
person will be supplied with just that amount of will power that
he demands. You don’t have to develop will power if you
constantly make use of all you have, and remember the way in
which you use it determines your fate, for your life is moulded
to great extent by the use you make of your will. Unless you make
proper use of it you have neither independence nor firmness. You
are unable to control yourself and become a mere machine for
others to use. It is more important to learn to use your will
than to develop your intellect. The man that has not learned how
to use his will rarely decides things for himself, but allows his
resolutions to be changed by others. He fluctuates from one
opinion to another, and of course does not accomplish anything
out of the ordinary, while his brother with the trained will
takes his place among the world’s leaders. LESSON VII. THE CONCENTRATED MENTAL DEMAND The Mental Demand is the potent force in achievement.
The attitude of the mind affects the expression
of the face, determines action, changes our physical condition
and regulates our lives.
I will not here attempt to explain the silent force that achieves
results. You want to develop your mental powers so you can effect
the thing sought, and that is what I want to teach you. There is
wonderful power and possibility in the concentrated Mental
Demand. This, like all other forces, is controlled by laws. It
can, like all other forces, be wonderfully increased by
consecutive, systematized effort. The mental demand must be directed by every
power of the mind and every possible element should be used to make
the demand materialize. You can so intently desire a
thing that you can exclude all distracting thoughts. When you
practice this singleness of concentration until you attain
the end sought, you have developed a Will capable of accomplishing
whatever you wish. As long as you can only do the ordinary things
you will be counted in the mass of mediocrity. But just
as quick as you surpass others by even comparatively small
measure, you are classed as one of life’s successes. So, if
you wish to emerge into prominence, you must accomplish something
more than the ordinary man or woman. It is easy to do this
if you will but concentrate on what you desire, and put forth
your best effort. It is not the runner with the longest legs
or the strongest muscles that wins the race, but the one that
can put forth the greatest desire force. You can best understand
this by thinking of an engine. The engine starts up slowly,
the engineer gradually extending the throttle to the top notch. It
is then keyed up to its maximum speed. The same is true of two
runners. They start off together and gradually they increase their
desire to go faster. The one that has the greatest intensity
of desire will win. He may outdistance the other by only
a fraction of an inch, yet he gets the laurels.
The men that are looked upon as the world’s successes have not
always been men of great physical power, nor at the start did
they seem very well adapted to the conditions which encompassed
them. In the beginning they were not considered men of superior
genius, but they won their success by their resolution to achieve
results in their undertakings by permitting no set-back to
dishearten them; no difficulties to daunt them. Nothing could
turn them or influence them against their determination. They
never lost sight of their goal. In all of us there is this silent
force of wonderful power. If developed, it can overcome
conditions that would seem insurmountable. It is constantly
urging us on to greater achievement. The more we become
acquainted with it the better strategists we become, the more
courage we develop and the greater the desire within us for
self-expression in activity along many lines. No one will ever be a failure if he becomes
conscious of this silent force within that controls his destiny.
But without the consciousness of this inner force, you will
not have a clear vision, and external conditions will not yield
to the power of your mind. It is the mental resolve that makes
achievement possible. Once this has been formed it should
never be allowed to cease to press its claim until its object
is attained. To make plans work out it will, at times, be necessary
to use every power of your mind. Patience, perseverance and all
the indomitable forces within one will have to be mustered
and used with the greatest effectiveness.
Perseverance is the first element of success. In order to
persevere you must be ceaseless in your application. It requires
you to concentrate your thoughts upon your undertaking and bring
every energy to bear upon keeping them focused upon it until you
have accomplished your aim. To quit short of this is to weaken
all future efforts. The Mental Demand seems an unreal power because
it is intangible; but it is the mightiest power in the world.
It is a power that is free for you to use. No one can use it for
you. The Mental Demand is not a visionary one. It is a potent force,
which you can use freely without cost. When you are in doubt
it will counsel you. It will guide you when you are uncertain.
When you are in fear it will give you courage. It is the motive power
which supplies the energies necessary to the achievement of the
purpose. You have a large store house of possibilities. The Mental
Demand makes possibilities realities. It supplies everything
necessary for the accomplishment, It selects the tools and instructs
how to use them. It makes you understand the situation.
Every time you make a Mental Demand you strengthen the brain centers
by drawing to you external forces.
Few realize the power of a Mental Demand. It is possible to make
your demand so strong that you can impart what you have to say to
another without speaking to him. Have you ever, after planning to
discuss a certain matter with a friend, had the experience of
having him broach the subject before you had a chance to speak of
it? Have you ever, in a letter, made a suggestion to a friend
that he carried out before your letter reached him? Have you ever
wanted to speak to a person who, just then walked in or
telephoned. I have had many such responses to thought and you and
your friends have doubtless experienced them, too.
These two things are neither coincidences nor accidents, but are
the results of mental demand launched by strong concentration.
The person that never wants anything gets little. To demand
resolutely is the first step toward getting what you want. The power of the Mental Demand seems absolute,
the supply illimitable. The mental demand projects itself
and causes to materialize the conditions and opportunities
needed to accomplish the purpose. Do not think I over estimate
the value of the Mental Demand. It brings the fuller life if used
for only righteous purposes. Once the Mental Demand is made,
however, never let it falter. If you do the current that connects
you with your desire is broken. Take all the necessary time to
build a firm foundation, so that there need not be even
an element of doubt to creep in. Just the moment you entertain “doubt”
you lose some of the demand force, and force once lost is hard
to regain. So whenever you make a mental demand hold steadfastly
to it until your need is supplied.
I want to repeat again that Power of Mental Demand is not a
visionary one. It is concentrated power only, and can be used by
you. It is not supernatural power, but requires a development of
the brain centers. The outcome is sure when it is given with a
strong resolute determination. No person will advance to any great extent,
until he recognizes this force within him. If you have not become
aware of it, you have not made very much of a success of your
life. It is this “something” that distinguishes that “man”
from other men. It is this subtle power that develops strong personality.
If you want a great deal you must demand a great deal. Once you
make your demand, anticipate its fulfillment. It depends upon us.
We are rewarded according to our efforts. The Power of Mental
Demand can bring us what we want. We become what we determine to
be. We control our own destiny. Get the right mental attitude, then in accordance
with your ability you can gain success.
And every man of AVERAGE ability, the ordinary man that you see
about you, can be really successful, independent, free of worry,
HIS OWN MASTER, if he can manage to do just two things.
First, remain forever dissatisfied with what he IS doing and with
what he HAS accomplished. Second, develop in his mind a belief that
the word impossible was not intended or him. Build up in his mind
the confidence that enables the mind to use its power.
Many, especially the older men, will ask: “How can I build up that self-confidence in
my brain? How can I, after months and years of discouragement,
of dull plodding, suddenly conceive and carry out a plan for
doing something that will mike life worth while and change the
monotonous routine? “How can a man get out of a rut after he has
been in it for years and has settled down to the slow jog-trot
that leads to the grave?”
The answer is the thing can be done, and millions have done it.
One of the names most honored among the great men of France is
that of Littre, who wrote and compiled the great French
dictionary–a monument of learning. He is the man whose place
among the forty immortals of France was taken by the great
Pasteur, when the latter was elected to the Academy. Littre BEGAN the work that makes him famous
when he was more than sixty years old. LESSON VIII. CONCENTRATION GIVES MENTAL POISE You will find that the man that concentrates
is well poised, whereas the man that allows his mind to wander
is easily upset. When in this state wisdom does not pass from
the subconscious storehouse into the consciousness. There must
be mental quiet before the two consciousnesses can work in
harmony. When you are able to concentrate you have peace of mind.
If you are in the habit of losing your poise, form the habit of
reading literature that has a quieting power. Just the second you
feel your poise slipping, say, “Peace,” and then hold this
thought in mind and you will never lose your self-control.
There cannot be perfect concentration until there is peace of
mind. So keep thinking peace, acting peace, until you are at
peace with all the world. For when once you have reached this
state there will be no trouble to concentrate on anything you wish.
When you have peace of mind you are not timid or anxious, or
fearful, or rigid and you will not allow any disturbing thought
to influence you. You cast aside all fears, and think of yourself
as a spark of the Divine Being, as a manifestation of the “One
Universal Principle” that fills all space and time. Think of
yourself thus as a child of the infinite, possessing infinite
possibilities. Write on a piece of paper, “I have the power
to do and to be whatever I wish to do and be.” Keep this mentally
before you, and you will find the thought will be of great
help to you. The Mistake of Concentrating on Your Business
While Away. In order to be successful today, you must concentrate,
but don’t become a slave to concentration, and carry
your business cares home. Just as sure as you do you will be burning
the life forces at both ends and the fire will go out much
sooner than was intended.
Many men become so absorbed in their business that when they go
to church they do not hear the preacher because their minds are
on their business. If they go to the theater they do not enjoy it
because their business is on their minds. When they go to bed
they think about business instead of sleep and wonder why they
don’t sleep. This is the wrong kind of concentration and is
dangerous. It is involuntary. When you are unable to get anything
out of your mind it becomes unwholesome as any thought held
continuously causes weariness of the flesh. It is a big mistake
to let a thought rule you, instead of ruling it. He who does not
rule himself is not a success. If you cannot control your
concentration, your health will suffer. So never become so absorbed with anything
that you cannot lay it aside and take up another. This is self-control.
Concentration Is Paying Attention to a Chosen Thought. Everything
that passes before the eye makes an impression on the
subconscious mind, but unless you pay attention to some certain
thing you will not remember what you saw. For instance if you
walked down a busy street without seeing anything that attracted
your particular attention, you could not recall anything you saw.
So you see only what attracts your attention. If you work you
only see and remember what you think about. When you concentrate
on something it absorbs your whole thought. Self-Study Valuable. Everyone has some habits
that can be overcome by concentration. We will say for
instance, you are in the habit of complaining, or finding fault
with yourself or others; or, imagining that you do not possess
the ability of others; or feeling that you are not as good
as someone else; or that you cannot rely on yourself; or harboring
any similar thoughts or thoughts of weakness. These should
be cast aside and instead thoughts of strength should be put
in their place. Just remember every time you think of yourself
as being weak, in some way you are making yourself so by thinking
you are. Our mental conditions make us what we are. Just watch
yourself and see how much time you waste in worrying, fretting
and complaining. The more of it you do the worse off you are.
Just the minute you are aware of thinking a negative thought
immediately change to a positive one. If you start to think of
failure, change to thinking of success. You have the germ of
success within you. Care for it the same as the setting hen
broods over the eggs and you can make it a reality.
You can make those that you come in contact with feel as you do,
because you radiate vibrations of the way you feel and your
vibrations are felt by others. When you concentrate on a certain
thing you turn all the rays of your vibrations on this. Thought
is the directing power of all Life’s vibrations. If a person
should enter a room with a lot of people and feel as if he were a
person of no consequence no one would know he was there unless
they saw him, and even if they did, they would not remember
seeing him, because they were not attracted towards him. But let
him enter the room feeling that he was magnetic and concentrating
on this thought, others would feel his vibration. So remember the
way you feel you can make others feel. This is the law. Make
yourself a concentrated dynamo from which your thoughts vibrate
to others. Then you are a power in the world. Cultivate the art
of feeling, for as I said before you can only make others feel
what you feel. If you will study all of the great characters
of history you will find that they were enthusiastic. First they
were enthusiastic themselves, and then they could arouse others’
enthusiasm. It is latent in everyone. It is a wonderful force
when once aroused. All public men to be a success have to possess
it. Cultivate it by concentration. Set aside some hour of the
day, wherein to hold rapt converse with the soul. Meditate with
sincere desire and contrite heart and you will be able to accomplish
that which you have meditated on. This is the keynote of
success. “Think, speak and act just as you wish to
be, And you will be that which you wish to be.”
You are just what you think you are and not what you may appear
to be. You may fool others but not yourself. You may control your
life and actions just as you can control your hands. If you want
to raise your hand you must first think of raising it. If you
want to control your life you must first control your thinking.
Easy to do, is it not? Yes it is, if you will but concentrate on
what you think about. For he only can
That says he will. How can we secure concentration? To this question,
the first and last answer must be: By interest and strong
motive. The stronger the motive the greater the concentration.–Eustace
Miller, M. D. The Successful Lives Are the Concentrated
Lives. The utterly helpless multitude that sooner or later have
to be cared for by charity, are those that were never able to
concentrate, and who have become the victims of negative ideas.
Train yourself so you will be able to centralize your thought and
develop your brain power, and increase your mental energy, or you
can be a slacker, a drifter, a quitter or a sleeper. It all
depends on how you concentrate, or centralize your thoughts. Your
thinking then becomes a fixed power and you do not waste time
thinking about something that would not be good for you. You pick
out the thoughts that will be the means of bringing you what you
desire, and they become a material reality. Whatever we create in
the thought world will some day materialize. That is the law.
Don’t forget this. In the old days men drifted without concentration
but this is a day of efficiency and therefore all of our
efforts must be concentrated, if we are to win any success
worth the name. Why People Often Do Not Get What They Concentrate
On. Because they sit down in hopeless despair and expect
it to come to them. But if they will just reach out for it with
their biggest effort they will find it is within their reach. No
one limits us but ourselves. We are what we are today as the
result of internal conditions. We can control the external conditions.
They are subject to our will.
Through our concentration we can attract what we want, because we
became enrapport with the Universal forces, from which we can get
what we want. You have watched races no doubt. They all
line up together. Each has his mind set on getting to the goal before
the others. This is one kind of concentration. A man starts
to think on a certain subject. He has all kinds of thoughts come
to him, but by concentration he shuts out all these but the
one he has chosen. Concentration is just a case of willing to
do a certain thing and doing it.
If you want to accomplish anything first put yourself in a
concentrating, reposeful, receptive, acquiring frame of mind. In
tackling unfamiliar work make haste slowly and deliberately and
then you will secure that interior activity, which is never
possible when you are in a hurry or under a strain. When you
“think hard” or try to hurry results too quickly, you generally
shut off the interior flow of thoughts and ideas. You have often
no doubt tried hard to think of something but could not, but just
as soon as you stopped trying to think of it, it came to you. LESSON IX. CONCENTRATION CAN OVERCOME BAD
HABITS Habits make or break us to a far greater extent
than we like to admit. Habit is both a powerful enemy and
wonderful ally of concentration. You must learn to overcome
habits which are injurious to concentration, and to cultivate
those which increase it.
The large majority of people are controlled by their habits and
are buffeted around by them like waves of the ocean tossing a
piece of wood. They do things in a certain way because of the
power of habit. They seldom ever think of concentrating on why
they do them this or that way, or study to see if they could do
them in a better way. Now my object in this chapter is to get you
to concentrate on your habits so you can find out which are good
and which are bad for you. You will find that by making a few
needed changes you can make even those that are not good for you,
of service; the good habits you can make much better.
The first thing I want you to realize is that all habits are
governed consciously or unconsciously by the will. Most of us are
forming new habits all the time. Very often, if you repeat
something several times in the same way, you will have formed the
habit of doing it that way. But the oftener you repeat it the
stronger that habit grows and the more deeply it becomes embedded
in your nature. After a habit has been in force for a long time,
it becomes almost a part of you, and is therefore hard to
overcome. But you can still break any habit by strong
concentration on its opposite. “All our life, so far as it has definite form,
is but a mass of habits–practical, emotional, and intellectual–systematically
organized, for our weal or woe, and bearing us irresistibly
toward our destiny whatever the latter may be.”
We are creatures of habits, “imitators and copiers of our past
selves.” We are liable to be “bent” or “curved” as we can bend a
piece of paper, and each fold leaves a crease, which makes it
easier to make the fold there the next time. “The intellect and
will are spiritual functions; still they are immersed in matter,
and to every movement of theirs, corresponds a movement in the
brain, that is, in their material correlative.” This is why
habits of thought and habits of willing can be formed. All
physical impressions are the carrying out of the actions of the
will and intellect. Our nervous systems are what they are today,
because of the way they have been exercised. As we grow older most of us become more and
more like automatic machines. The habits we have formed increase
in strength. We work in our old characteristic way. Your associates
learn to expect you to do things in a certain way. So you
see that your habits make a great difference in your life, and
as it is just about as easy to form good habits as it is bad, you
should form only the former. No one but yourself is responsible
for your habits. You are free to form the habits that you should
and if everyone could realize the importance of forming the right
kind of habits what a different world this would be. How much happier
everyone would be. Then all instead of the few might win
success. Habits are formed more quickly when we are
young, but if we have already passed the youthful plastic period
the time to start to control our habits is right now, as we will
never be any younger. You will find the following maxims worth remembering. First Maxim: “We must make our nervous system our ally
instead of our enemy.” Second Maxim: “In the acquisition of a new habit as in the
leaving off of an old one, we must take care to launch ourselves
with as strong and decided an initiative as possible.” The man that is in the habit of doing the
right thing from boyhood, has only good motives, so it is very
important for you that you concentrate assiduously on the habits
that reinforce good motives. Surround yourself with every
aid you can. Don’t play with fire by forming bad habits. Make
a new beginning today. Study why you have been doing certain things.
If they are not for your good, shun them henceforth. Don’t give
in to a single temptation for every time you do, you strengthen
the chain of bad habits. Every time you keep a resolution you
break the chain that enslaves you. Third Maxim: “Never allow an exception to occur till the
new habit is securely rooted in your life.” Here is the idea, you
never want to give in, until the new habit is fixed else you
undo all that has been accomplished by previous efforts. There are
two opposing inclinations. One wants to be firm, and the
other wants to give in. By your will you can become firm, through
repetition. Fortify your will to be able to cope with any and
all opposition. Fourth Maxim: “Seize the very first possible opportunity
to act on every resolution you make, and on every emotional
prompting you may experience in the direction of the habits
you aspire to gain.” To make a resolve and not to keep it is of
little value. So by all means keep every resolution you make,
for you not only profit by the resolution, but it furnishes you with
an exercise that causes the brain cells and physiological correlatives
to form the habit of adjusting themselves to carry out
resolutions. “A tendency to act, becomes effectively engrained
in us in proportion to the uninterrupted frequency
with which the actions actually occur, and the brain `grows’ to their
use. When a resolve or a fine glow of feeling is allowed
to evaporate without bearing fruit, it is worse than a chance lost.” If you keep your resolutions you form a most
valuable habit. If you break them you form a most dangerous one.
So concentrate on keeping them, whether important or unimportant,
and remember it is just as important for this purpose to keep
the unimportant, for by so doing you are forming the habit. Fifth Maxim:
“Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous
exercise every day.” The more we exercise the will, the better
we can control our habits. “Every few days do something for no
other reason than its difficulty, so that when the hour of dire
need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved or untrained to stand
the test. Asceticism of this sort is like the insurance which a
man pays on his house and goods. The tax does him no good at the
time, and possibly may never bring him a return, but if the fire
does come, his having paid it will be his salvation from ruin. So
with the man who has daily insured himself to habits of concentrated
attention, energetic volation, and self-denial in unnecessary
things. “He will stand like a tower when everything rocks
around him and his softer fellow-mortals are winnowed like chaff
in the blast.” The young should be made to concentrate on
their habits and be made to realize that if they don’t they become
walking bundles of injurious habits. Youth is the plastic state,
and should be utilized in laying the foundation for a glorious
future. The great value of habit for good and evil
cannot be overestimated. “Habit is the deepest law of
human nature.” No man is stronger than his habits, because his habits
either build up his strength or decrease it.
Why We Are Creatures of Habits. Habits have often been called a
labor-saying invention, because when they are formed they require
less of both mental and material strength. The more deeply the
habit becomes ingrained the more automatic it becomes. Therefore
habit is an economizing tendency of our nature, for if it were
not for habit we should have to be more watchful. We walk across
a crowded street; the habit of stopping and looking prevents us
from being hurt. The right kind of habits keeps us from making
mistakes and mishaps. It is a well known fact that a chauffeur is
not able to master his machine safely until he has trained his
body in a habitual way. When an emergency comes he instantly
knows what to do. Where safety depends on quickness the operator
must work automatically. Habits mean less risk, less fatigue, and
greater accuracy. “You do not want to become a slave to habits
of a trivial nature. For instance, Wagner required a certain costume
before he could compose corresponding parts of his operas.
Schiller could never write with ease unless there were rotten apples
in the drawer of his desk from which he could now and then
obtain an odor which seemed to him sweet. Gladstone had different
desks for his different activities, so that when he worked
on Homer he never sat among habitual accompaniments of his legislative
labors.” In order to overcome undesirable habits, two
things are necessary. You must have trained your will
to do what you want it to do, and the stronger the will the easier
it will be to break a habit. Then you must make a resolution to
do just the opposite of what the habit is. Therefore one habit must
replace another. If you have a strong will, you can tenaciously
and persistently concentrate on removing the bad habit and
in a very short time the good habit will gain the upper hand. I
will bring this chapter to a close by giving Doctor Oppenheim’s
instructions for overcoming a habit: “If you want to abolish a habit, and its accumulated
circumstances as well, you must grapple with the matter as
earnestly as you would with a physical enemy. You must go into
the encounter with all tenacity of determination, with all
fierceness of resolve–yea, even with a passion for success that
may be called vindictive. No human enemy can be as insidious, so
persevering, as unrelenting as an unfavorable habit. It never
sleeps, it needs no rest. “It is like a parasite that grows with the
growth of the supporting body, and, like a parasite, it
can best be killed by violent separation and crushing. When life is stormy and all seems against
us, that is when we often acquire wrong habits, and it is then,
that we have to make a gigantic effort to think and speak as we
should; and even though we may feel the very reverse at that
moment the tiniest effort will be backed up by a tremendous Power
and will lift us to a realization never felt before. It is
not in the easy, contented moments of our life that we make
our greatest progress, for then it requires, no special effort to
keep in tune. But it is when we are in the midst of trials and
misfortunes, when we think we are sinking, being overwhelmed, then
it is important for us to realize that we are linked to a great
Power and if we live as we should, there is nothing that can occur
in life, which could permanently injure us, nothing can happen
that should disturb us. So always remember you have within
you unlimited power, ready to manifest itself in the form
which fills our need at the moment. If, when we have something
difficult to solve, we would be silent like the child, we can get
the inspiration when it comes; we will know how to act, we will
find there is no need to hurry or disturb ourselves, that it is
always wiser to wait for guidance from within, than to act on impulse
from Without. LESSON X. BUSINESS RESULTS THROUGH CONCENTRATION A successful business is not usually the result
of chance. Neither is a failure the result of luck. Most
failures could be determined in advance if the founders had
been studied. It is not always possible to start a money-making business
at the start. Usually a number of changes have to be made.
Plans do not work out as their creators thought they would.
They may have to be changed a little, broadened it may be, here
and there, and as you broaden your business you broaden your power
to achieve. You gain an intense and sustained desire to make your
business a success. When you start a business you may have but
a vague notion of the way you will conduct it. You must fill in
the details as you go along. You must concentrate on these details.
As you straighten out one after another, others will require
attention. In this way you cover the field of “the first endeavor”
and new opportunities open up for you.
When you realize one desire, another comes. But if you do not
fulfill the first desire, you will not the second. The person
that does not carry his desires into action is only a dreamer.
Desire is a great creative force, if it is pure, intense and
sustained. It is our desires that keep stirring us up to action
and they will strengthen and broaden you if you make them
materialize. Every man who achieves success deserves it.
When he first started out he did not understand how to solve the
problems that afterwards presented themselves, but he did
each thing as it came up in the very best way that he could, and
this developed his power of doing bigger things. We become masters
of business by learning to do well whatever we attempt. The
man that has a thorough knowledge of his business can of
course direct it much more easily and skillfully than the man who
lacks that knowledge. The skilled business director can sit in his
private office and still know accurately what is actually being
done. He knows what should be done in any given time and if it
is not accomplished he knows that his employees are not turning out
the work that they should. It is then easy to apply the remedy.
Business success depends on well-concentrated efforts. You must
use every mental force you can master. The more these are used
the more they increase. Therefore the more you accomplish today
the more force you will have at your disposal with which to solve
your problems tomorrow. If you are working for someone else today
and wish to start in a business for yourself, think over carefully
what you would like to do. Then when you have resolved what you
want to do, you will be drawn towards it. There is a law that opens
the way to the fulfillment of your desires. Of course back
of your desire you must put forward the necessary effort to carry
out your purpose; you must use your power to put your desires
into force. Once they are created and you keep up your determination
to have them fulfilled you both consciously and unconsciously
work toward their materialization. Set your heart on your
purpose, concentrate your thought upon it, direct your
efforts with all your intelligence and in due time you will
realize your ambition. Feel yourself a success, believe you are a
success and thus put yourself in the attitude that demands recognition
and the thought current draws to you what you need to make
you a success. Don’t be afraid of big undertakings. Go at them
with grit, and pursue methods that you think will accomplish your
purpose. You may not at first meet with entire success, but aim
so high that if you fall a little short you will still have accomplished
much. What others have done you can do. You may
even do what others have been unable to do. Always keep a strong
desire to succeed in your mind. Be in love with your aim and work,
and make them, as far as possible, square with the rule of the
greatest good to the greatest number and your life cannot be a
failure. The successful business attitude must be cultivated
to make the most out of your life, the attitude of expecting
great things from both yourself and others. It alone will
often cause men to make good; to measure up to the best that
is in them. It is not the spasmodic spurts that count
on a long journey, but the steady efforts. Spurts fatigue and make
it hard for you to continue.
Rely on your own opinion. It should be as good as anyone’s else.
When once you reach a conclusion abide by it. Let there be no
doubt, or wavering in your judgment. If you are uncertain about
every decision you make, you will be subject to harassing doubts
and fears which will render your judgment of little value. The
man that decides according to what he thinks right and who learns
from every mistake acquires a well balanced mind that gets the
best results. He gains the confidence of others. He is known as
the man that knows what he wants, and not as one that is as
changeable as the weather. The man of today wants to do business
with the man that he can depend upon. Uncertainties in the
business world are meeting with more disfavor. Reliable firms
want to do business with men of known qualities, with men of
firmness, judgment and reliability. So if you wish to start in business for yourself
your greatest asset, with the single exception of a sound
physique, is that of a good reputation.
A successful business is not hard to build if we can concentrate
all our mental forces upon it. It is the man that is unsettled
because he does not know what he wants that goes to the wall. We
hear persons say that business is trying on the nerves, but it is
the unsettling elements of fret and worry and suspense that are
nerve-exhausting and not the business. Executing one’s plans may
cause fatigue, enjoyment comes with rest. If there has not been
any unnatural strain, the recuperative powers replace what energy
has been lost. By attending to each day’s work properly you
develop the capacity to do a greater work tomorrow. It is this
gradual development that makes possible the carrying out of big
plans. The man that figures out doing something each hour of the
day gets somewhere. At the end of each day you should be a step
nearer your aim. Keep the idea in mind, that you mean to go forward,
that each day must mark an advance and forward you will go. You
do not even have to know the exact direction so long as you are
determined to find the way. But you must not turn back once you
have started. Even brilliant men’s conceptions of the possibilities
of their mental forces are so limited and below their
real worth that they are far more likely to belittle their possibilities
than they are to exaggerate them. You don’t want to think
that an aim is impossible because it has never been realized
in the past. Every day someone is doing something that was never
done before. We are pushing ahead faster. Formerly it took decades
to build up a big business, but today it is only but a matter
of years, sometimes of months.
Plan each day’s activities carefully and you can reach any height
you aim at. If each thing you do is done with concise and
concentrated thought you will be able to turn out an excellent
quality and a large quantity of work. Plan to do so much work
during the day and you will be astonished to see how much more
you will do, than on other days, when you had not decided on any
certain amount. I have demonstrated that the average business
working force could do the same amount of work in six hours that
they now do in eight, without using up any more energy. Never
start to accomplish anything in an indecisive, indefinite,
uncertain way. Tackle everything with a positiveness and an
earnestness that will concentrate your mind and attract the very
best associated thoughts. You will in a short time find that you
will have extra time for planning bigger things. The natural leader always draws to himself,
by the law of mental attraction, ideas in his chosen subject that
have ever been conceived by others. This is of the greatest
importance and help. If you are properly trained you benefit much
by others’ thoughts, and, providing you generate from within yourself
something of value, they will benefit from yours. “We are
heirs of all the ages,” but we must know how to use our inheritance.
The confident, pushing, hopeful, determined man influences all
with whom he associates, and inspires the same qualities in them.
You feel that his is a safe example to follow and he rouses the
same force within you that is pushing him onward and upward.
One seldom makes a success of anything that he goes at in a
listless, spiritless way. To build up a business you must see it
expanding in your mind before it actually takes tangible shape.
Every great task that has ever been accomplished has first been
merely a vision in the mind of its creator. Detail after detail
has had to be worked out in his mind from his first faint idea of
the enterprise. Finally a clear idea was formed and then the
accomplishment, which was only the material result of the mental
concept, followed. The up-to-date business man is not content
to build only for the present, but is planning ahead. If he does
not he will fall behind his competitor, who is. What we are
actually doing today was carefully thought out and planned by others
in the past. All progressive businesses are conducted this
way. That is why the young business man of today is likely to accomplish
more in a few years than his father did in all his life.
There is no reason why your work or business should fag you out.
When it does there is something wrong. You are attracting forces
and influence that you should not, because you are not in harmony
with what you are doing. There is nothing so tiring as to try
to do the work for which we are unfitted, both by temperament
and training. Each one should be engaged in a business that
he loves; be should be furthering movements with which he is in
sympathy. He will then only do his best work and take intense
pleasure in his business. In this way, while constantly growing
and developing his powers, he is at the same time rendering
through his work, genuine and devoted service to humanity.
Business success is not the result of chance, but of scientific
ideas and plans carried out by an aggressive and progressive
management. Use your mental forces so that they will grow and
develop. Remember that everything you do is the result of mental
action, therefore you can completely control your every action.
Nothing is impossible for you. Don’t be afraid to tackle a
difficult proposition. Your success will depend upon the use you
make of your mind. This is capable of wonderful development. See
that you make full use of it, and not only develop yourself but
your associates. Try to broaden the visions of those with whom
you come in contact and you will broaden your own outlook of
life. Are You Afraid of Responsibilities? In order
for the individual soul to develop, you must have responsibilities.
You must manifest the omnipotence of the law of supply.
The whole world is your legitimate sphere of activity. How much
of a conqueror are you? What have you done? Are you afraid of
responsibility, or are you ever dodging, flinching, or side stepping
it. If you are, you are not a Real Man. Your higher self never
winces, so be a man and allow the powers of the higher self to
manifest and you will find you have plenty of strength and you will
feel better when you are tackling difficult propositions. LESSON XI. CONCENTRATE ON COURAGE Courage is the backbone of man. The man with
courage has persistence. He states what he believes and
puts it into execution. The courageous man has confidence.
He draws to himself all the moral qualities and mental forces
which go to make up a strong man. Whereas, the man without courage
draws to himself all the qualities of a weak man, vacillation,
doubt, hesitancy, and unsteadiness of purpose. You can therefore
see the value of concentration on courage. It is a most vital
element of success. The lack of courage creates financial, as
well and failure isnaturally the almost inevitable
result. This is a subject well worthy of your study. Look upon everything
within your power as a possibility instead of as merely a probability
and you will accomplish a great deal more, because by considering
a thing as impossible, you immediately draw to yourself
all the elements that contribute to failure. Lack of courage
destroys your confidence in yourself. It destroys that forceful,
resolute attitude so important to success.
The man without courage unconsciously draws to himself all that
is contemptible, weakening, demoralizing and destructive. He then
blames his luck when he does not secure the things he weakly
desires. We must first have the courage to strongly desire
something. A desire to be fulfilled must be backed by the
strength of all our mental forces. Such a desire has enough
commanding force to change all unfavorable conditions. The man
with courage commands, whether be is on the battlefield or in
business life. What is courage? It is the Will To Do. It
takes no more energy to be courageous than to be cowardly. It is a
matter of the right training in the right way. Courage concentrates
the mental forces on the task at hand. It then directs them
thoughtfully, steadily, deliberately, while attracting all the forces
of success, toward the desired end. Cowardice on the other hand, dissipates both our
mental and moral forces, thereby inviting failure. As we are creatures of habits, we should avoid
persons that lack courage. They are easy to discover because
of their habits of fear in attacking new problems. The man with
courage is never afraid.
Start out today with the idea that there is no reason why you
should not be courageous. If any fear-thoughts come to you cast
them off as you would the deadly viper. Form the habit of never
thinking of anything unfavorable to yourself or anyone else. In
dealing with difficulties, new or old, hold ever the thought, “I
am courageous.” Whenever a doubt crosses the threshold of your
mind, banish it. Remember, you as master of your mind control its
every thought, and here is a good one to often affirm, “I have
courage because I desire it; because I need it; because I use it
and because I refuse to become such a weakling as cowardice
produces.” There is no justification for the loss of
courage. The evils by which you will almost certainly be overwhelmed
without it are far greater than those which courage will help
you to meet and overcome. Right, then, must be the moralist
who says that the only thing to fear is fear.
Never let another’s opinion affect you; he cannot tell what you
are able to do; he does not know what you can do with your
forces. The truth is you do not know yourself until you put
yourself to the test. Therefore, how can someone else know? Never
let anyone else put a valuation on you. Almost all wonderful achievements have been
accomplished after it had been “thoroughly” demonstrated that they
were impossibilities. Once we understand the law,
all things are possible. If they were impossibilities we
could not conceive them.
Just the moment you allow someone to influence you against what
you think is right, you lose that confidence in yourself that
inspires courage and carries with it all the forces which courage
creates. Just the moment you begin to swerve in your plan you
begin to carry out another’s thought and not your own. You become
the directed and not the director. You forsake the courage and
resolution of your own mind, and you therefore lack the very
forces that you need to sustain and carry out your work. Instead
of being self-reliant you become timid and this invites failure.
When you permit yourself to be influenced from your plan by
another, you are unable to judge as you should, because you have
allowed another’s influence to deprive you of your courage and
determination without absorbing any of his in return so you are
in much the same predicament, as you would be in if you turned
over all your worldly possessions to another without getting
“value received.” Concentrate on just the opposite of fear,
want, poverty, sickness, etc. Never doubt your own ability.
You have plenty, if you will just use it. A great many men are
failures because they doubt their own capacity. Instead of building
up strong mental forces which would be of the greatest use
to them their fear thoughts tear them down. Fear paralyzes energy.
It keeps us from attracting the forces that go to make up success.
Fear is the worst enemy we have.
There are few people that really know that they can accomplish
much. They desire the full extent of their powers, but alas, it
is only occasionally that you find a man that is aware of the
great possibilities within him. When you believe with all your
mind and heart and soul that you can do something, you thereby
develop the courage to steadily and confidently live up to that
belief. You have now gone a long way towards accomplishing it.
The chances are that there will be obstacles, big and little, in
your way, but resolute courage will overcome them and nothing
else will. Strong courage eliminates the injurious and opposing
forces by summoning their masters, the yet stronger forces that
will serve you. Courage is yours for the asking. All you have
to do is to believe in it, claim it and use it. To succeed in
business believe that it will be successful, assert that it is successful,
and work like a beaver to make it so. Difficulties
soon melt away before the courageous. One man of courage can fire
with his spirit a whole army of men, whether it be military
or industrial, because courage, like cowardice, is contagious.
The man of courage overcomes the trials and temptations of life;
he commands success; he renders sound judgment; he develops
personal influence and a forceful character and often becomes the
mentor of the community which he serves. How to Overcome Depression and Melancholia.
Both of the former are harmful and make you unhappy. These are
states that can be quickly overcome through concentrating more
closely on the higher self, for when you do you cut off the connection
with the harmful force currents. You can also drive away moods
by simply choosing and fully concentrating on an agreeable subject.
Through will power and thought control we can accomplish
anything we want to do. There is wonderful inherent power within
us all, and there is never any sufficient cause for fear, except
ignorance. Every evil is but the product of ignorance,
and everyone that possesses the power to think has the power
to overcome ignorance and evil. The pain that we suffer from doing
evil are but the lessons of experience, and the object of the
pain is to make us realize our ignorance. When we become depressed
It is evidence that our thought faculties are combining improperly
and thereby attracting the wrong force-currents.
All that it is necessary to do is to exercise the will and
concentrate upon happy subjects. I will only think of subjects
worthy of my higher self and its powers. LESSON XII. CONCENTRATE ON WEALTH It was never intended that man should be poor.
When wealth is obtained under the proper conditions it broadens
the life. Everything has its value. Everything has a
good use and a bad use. The forces of mind like wealth can be
directed either for good or evil. A little rest will re-create
forces. Too much rest degenerates into laziness, and brainless,
dreamy longings. If you acquire wealth unjustly from others,
you are misusing your forces; but if your wealth comes through the
right sources you will be blessed. Through wealth we can do
things to uplift ourselves and humanity.
Wealth is many persons’ goal. It therefore stimulates their
endeavor. They long for it in order to dress and live in such a
way as to attract friends. Without friends they would not be so
particular of their surroundings. The fact is the more attractive
we make ourselves and our surroundings the more inspiring are
their influences. It is not conducive to proper thought to be
surrounded by conditions that are uncongenial and unpleasant. So the first step toward acquiring wealth
is to surround yourself with helpful influences; to claim for yourself
an environment of culture, place yourself in it and be molded
by its influences. Most great men of all ages have been comparatively
rich. They have made or inherited money. Without money
they could not have accomplished what they did. The man engaged
in physical drudgery is not likely to have the same high ideals
as the man that can command comparative leisure.
Wealth is usually the fruit of achievement. It is not, however,
altogether the result of being industrious. Thousands of persons
work hard who never grow wealthy. Others with much less effort
acquire wealth. Seeing possibilities is another step toward
acquiring wealth. A man may be as industrious as he can possibly
be, but if he does not use his mental forces he will be a
laborer, to be directed by the man that uses to good advantage
his mental forces. No one can become wealthy in an ordinary lifetime,
by mere savings from earnings. Many scrimp and economize
all their lives; but by so doing waste all their vitality and
energy. For example, I know a man that used to walk to work. It
took him an hour to go and an hour to return. He could have taken
a car and gone in twenty minutes. He saved ten cents a day but
wasted an hour and a half. It was not a very profitable investment
unless the time spent in physical exercise yielded him large
returns in the way of health.
The same amount of time spent in concentrated effort to overcome
his unfavorable business environment might have firmly planted
his feet in the path of prosperity. One of the big mistakes made by many persons
of the present generation is that they associate with those
who fail to call out or develop the best that is in them. When
the social side of life is developed too exclusively, as it often
is, and recreation or entertainment becomes the leading motive of
a person’s life, he acquires habits of extravagance instead of
economy; habits of wasting his resources, physical, mental, moral
and spiritual, instead of conserving them. He is, in consequence,
lacking in proper motivation, his God-given powers and
forces are undeveloped and he inevitably brings poor
judgment to bear upon all the higher relationships of life, while,
as to his financial fortunes, he is ever the leaner; often a parasite,
and always, if opportunity affords, as heavy a consumer as
he is a poor producer.
It seems a part of the tragedy of life that these persons have to
be taught such painful lessons before they can understand the
forces and laws that regulate life. Few profit by the mistakes of
others. They must experience them for themselves and then apply
the knowledge so gained in reconstructing their lives.
Any man that has ever amounted to anything has never done a great
deal of detail work for long periods at any given time. He needs
his time to reflect. He does not do his duties today in the same
way as yesterday, but as the result of deliberate and
concentrated effort, constantly tries to improve his methods.
The other day I attended a lecture on Prosperity. I knew the
lecturer had been practically broke for ten years. I wanted to
hear what he had to say. He spoke very well. He no doubt
benefited some of his hearers, but he had not profited by his own
teachings. I introduced myself and asked him if he believed in
his maxims. He said he did. I asked him if they had made him
prosperous. He said not exactly. I asked him why. He answered
that he thought he was fated not to experience prosperity.
In half an hour I showed that man why poverty had always been his
companion. He had dressed poorly. He held his lectures in poor
surroundings. By his actions and beliefs he attracted poverty. He
did not realize that his thoughts and his surroundings exercised
an unfavorable influence. I said: “Thoughts are moving forces;
great powers. Thoughts of wealth attract wealth. Therefore, if
you desire wealth you must attract the forces that will help you
to secure it. Your thoughts attract a similar kind of thoughts.
If you hold thoughts of poverty you attract poverty. If you make
up your mind you are going to be wealthy, you will instil this
thought into all your mental forces, and you will at the same
time use every external condition to help you.”
Many persons are of the opinion that if you have money it is easy
to make more money. But this is not necessarily true. Ninety per
cent of the men that start in business fail. Money will not
enable one to accumulate much more, unless he is trained to seek
and use good opportunities for its investment. If he inherits
money the chances are that he will lose it. While, if he has made
it, he not only knows its value, but has developed the power to
use it as well as to make more if he loses it.
Business success today depends on foresight, good judgment, grit,
firm resolution and settled purpose. But never forget that
thought is as real a force as electricity. Let your thoughts be
such, that you will send out as good as you receive; if you do
not, you are not enriching others, and therefore deserve not to
be enriched. The man that tries to get all he can from
others for nothing becomes so selfish and mean that he does not
even enjoy his acquisitions. We see examples of this every
day. What we take from others, will in turn, be taken from us.
All obligations have to be met fairly and squarely. We cannot reach
perfection until we discharge every obligation of our lives.
We all realize this, so why not willingly give a fair exchange
for all that we receive?
Again I repeat that the first as well as the last step in
acquiring wealth is to surround yourself with good
influences–good thought, good health, good home and business
environment and successful business associates. Cultivate, by
every legitimate means, the acquaintance of men of big caliber.
Bring your thought vibrations in regard to business into harmony
with theirs. This will make your society not only agreeable, but
sought after, and, when you have formed intimate friendships with
clean, reputable men of wealth, entrust to them, for investment,
your surplus earnings, however small, until you have developed
the initiative and business acumen to successfully manage your
own investments. By this time you will, through such
associations, have found your place in life which, if you have
rightly concentrated upon and used your opportunities, will not
be among men of small parts. With a competence secured, you will
take pleasure in using a part of it in making the road you
traveled in reaching your position easier for those who follow
you. There is somewhere in every brain the energy
that will get you out of that rut and put you far up on the
mountain of success if you can only use the energy.
You know that gasoline in the engine of an automobile doesn’t
move the car until the spark comes to explode the gasoline.
So it is with the mind of man. We are not speaking now of men of
great genius, but of average, able citizens. Each one of them has in his brain the capacity
to climb over the word impossible and get into the successful
country beyond. And hope, self-confidence and the determination to do something
supply the spark that makes the energy work. LESSON XIII. YOU CAN CONCENTRATE, BUT WILL
YOU? All have the ability to concentrate, but will
you? You can, but whether you will or not depends on you. It
is one thing to be able to do something, and another thing to
do it. There is far more ability not used than is used. Why do
not more men of ability make something of themselves? There
are comparatively few successful men but many ambitious ones. Why
do not more get along? Cases may differ, but the fault is
usually their own. They have had chances, perhaps better ones than
some others that have made good.
What would you like to do, that you are not doing? If you think
you should be “getting on” better, why don’t you? Study yourself
carefully. Learn your shortcomings. Sometimes only a mere trifle
keeps one from branching out and becoming a success. Discover why
you have not been making good–the cause of your failure. Have
you been expecting someone to lead you, or to make a way for you?
If you have, concentrate on a new line of thought.
There are two things absolutely necessary for success–energy and
the will to succeed. Nothing can take the place of either of
these. Most of us will not have an easy path to follow so don’t
expect to find one. The hard knocks develop our courage and moral
stamina. The persons that live in an indolent and slipshod way
never have any. They have never faced conditions and therefore
don’t know how. The world is no better for their living.
We must make favorable conditions and not expect them to shape
themselves. It is not the man that says, “It can’t be done,” but
the man that goes ahead in spite of adverse advice, and shows
that “it can be done” that “gets there” today. “The Lord helps
those that help themselves,” is a true saying. We climb the road
to success by overcoming obstacles. Stumbling blocks are but
stepping stones for the man that says, “I can and I Will.” When
we see cripples, the deaf and dumb, the blind and those with
other handicaps amounting to something in the world, the
able-bodied man should feel ashamed of himself if he does not
make good. There is nothing that can resist the force
of perseverance. The way ahead of all of us is not clear sailing,
but all hard passages can be bridged, if you just think
they can and concentrate on how to do it. But if you think
the obstacles are unsurmountable, you will not of course try,
and even if you do, it will be in only a half-hearted way–a way
that accomplishes nothing.
Many men will not begin an undertaking unless they feel sure they
will succeed in it. What a mistake! This would be right, if we
were sure of what we could and could not do. But who knows? There
may be an obstruction there now that might not be there next
week. There may not be an obstruction there now that will be
there next week. The trouble with most persons is that just as
soon as they see their way blocked they lose courage. They forget
that usually there is a way around the difficulty. It’s up to you
to find it. If you tackle something with little effort, when the
conditions call for a big effort, you will of course not win.
Tackle everything with a feeling that you will utilize all the
power within you to make it a success. This is the kind of
concentrated effort that succeeds. Most people are beaten before they start.
They think they are going to encounter obstacles, and they look
for them instead of for means to overcome them. The result is
that they increase their obstacles instead of diminishing them.
Have you ever undertaken something that you thought would
be hard, but afterwards found it to be easy? That is the
way a great many times. The things that look difficult in advance
turn out to be easy of conquest when once encountered. So
start out on your journey with the idea that the road is going
to be clear for you, and that if it is not you will clear the way.
All men that have amounted to anything have cleared their way
and they did not have the assistance that you will have today.
The one great keynote of success is to do whatever you have
decided on. Don’t be turned from your path, but resolve that you
are going to accomplish what you set out to do. Don’t be
frightened at a few rebuffs, for they cannot stop the man that is
determined–the man that knows in his heart that success is only
bought by tremendous resolution, by concentrated and
whole-hearted effort. “He who has a firm will,” says Goethe, “molds
the world to himself.”
“People do not lack strength,” says Victor Hugo; “they lack
Will.” It is not so much skill that wins victories
as it is activity and great determination There is no such thing
as failure for the man that does his best. No matter what you may
be working at, at the present time, don’t let this make you lose
courage. The tides are continually changing, and tomorrow or some
other day they will turn to your advantage if you are a willing
and are an ambitious worker. There is nothing that develops you
and increases your courage like work. If it were not for work
how monotonous life would at last become!
So I say to the man that wants to advance, “Don’t look upon your
present position as your permanent one. Keep your eyes open, and
add those qualities to your makeup that will assist you when your
opportunity comes. Be ever alert and on the watch for
opportunities. Remember, we attract what we set our minds on. If
we look for opportunities, we find them. If you are the man you should be, some one
is looking for you to fill a responsible position. So when he finds
you, don’t let your attention wander. Give it all to him. Show
that you can concentrate your powers, that you have the
makeup of a real man. Show no signs of fear, uncertainty or doubt.
The man that is sure of himself is bound to get to the front. No
circumstances can prevent him. LESSON XIV. THE ART OF CONCENTRATING BY MEANS
OF PRACTICAL EXERCISES Select some thought, and see how long you
can hold your mind on it. It is well to have a clock at first and
keep track of the time. If you decide to think about health,
you can get a great deal of good from your thinking besides developing
concentration. Think of health as being the greatest blessing
there is, in the world. Don’t let any other thought drift in.
Just the moment one starts to obtrude, make it get out.
Make it a daily habit of concentrating on this thought for, say,
ten minutes. Practice until you can hold it to the exclusion of
everything else. You will find it of the greatest value to
centralize your thoughts on health. Regardless of your present
condition, see yourself as you would like to be and be blind to
everything else. You will find it hard at first to forget your
ailments, if you have any, but after a short while you can shut
out these negative thoughts and see yourself as you want to be.
Each time you concentrate you form a more perfect image of
health, and, as you come into its realization, you become
healthy, strong and wholesome. I want to impress upon your mind that the
habit of forming mental images is of the greatest value. It has always
been used by successful men of all ages, but few realize
its full importance. Do you know that you are continually acting
according to the images you form? If you allow yourself to
mould negative images you unconsciously build a negative disposition.
You will think of poverty, weakness, disease, fear, etc. Just
as surely as you think of these will your objective life express
itself in a like way. Just what we think, we will manifest
in the external world. In deep concentration you become linked with
the great creative spirit of the universe, and the creative energy
then flows through you, vitalizing your creations into
form. In deep concentration your mind becomes attuned with
the infinite and registers the cosmic intelligence and receives
its messages. You become so full of the cosmic energy that you
are literally flooded with divine power. This is a most
desired state. It is then we realize the advantages of being connected
with the supra-consciousness. The supra-consciousness
registers the higher cosmic vibrations. It is often referred to
as the wireless station, the message recorded coming from
the universal mind. There are very few that reach this stage of
concentration. Very few even know that it is possible. They think
concentration means limitation to one subject, but this deeper
concentration that brings us into harmony with the Infinite is
that which produces and maintains health.
When you have once come in contact with your supra-consciousness
you become the controller of your human thoughts. That which
comes to you is higher than human thoughts. It is often spoken of
as Cosmic Consciousness. Once it is experienced it is never
forgotten. Naturally it requires a good deal of training to reach
this state, but once you do, it becomes easier each time to do,
and in the course of time you can become possessed of power which
was unknown to you before. You are able to direct the expression
of almost Infinite Power while in this deeper state of
concentration. Exercises In Concentration. The rays of the
sun, when focused upon an object by means of a sun glass, produce
a heat many times greater than the scattered rays of the same
source of light and heat. This is true of attention. Scatter it
and you get but ordinary results. But center it upon one thing
and you secure much better results. When you focus your attention
upon an object your every action, voluntary and involuntary,
is in the direction of attaining that object. If you will focus
your energies upon a thing to the exclusion of everything else,
you generate the force that can bring you what you want.
When you focus your thought, you increase its strength. The
exercises that follow are tedious and monotonous, but useful. If
you will persist in them you will find they are very valuable, as
they increase your powers of concentration. Before proceeding with the exercises I will
answer a question that just comes to me. This person says after
he works all day he is too tired to practice any exercise. But
this is not true. We will say he comes home all tired out, eats
his supper and sits down to rest. If his work has been mental,
the thought which has been occupying his mind returns to him and
this prevents him from securing the rest he needs.
It is an admitted fact that certain thoughts call into operation
a certain set of brain cells; the other cells, of course, are not
busy at that time and are rested. Now if you take up something
that is just different from what you have been doing during the
day, you will use the cells that have not done anything and give
those that have had work to do a rest. So you should regulate the
evenings that you have and call forth an entirely different line
of thought so as not to use the cells which you have tired out
during the day. If you will center your attention on a new
thought, you relieve the old cells from vibrating with excitement
and they get their needed rest. The other cells that have been
idle all day want to work, and you will find you can enjoy your
evenings while securing needed rest. When once you have learned to master your
thoughts, you will be able to change them just as easily as you
change your clothes. Remember, the real requisite of centering
is to be able to shut out outside thoughts–anything foreign to
the subject. Now, in order to control your intention first gain
control over the body. This must be brought under direct control
of the mind; the mind under the control of the will. Your will is
strong enough to do anything you wish, but you must realize that
it is. The mind can be greatly strengthened by being brought under
the direct influence of the will. When the mind is properly
strengthened by the impulse of the will it becomes a more
powerful transmitter of thought, because it has more force.
The Best Time to Concentrate Is after reading something that is
inspiring, as you are then mentally and spiritually exalted in
the desired realm. Then is the time you are ready for deep
concentration. If you are in your room first see that your
windows are up and the air is good. Lie down flat on your bed
without a pillow. See that every muscle is relaxed. Now breathe
slowly, filling the lungs comfortably full of fresh air; hold
this as long as you can without straining yourself; then exhale
slowly. Exhale in an easy, rhythmic way. Breathe this way for
five minutes, letting the Divine Breath flow through you, which
will cleanse and rejuvenate every cell of brain and body.
You are then ready to proceed. Now think how quiet and relaxed
you are. You can become enthusiastic over your condition. Just
think of yourself as getting ready to receive knowledge that is
far greater than you have ever received before. Now relax and let
the spirit work in and through you and assist you to accomplish
what you wish. Don’t let any doubts or fears enter. Just
feel that what you wish is going to manifest. Just feel it already
has, in reality it has, for just the minute you wish a thing
to be done it manifests in the thought world. Whenever you concentrate
just believe it is a success. Keep up this feeling and allow
nothing to interfere and you will soon find you have become the
master of concentration. You will find that this practice
will be of wonderful value to you, and that rapidly you
will be learning to accomplish anything that you undertake.
It will be necessary to first train the body to obey the commands
of the mind. I want you to gain control of your muscular
movements. The following exercise is especially good in assisting
you to acquire perfect control of the muscles. Exercise 1 Sit in a comfortable chair and see how still
you can keep. This is not as easy as it seems. You will have
to center your attention on sitting still. Watch and see
that you are not making any involuntary muscular movements. By a little
practice you will find you are able to sit still without a movement
of the muscles for fifteen minutes. At first I advise sitting
in a relaxed position for five minutes. After you are able
to keep perfectly still, increase the time to ten minutes and
then to fifteen. This is as long as it is necessary. But never strain
yourself to keep still. You must be relaxed completely. You
will find this habit of relaxing is very good. Exercise 2 Sit in a chair with your head up and your
chin out, shoulders back. Raise your right arm until it is on
the level with your shoulder, pointing to your right. Look around,
with head only, and fix your gaze on your fingers, and keep
the arm perfectly still for one minute. Do the same exercise
with left arm. When you are able to keep the arm perfectly steady,
increase the time until you are able to do this five minutes
with each arm. Turn the palm of the hand downward when it is outstretched,
as this is the easiest position. If you will keep your
eyes fixed on the tips of the fingers you will be able to tell
if you are keeping your arm perfectly still. Exercise 3 Fill a small glass full of water, and grasp
it by the fingers; put the arm directly in front of you. Now
fix the eyes upon the glass and try to keep the arm so steady that
no movement will be noticeable. Do this first for one moment and
then increase it to five. Do the exercise with first one arm and
then the other. Exercise 4 Watch yourself during the day and see that
your muscles do not become tense or strained. See how easy and
relaxed you can keep yourself. See how poised you can be at all
times. Cultivate a self-poised manner, instead of a nervous,
strained appearance. This mental feeling will improve your carriage
and demeanor. Stop all useless gestures and movements of the
body. These mean that you have not proper control over your body.
After you have acquired this control, notice how “ill-at-ease”
people are that have not gained this control. I have just
been sizing up a salesman that has just left me. Part of his
body kept moving all the time. I just felt like saying to him,
“Do you know how much better appearance you would make if you would
just learn to speak with your voice instead of trying to express
what you say with your whole body?” Just watch those that interview
you and see how they lack poise.
Get rid of any habit you have of twitching or jerking any part of
your body. You will find you make many involuntary movements. You
can quickly stop any of these by merely centering your attention
on the thought, “I will not.” If you are in the habit of letting noises
upset you, just exercise control; when the door slams, or
something falls, etc., just think of these as exercises in self-control.
You will find many exercises like this in your daily routine.
The purpose of the above exercises is to gain control over the
involuntary muscular movement, making your actions entirely
voluntary. The following exercises are arranged to bring your
voluntary muscles under the control of the will, so that your
mental forces may control your muscular movements. Exercise 5 Move your chair up to a table, placing your
hands upon it, clenching the fists, keeping the back of the
hand on the table, the thumb doubled over the fingers. Now fix
your gaze upon the fist for a while, then gradually extend the
thumb, keeping your whole attention fixed upon the act, just as
if it was a matter of great importance. Then gradually extend your
first finger, then your second and so on until you open the rest.
Then reverse the process, closing first the last one opened
and then the rest, and finally you will have the fist again in the
original position with the thumb closed over the finger. Do
this exercise with the left hand. Keep up this exercise first with
one hand and then the other until you have done it five times with
each hand. In a few days you can increase it to ten times.
The chances are that the above exercises will at first make you
“tired,” but it is important for you to practice these monotonous
exercises so you can train your attention. It also gives you
control over your muscular movement. The attention, of course,
must be kept closely on each movement of the hand; if it is not,
you of course lose the value of the exercise. Exercise 6 Put the right hand on knee, both fingers and
thumb closed, except the first finger, which points out in front
of you. Then move the finger slowly from side to side, keeping the
attention fixed upon the end of the finger. You can make up a variety
of exercises like these. It is good training to plan out
different ones. The main point you should keep in mind is that
the exercise should be simple and that the attention should be firmly
fixed upon the moving part of the body. You will find your
attention will not want to be controlled and will try to drift
to something more interesting. This is just where these exercises
are of value, and you must control your attention and see it
is held in the right place and does not wander away.
You may think these exercises very simple and of no value, but I
promise you in a short time you will notice that you have a much
better control over your muscular movements, carriage and
demeanor, and you will find that you have greatly improved your
power of attention, and can center your thoughts on what you do,
which of course will be very valuable. No matter what you may be doing, imagine that
it is your chief object in life. Imagine you are not interested
in anything else in the world but what you are doing. Do not
let your attention get away from the work you are at. Your attention
will no doubt be rebellious, but control it and do not let
it control you. When once you conquer the rebellious attention
you have achieved a greater victory than you can realize at the
time. Many times afterwards you will be thankful you have learned
to concentrate your closest attention upon the object at
hand. Let no day go by without practicing concentrating
on some familiar object that is uninteresting. Never
choose an interesting object, as it requires less attention.
The less interesting it is the better exercise will
it be. After a little practice you will find you can center your
attention on uninteresting subjects at will.
The person that can concentrate can gain full control over his
body and mind and be the master of his inclinations; not their
slave. When you can control yourself you can control others. You
can develop a Will that will make you a giant compared with the
man that lacks Will Power. Try out your Will Power in different
ways until you have it under such control that just as soon as
you decide to do a thing you go ahead and do it. Never be
satisfied with the “I did fairly well” spirit, but put forward
your best efforts. Be satisfied with nothing else. When you have
gained this you are the man you were intended to be. Exercise 7 Concentration Increases the Sense of Smell.
When you take a walk, or drive in the country, or pass a flower
garden, concentrate on the odor of flowers and plants. See how many
different kinds you can detect. Then choose one particular kind
and try to sense only this. You will find that this strongly intensifies
the sense of smell. This differentiation requires, however,
a peculiarly attentive attitude. When sense of smell is
being developed, you should not only shut out from the mind every
thought but that of odor, but you should also shut out cognizance
of every odor save that upon which your mind, for the time, is
concentrated. You call find plenty of opportunity for exercises
for developing the sense of smell. When you are out in the
air, be on the alert for the different odors. You will find the
air laden with all kinds, but let your concentration upon the
one selected be such that a scent of its fragrance in after years
will vividly recall the circumstances of this exercise. The object of these exercises is to develop
concentrated attention, and you will find that you can,
through their practice, control your mind and direct your
thoughts just the same as you can your arm. Exercise 8 Concentration on the Within. Lie down and
thoroughly relax your muscles. Concentrate on the beating of your
heart. Do not pay any attention to anything else. Think how this
great organ is pumping the blood to every part of the body; try to
actually picture the blood leaving the great reservoir and going
in one stream right down to the toes. Picture another going down
the arms to the tips of the fingers. After a little practice you
can actually feel the blood passing through your system.
If, at any time, you feel weak in any part of the body, will that
an extra supply of blood shall go there. For instance, if your
eyes feel tired, picture the blood coming from the heart, passing
up through the head and out to the eyes. You can wonderfully
increase your strength by this exercise. Men have been able to
gain such control over the heart that they have actually stopped
it from beating for five minutes. This, however, is not without
danger, and is not to be practiced by the novice.
I have found the following a very helpful exercise to take just
before going to bed and on rising in the morning: Say to
yourself, “Every cell in my body thrills with life; every part of
my body is strong and healthy.” I have known a number of people
to greatly improve their health in this way. You become what you
picture yourself to be. If your mind thinks of sickness in
connection with self you will be sick. If you imagine yourself in
strong, vigorous health, the image will be realized. You will be
healthy. Exercise 9 Concentrating on Sleep. What is known as the
water method is, although very simple, very effective in inducing
sleep. Put a full glass of clear water on a table
in your sleeping room. Sit in a chair beside the table and gaze into
the glass of water and think how calm it is. Then picture yourself
, getting into just as calm a state. In a short time you
will find the nerves becoming quiet and you will be able to go
to sleep. Sometimes it is good to picture yourself becoming drowsy
to induce sleep, and, again, the most persistent insomnia has been
overcome by one thinking of himself as some inanimate object–for
instance, a hollow log in the depths of the cool, quiet
forest. Those who are troubled with insomnia will
find these sleep exercises that quiet the nerves very effective.
Just keep the idea in your mind that there is no difficulty
in going to sleep; banish all fear of insomnia. Practice these
exercises and you will sleep.
By this time you should have awakened to the possibilities of
concentration and have become aware of the important part it
plays in your life. Exercise 10 Concentration Will Save Energy and Appearance.
Watch yourself and see if you are not in the habit of moving
your hands, thumping something with your fingers or twirling your
mustache. Some have the habit of keeping their feet going, as,
for instance, tapping them on the floor. Practice standing before
a mirror and see if you are in the habit of frowning or causing
wrinkles to appear in the forehead. Watch others and see how they
needlessly twist their faces in talking. Any movement of the
face that causes the skin to wrinkle will eventually cause a permanent
wrinkle. As the face is like a piece of silk, you can make
a fold in it a number of times and it will straighten out of itself,
but, if you continue to make a fold in it, it will in
time be impossible to remove it.
By Concentration You Can Stop the Worry Habit. If you are in the
habit of worrying over the merest trifles, just concentrate on
this a few minutes and see bow needless it is; if you are also in
the habit of becoming irritable or nervous at the least little
thing, check yourself instantly when you feel yourself becoming
so; start to breathe deeply; say, “I will not be so weak; I am
master of myself,” and you will quickly overcome your condition. Exercise 11 By Concentration You Can Control Your Temper.
If you are one of those that flare up at the slightest “provocation”
and never try to control yourself, just think this over
a minute. Does it do you any good? Do you gain anything by it?
Doesn’t it put you out of poise for some time? Don’t you know that
this grows on you and will eventually make you despised by all that
have any dealings with you? Everyone makes mistakes and, instead
of becoming angry at their perpetrators, just say to them, “Be
more careful next time.” This thought will be impressed on them
and they will be more careful. But, if you continually complain
about their making a mistake, the thought of a mistake is impressed
on them and they will be more likely to make mistakes in the
future. All lack of self-control can be conquered if you will
but learn to concentrate.
Many of you that read this may think you are not guilty of either
of these faults, but if you will carefully watch yourself you
will probably find that you are, and, if so, you will be greatly
helped by repeating this affirmation each morning:
“I am going to try today not to make a useless gesture or to
worry over trifles, or become nervous or irritable. I intend to
be calm, and, no difference what may be the circumstances, I will
control myself. Henceforth I resolve to be free from all signs
that show lack of self-control.” At night quickly review your actions during
the day and see how fully you realized your aim. At first you
will, of course, have to plead guilty of violation a few times,
but keep on, and you will soon find that you can live up to your
ideal. After you have once gained self-control, however, don’t relinquish
it. For some time it will still be necessary to repeat
the affirmation in the morning and square your conduct with it in
the evening. Keep up the good work until, at last, the habit of
self-control is so firmly fixed that you could not break it even
though you tried. I have had many persons tell me that this
affirmation and daily review made a wonderful difference in their
lives. You, too, will notice the difference if you live up to these
instructions. Exercise 12. Practice Talking Before a Glass. Make two
marks on your mirror on a level with your eyes, and think of them
as two human eyes looking into yours. Your eyes will probably
blink a little at first. Do not move your head, but stand erect.
Concentrate all your thoughts on keeping your head perfectly
still. Do not let another thought come into your mind. Then,
still keeping the head, eyes and body still, think that you
look like a reliable man or woman should; like a person that anyone
would have confidence in. Do not let your appearance
be such as to justify the remark, “I don’t like his appearance.
I don’t believe he can be trusted.”
While standing before the mirror practice deep breathing. See
that there is plenty of fresh air in the room, and that you are
literally feasting on it. You will find that, as it permeates
every cell, your timidity will disappear. It has been replaced by
a sense of peace and power. The one that stands up like a man and has
control over the muscles of his face and eyes always commands
attention. In his conversation, he can better impress those
with whom he comes in contact. He acquires a feeling of calmness
and strength that causes opposition to melt away before it. Three minutes a day is long enough for the
practice of this exercise.
Look at the clock before you commence the exercise, and if you
find you can prolong the exercise for more than five minutes do
so. The next day sit in a chair and, without looking at the
picture, concentrate on it and see if you cannot think of
additional details concerning it. The chances are you will be
able to think of many more. It might be well for you to write
down all you thought of the first day, and then add to the list
each new discovery. You will find that this is a very excellent
exercise in concentration. Exercise 13 The Control of Sensations. Think how you would
feel if you were cool; then how you would feel if you were
cold; again, how you would feel if it were freezing. In this state
you would be shivering all over. Now think of just the
opposite conditions; construct such a vivid image of heat that
you are able to experience the sensation of heat even in the
coldest atmosphere. It is possible to train your imagination until
you do this, and it can then be turned to practical account
in making undesirable conditions bearable.
You can think of many very good exercises like this. For
instance, if you feel yourself getting hungry or thirsty and for
any reason you do not wish to eat, do not think of how hungry or
thirsty you are, but just visualize yourself as finishing a
hearty meal. Again, when you experience pain, do not increase it
by thinking about it, but do something to divert your attention,
and the pain will seem to decrease. If you will start practicing
along this line systematically you will soon gain a wonderful
control over the things that affect your physical comfort. Exercise 14 The Eastern Way of Concentrating. Sit in a
chair with a high back in upright position. Press one finger against
the right nostril. Now take a long, deep breath, drawing the
breath in gently as you count ten; then expel the breath through the
right nostril as you count ten. Repeat this exercise with the opposite
nostril. This exercise should be done at least twenty times
at each sitting. Exercise 15 Controlling Desires. Desire, which is one
of the hardest forces to control, will furnish you with excellent
exercises in concentration. It seems natural to want to
tell others what you know; but, by learning to control these desires,
you can wonderfully strengthen your powers of concentration.
Remember, you have all you can do to attend to your
own business. Do not waste your time in thinking of others or in
gossiping about them. If, from your own observation, you learn something
about another person that is detrimental, keep it to yourself.
Your opinion may afterwards turn out to be wrong anyway, but
whether right or wrong, you have strengthened your will by
controlling your desire to communicate your views.
If you hear good news resist the desire to tell it to the first
person you meet and you will be benefited thereby. It will
require the concentration of all your powers of resistance to
prohibit the desire to tell. After you feel that you have
complete control over your desires you can then tell your news.
But you must be able to suppress the desire to communicate the
news until you are fully ready to tell it. Persons that do not
possess this power of control over desires are apt to tell things
that they should not, thereby often involving both themselves and
others in needless trouble. If you are in the habit of getting excited
when you hear unpleasant news, just control yourself and
receive it without any exclamation of surprise. Say to yourself,
“Nothing is going to cause me to lose my self-control. You will
find from experience that this self-control will be worth much
to you in business. You will be looked upon as a cool-headed business
man, and this in time becomes a valuable business asset. Of
course, circumstances alter cases. At times it is necessary to become
enthused. But be ever on the lookout for opportunities for
the practice of self-control. “He that ruleth his spirit is
greater than he that ruleth a city.” Exercise 16 When You Read. No one can think without first
concentrating his thoughts on the subject in hand. Every man
and woman should train himself to think clearly. An excellent exercise
is to read some short story and then write just an abridged statement. Read an
article in a newspaper, and see in how few words you can express
it. Reading an article to get only the essentials requires the
closest concentration. If you are unable to write out what you
read, you will know you are weak in concentration. Instead of
writing it out you can express it orally if you wish. Go to your
room and deliver it as if you were talking to some one. You will
find exercises like this of the greatest value in developing
concentration and learning to think. After you have practiced a number of these
simple exercises read a book for twenty minutes and then write down
what you have read. The chances are that at first you will not
remember very many details, but with a little practice you will
be able to write a very good account of what you have read. The
closer the concentration the more accurate the account
will be. It is a good idea when time is limited to
read only a short sentence and then try to write it down word
for word. When you are able to do this, read two or more sentences
and treat similarly. The practice will produce very
good results if you keep it up until the habit is fixed. If you will just utilize your spare time in
practicing exercises like those suggested you can gain wonderful
powers of concentration. You will find that in order
to remember every word in a sentence you must keep out every thought
but that which you wish to remember, and this power of inhibition
alone will more than compensate for the trouble of the exercise.
Of course, success in all of the above depends largely
upon cultivating, through the closest concentration, the power
to image or picture what you read; upon the power, as one writer
expresses it, of letting the mountains of which we hear loom
before us and the rivers of which we read roll at our feet. Exercise 17 Concentration Overcomes Bad Habits. If you
have a habit that you want to get rid of, shut your eyes and imagine
that your real self is standing before you. Now try the power
of affirmation; say to yourself, “You are not a weakling;
you can stop this habit if you want to. This habit is bad and you
want to break it.” Just imagine that you are some one else giving
this advice. This is very valuable practice. You, in time, see
yourself as others see you. The habit loses its power over you and
you are free. If you will just form the mental image of
controlling yourself as another person might, you will take a delight
in breaking bad habits. I have known a number of men to break
themselves of drinking in this way.
Exercise 18 Watch Concentration. Sit in a chair and place
a clock with a second hand on the table. Follow the second
hand with your eyes as it goes around. Keep this up for five minutes,
thinking of nothing else but the second hand, This is
a very good exercise when you only have a few minutes to spare,
if you are able to keep every other thought in the stream of
consciousness subordinate to it. As there is little that
is particularly interesting about the second hand, it is hard
to do this, but in the extra effort of will power required to
make it successful lies its value. Always try to keep as still
as possible during these exercises. In this way you can gain control over nerves
and this quieting effect is very good for them.
Exercise 19 Faith Concentration. A belief in the power
to concentrate is of course very important. I purposely did not
put this exercise in the beginning where it naturally belongs because
I wanted you to know that you could learn to concentrate.
If you have practiced the above exercises you have now developed
this concentration power to a considerable extent and therefore
you have faith in the power of concentration, but you can still
become a much stronger believer in it.
We will say that you have some desire or wish you want fulfilled,
or that you need some special advice. You first clearly picture
what is wanted and then you concentrate on getting it. Have
absolute faith that your desires will be realized. Believe that
it will according to your belief be fulfilled. Never, at this
time, attempt to analyze the belief. You don’t care anything
about the whys and wherefores. You want to gain the thing you
desire, and if you concentrate on it in the right way you will
get it. A Caution. Never think you will not succeed,
but picture what is wanted as already yours, and yours it surely
will be. Self-Distrust. Do you ever feel distrust in
yourself? If You do, just ask yourself, which self do I mistrust?
Then say: my higher self cannot be affected. Then think of the
wonderful powers of the higher self. There is a way to overcome
all difficulties, and it is a delight for the human soul to do so.
Instead of wasting precious thought-force by dreading or fearing
a disagreeable interview or event, instead devote the time
and concentrated thought in how to make the best of the interview
or event and you will find that it will not be as unpleasant
as you thought it would be. Most of our troubles are but imaginary,
and it is the mental habit of so dreading them that really
acts as a magnet in attracting those that really do come. Your
evil circumstances are created or attracted by your own negative,
fears and wrong thoughts, and are a means of teaching you
to triumph over all evils, by discovering that which is inherent
within yourself. You will find it helpful in overcoming self-distrust,
to stop and think, why you are, concentrating your forces,
and by so doing you become more closely attached to the higher
self, which never distrusts. A man forgets because he does not concentrate
his mind on his purpose, especially at the moment he conceives
it. We remember only that which makes a deep impression, hence
we must first deepen our impressions by associating in our
minds certain ideas that are related to them. We will say a wife
gives her husband a letter to mail. He does not think about it, but automatically puts
it in his pocket and forgets all about it. When the letter was
given to him had he said to himself, “I will mail this letter.
The box is at the next corner and when I pass it I must drop this
letter,” it would have enabled him to recall the letter the instant
he reached the mail box.
The same rule holds good in regard to more important things. For
example, if you are instructed to drop in and see Mr. Smith while
out to luncheon today, you will not forget it, if, at the moment
the instruction is given, you say to yourself something similar
to the following: “When I get to the corner of Blank street,
on my way to luncheon, I shall turn to the right and call on Mr.
Smith.” In this way the impression is made, the connection established
and the sight of the associated object recalls the errand.
The important thing to do is to deepen the impression at the very
moment it enters your mind. This is made possible, not only by
concentrating the mind upon the idea itself, but by surrounding
it with all possible association of ideas, so that each one will
reinforce the others. The mind is governed by laws of association,
such as the law that ideas which enter the mind at the same time
emerge at the same time, one assisting in recalling the others.
The reason why people cannot remember what they want to is that
they have not concentrated their minds sufficiently on their
purpose at the moment when it was formed. You can train yourself to remember in this
way by the concentration of the attention on your purpose,
in accordance with the laws of association.
When once you form this habit, the attention is easily centered
and the memory easily trained. Then your memory, instead of
failing you at crucial moments, becomes a valuable asset in your
every-day work. Exercise in Memory Concentration. Select some
picture; put it on a table and then look at it for two minutes.
Concentrate your attention on this picture, observe every detail;
then shut your eyes and see how much you can recall about
it. Think of what the picture represents; whether it is a good subject;
whether it looks natural. Think of objects in foreground,
middle ground, background; of details of color and form.
Now open your eyes and hold yourself rigidly to the correction of
each and every mistake. Close eyes again and notice how much
more accurate your picture is. Practice until your mental image
corresponds in every particular to the original.
Nature is a Wonderful Instructor. But there are very few who
realize that when we get in touch with nature we discover
ourselves. That by listening to her voice, with that curious,
inner sense of ours, we learn the oneness of life and wake up to
our own latent powers. Few realize that the simple act of listening
and concentrating is our best interior power, for it brings us
into close contact with the highest, just as our other senses bring
us into touch with the coarser side of human nature. The closer
we live to nature the more developed is this sense. “So called”
civilization has over developed our other senses at the expense
of this one. Children unconsciously realize the value of
concentration–for instance: When a Child has a difficult problem
to solve, and gets to some knotty point which he finds himself
mentally unable to do–though he tries his hardest–he will pause
and keep quite still, leaning on his elbow, apparently listening;
then you will see, if you are watching, sudden illumination
come and he goes on happily and accomplishes his task. A child
instinctively but unconsciously knows when he needs help, he
must be quiet and concentrate.
All great people concentrate and owe their success to it. The
doctor thinks over the symptoms of his patient, waits, listens
for the inspiration, though quite unconscious, perhaps, of doing
so. The one who diagnoses in this way seldom makes mistakes. An
author thinks his plot, holds it in his mind, and then waits, and
illumination comes. If you want to be able to solve difficult
problems you must learn to do the same. LESSON XVI. HOW CONCENTRATION CAN FULFILL
YOUR DESIRE “It is a spiritual law that the desire to
do necessarily implies the ability to do.”
You have all read of “Aladdin’s Lamp,” which accomplished such
wonderful things. This, of course, is only a fairy story, but it
illustrates the fact that man has within him the power, if he is
able to use it, to gratify his every wish. If you are unable to satisfy your deepest
longings it is time you learned how to use your God-given powers.
You will soon be conscious that you have latent powers within
capable when once developed of revealing to you priceless knowledge
and unlimited possibilities of success.
Man should have plenty of everything and not merely substance to
live on as so many have. All natural desires can be realized. It
would be wrong for the Infinite to create wants that could not be
supplied. Man’s very soul is in his power to think, and it,
therefore, is the essence of all created things. Every instinct
of man leads to thought, and in every thought there is great
possibility because true thought development, when allied to
those mysterious powers which perhaps transcend it, has been the
cause of all the world’s true progress. In the silence we become conscious of “that
something” which transcends thought and which uses thought
as a medium for expression. Many have glimpses of “that something,”
but few ever reach the state where the mind is steady enough
to fathom these depths. Silent, concentrated thought is more
potent than spoken words, for speech distracts from the focusing
power of the mind by drawing more and more attention to the
without. Man must learn more and more to depend on
himself; to seek more for the Infinite within. It is from this source alone that he
ever gains the power to solve his practical difficulties. No one
should give up when there is always the resources of Infinity.
The cause of failure is that men search in the wrong direction
for success, because they are not conscious of their real powers
that when used are capable of guiding them. The Infinite within is foreign to those persons
who go through life without developing their spiritual powers.
But the Infinite helps only he who helps himself. There is
no such thing as a Special “Providence.” Man will not receive
help from the Infinite except to the extent that he believes and
hopes and prays for help from this great source.
Concentrate on What You Want and Get It. The weakling is
controlled by conditions. The strong man controls conditions. You
can be either the conqueror or the conquered. By the law of
concentration you can achieve your heart’s desire. This law is so
powerful that that which at first seems impossible becomes
attainable. By this law what you at first see as a dream
becomes a reality. Remember that the first step in concentration
is to form a Mental Image of what you wish to accomplish. This
image becomes a thought-seed that attracts thoughts of a similar
nature. Around this thought, when it is once planted in the
imagination or creative region of the mind, you group or
build associated thoughts which continue to grow as long as your desire is keen
enough to compel close concentration. Form the habit of thinking of something you
wish to accomplish for five minutes each day. Shut every other
thought out of consciousness. Be confident that you will
succeed; make up your mind that all obstacles that are in your way
will be overcome and you can rise above any environment.
You do this by utilizing the natural laws of the thought world
which are all powerful. A great aid in the development of concentration
is to write out your thoughts on that which lies nearest your
heart and to continue, little by little, to add to it until
you have as nearly as possible exhausted the subject.
You will find that each day as you focus your forces on this
thought at the center of the stream of consciousness, new plans,
ideas and methods will flash into your mind. There is a law of
attraction that will help you accomplish your purpose. An
advertiser, for instance, gets to thinking along a certain line.
He has formed his own ideas, but he wants to know what others
think. He starts out to seek ideas and he soon finds plenty of
books, plans, designs, etc., on the subject, although when he
started he was not aware of their existence. The same thing is true in all lines. We can
attract those things that will help us. Very often we seem to receive
help in a miraculous way. It may be slow in coming,
but once the silent unseen forces are put into operation, they
will bring results so long as we do our part. They are ever present
and ready to aid those who care to use them. By forming a strong
mental image of your desire, you plant the thought-seed which
begins working in your interest and, in time, that desire, if
in harmony with your higher nature, will materialize.
It may seem that it would be unnecessary to caution you to
concentrate only upon achievement that will be good for you and
work no harm to another, but there are many who forget others and
their rights, in their anxiety to achieve success. All good
things are possible for you to have, but only as you bring your
forces into harmony with that law that requires that we mete out
justice to fellow travelers as we journey along life’s road. So
first think over the thing wanted and if it would be good for you
to have; say, “I want to do this; I am going to work to secure
it. The way will be open for me.” If you fully grasp mentally the thought of
success and hold it in mind each day, you gradually make a pattern
or mold which in time will materialize. But by all means keep free
from doubt and fear, the destructive forces. Never allow these
to become associated with your thoughts. At last you will create the desired conditions
and receive help in many unlooked-for ways that will lift you
out of the undesired environment. Life will then seem very different
to you, for you will have found happiness through awakening
within yourself the power to become the master of circumstances
instead of their slave.
To the beginner in this line of thought some of the things stated
in this book may sound strange, even absurd, but, instead of
condemning them, give them a trial. You will find they will work
out. The inventor has to work out his idea mentally
before he produces it materially. The architect first sees the
mental picture of the house he is to plan and from this works out
the one we see. Every object, every enterprise, must first be mentally
created. I know a man that started in business with
thirteen cents and not a dollar’s worth of credit. In ten years he
has built up a large and profitable business. He attributes his
success to two things–belief that he would succeed and hard
work. There were times when it did not look like he could weather
the storm. He was being pressed by his creditors who considered
him bankrupt. They would have taken fifty cents on the dollar
for his notes and considered themselves lucky. But by keeping
up a bold front he got an extension of time when needed. When
absolutely necessary for him to raise a certain sum at a certain
time he always did it. When he had heavy bills to meet he would
make up his mind that certain people that owed him would pay
by a certain date and they always did. Sometimes he would not receive
their check until the last mail of the day of the extension,
and I have known him to send out a check with the prospect of receiving
a check from one of his customers the following day. He
would have no reason other than his belief in the power of affecting
the mind of another by concentration of thought for expecting
that check, but rarely has he been disappointed.
Just put forth the necessary concentrated effort and you will be
wonderfully helped from sources unknown to you.
Remember the mystical words of Jesus, the Master: “Whatsoever
thing ye desire when ye pray, pray as if ye had already received
Through our paltry stir and strife, Glows the wished Ideal, And
longing molds in clay, what life Carves in the marble
real.–Lowell. We often hear people spoken of as idealists.
The fact is we are all idealists to a certain extent, and upon
the ideals we picture depends our ultimate success. You must have
the mental image if you are to produce the material thing. Everything
is first created in the mind. When you control your
thoughts you become a creator. You receive divine ideas and shape
them to your individual needs. All things of this world
are to you just what you think they are. Your happiness and success
depend upon your ideals.
You are responsible for every condition you go through, either
consciously or unconsciously. The next step you take determines
the succeeding step. Remember this; it is a valuable lesson. By
concentrating on each step as you go along, you can save a lot of
waste steps and will be able to choose a straight path instead of
a roundabout road. Concentrate Upon Your Ideals and They Will
Become Material Actualities. Through concentration we work
out our ideals in physical life. Your future depends upon the
ideals you are forming now. Your past ideals are determining
your present. Therefore, if you want a bright future, you
must begin to prepare for it today.
If persons could only realize that they can only injure
themselves, that when they are apparently injuring others they
are really injuring themselves, what a different world this would
be! We say a man is as changeable as the weather.
What is meant is his ideals change. Every time you change your
ideal you think differently. You become like a rudderless
boat on an ocean. Therefore realize the importance of holding
to your ideal until it becomes a reality.
You get up in the morning determined that nothing will make you
lose your temper. This is your ideal of a person of real strength
and poise. Something takes place that upsets you completely and
you lose your temper. For the time being you forget your ideal.
If you had just thought a second of what a well-poised person
implies you would not have become angry. You lose your poise when
you forget your ideal. Each time we allow our ideals to be
shattered we also weaken our will-power. Holding to your ideals
develops will-power. Don’t forget this. Why do so many men fail? Because they don’t
hold to their ideal until it becomes a mental habit. When they
concentrate on it to the exclusion of all other things it becomes
a reality. “I am that which I think myself to be.”
Ideals are reflected to us from the unseen spirit. The laws of
matter and spirit are not the same. One can be broken, but not
the other. To the extent that ideals are kept is your future
assured. It was never intended that man should suffer.
He has brought it upon himself by disobeying the laws of nature.
He knows them so cannot plead ignorance. Why does he break
them? Because he does not pay attention to those ideals flashed
to him from the Infinite Spirit.
Life is but one continuous unfoldment, and you can be happy every
step of the way or miserable, as you please; it all depends upon
how we entertain those silent whisperings that come from we know
not where. We cannot hear them with mortal ear, but from the
silence they come as if they were dreams, not to you or me alone,
but to everyone. In this way the grandest thoughts come to us, to
use or abuse. So search not in treasured volumes for noble
thoughts, but within, and bright and glowing vision will come to
be realized now and hereafter. You must give some hours to concentrated,
consistent, persistent thought. You must study yourself and your
weaknesses. No man gets over a fence by wishing himself
on the other side. He must climb.
No man gets out of the rut of dull, tiresome, monotonous life by
merely wishing himself out of the rut. He must climb.
If you are standing still, or going backward, there is something
wrong. You are the man to find out what is wrong. Don’t think that you are neglected, or not
understood, or not appreciated.
Such thoughts are the thoughts of failure. Think hard about the fact that men who have
got what you envy got it by working for it.
Don’t pity yourself, criticise yourself. You know that the only thing in the world
that you have got to count upon is yourself. LESSON XVIII. MENTAL CONTROL THROUGH CREATION I attended a banquet of inventors recently.
Each inventor gave a short talk on something he thought would be
accomplished in the future. Many very much needed things were
spoken of. One inventor spoke of the possibilities of wireless telephone.
Distance, he said, would shortly be annihilated. He thought
we would soon be able to talk to the man in the submarine forty
fathoms below the surface and a thousand miles away. When he
got through he asked if there were any that doubted what he said.
No one spoke up. This was not a case of tactful politeness,
as inventors like to argue, but a case where no one present really
doubted that the inventor’s vision would, in the future, materialize. These shrewd men, some real geniuses, all
thought we would in time be able to talk to those a thousand miles
away without media. Now, if we can make an instrument so
wonderful that we can send wireless messages a thousand miles, is
there any reason why we should not through mental control transmit
messages from one person to another? The wireless message should
not be as easy to send as the projected thought.
The day will come when all business will employ highly developed
persons to send out influences. These influences will be so
dominating that employes will be partly controlled by them and so
you will profit more and more by your mental powers and depend on
them to draw to you all forces of a helpful nature. You will be
constantly sending out suggestions to your employes and friends.
They will receive these unconsciously, but in case yours is the
stronger personality they will carry them out the same as if you
had spoken them. This is being done even today. A finely organized
company secures the combined effort of all its men. They may
be each doing a different kind of work, but all work to bring
about the very best results. The whole atmosphere is impregnated
with a high standard of workmanship. Everyone feels he must do
his best. He could not be in such surroundings and be satisfied to
do anything but his best work.
A business will succeed only to the extent that the efforts of
all are co-ordinated towards one result. At least one person is
needed to direct all toward the desired end. The person at the
head does not have to exactly outline to the others what steps to
take, but he must possess the mental power of control over
others. An up-to-date business letter is not written
in a casual, commonplace way today. The writer tries to
convey something he thinks the receiver will be interested to
know. In this way he awakens a responsive spirit. Sometimes just
the addition of a word or two will change a letter of the matter-of-fact
style to one that compels a response. It is not always
what is actually in a letter, but the spirit which it breathes
that brings results. That intangible something that defies analysis
is the projected thought of the master that brings back the
harvest that it claims.
But we should not always claim success for ourselves only. If you
are anxious that some friend or relative should succeed, think of
this person as becoming successful. Picture him in the position
you would like to see him in. If he has a weakness, desire and
command that it be strengthened; think of his shortcomings which
belong to his negative nature as being replaced by positive
qualities. Take a certain part of the day to send him thoughts of
an up-building nature. You can in this way arouse his mental
powers into activity, and once aroused, they will assert
themselves and claim their own. We can accomplish a great deal more than many
of us are ready to believe by sending to another our direct,
positive and controlling suggestions of leadership, but
whether a man is a success or not is greatly determined by the
way he acts on the suggestions he receives.
We either advance or decline. We never stand still. Every time we
accomplish something it gives us ability to do greater things.
The bigger the attempt undertaken, the greater the things
accomplished in the future. As a business grows, the head of the
business also has to grow. He must advance and be ever the
guiding influence. By his power to control, he inspires
confidence in those associated with him. Often employes are
superior to their employers in some qualities, and, if they had
studied, instead of neglected their development, they could have
been employers of more commanding influence than those whom they
serve. Through your mental power you can generate
in another enthusiasm and the spirit of success, which somehow furnishes
an impetus to do something worth while. In concentrated mental control, there is a
latent power more potent than physical force. The person becomes
aware that the attitude of the mind has a power of controlling,
directing and governing other forces. He has been placed
in an attitude capable of acquiring that which he desires.
All of us no matter how strong we are, are affected by the mental
forces of our environment. There is no one that can remain
neutral to influences. The mind cannot be freed from the forces
of a place. If the environment of your place of business is not
helpful, it will be harmful. That is why a change of position
will often do a person a great deal of good. No person was ever intended to live alone.
If you are shut up with only your own thoughts you suffer from
mental starvation. The mind becomes narrow; the mental powers
weaken. Living alone often causes some of the milder forms of insanity.
If children do not play with those their own age, but associate
with only older people, they will take on the actions of the
older people. The same is true of older persons if they associate
with people younger than they are. They take on the spirit
of youth. If you wish to retain your youth you need the influences
of youth. Like attracts like all over the world.
The thought element plays a great part in our lives. Every
business must not only command physical effort but it must also
command thought effort. There must be co-ordination of thought.
All employers should aim to secure employes that think along
similar lines. They will work in fuller sympathy with each other.
They will better understand each other. This enables them to help
each other, which would be utterly impossible if they were not in
sympathy with each other. It is this that goes to make up a
perfect organization, which directs and influences them toward
the one end. Instead of each person being a separate unit, each
one is like a spoke in a big wheel. Each member carries his own
load, and he would not think of shirking. Anyone working in such
an atmosphere could not help turning out his best work.
All great leaders must be able to inspire this co-operative
spirit. They first secure assistance through their mental
control. They then make their assistants realize the value of
mental control. Soon there is a close bond between them; they are
working toward a single purpose. They profit by their combined
effort. The result is that they accomplish much. If your business is conducted in the right
spirit, you can instill your thoughts and your ideas into
your employes. Your methods and ideas become theirs. They don’t
know it, but your mental forces are shaping their work. They
are just as certain to produce results as any physical force in nature.
The up-to-date business man of the future is going to take pains
to get his employes to think and reason better. He will not want
them to become depressed or discouraged. There is time that
instead of being wasted he will endeavor to have them use in
concentrated effort that will be profitable to both employer and
employed. There must be more of the spirit of justice enter into
the business of the future. There is a firm I know that will not hire
an employe until he has filled out an application blank. No doubt
those that fill it out think it is foolishness, but it is not. A
capable manager can look over this application blank and pretty
nearly tell if this person will fit into his management. The main
thing he wants to know is the applicant’s capacity for efficient
co-operative effort. He wants persons that have faith in
themselves. He wants them to realize that when they talk of misfortunes
and become blue they are likely to communicate the same
depressing influence to others. The up-to-date manager wants to
guard against hiring employes who will obstruct his success. You must realize that every moment spent in
thinking of your difficulties of the past, every moment spent
in bad company is attracting to you all that is bad; is attracting
influences that must be shaken off before you can advance.
Many firms prefer to hire employes that never worked before so
that they have nothing to unlearn. They are then not trained, but
have no bad business habits to overcome. They are more easily
guided and grasp the new methods more effectively because they
are not contrary to what they have already learned. They are at
once started on the right road, and as they co-operate readily
they receive the mental support of the management in learning the
methods that have been perfected. This inspires confidence in
themselves and they soon become efficient and, finally, skilled
workers. Most big business firms today employ efficiency
experts. Each day or week they are in a different department.
They earn their money because they familiarize persons with very
little business experience with plans that has taken the “expert”
years of training and much money to perfect.
The attitude we take has a great deal more to do with our success
than most of us realize. We must be able to generate those forces
that are helpful. There is a wonderful power in the thought
rightly controlled and projected and we must through
concentration develop this power to the fullest possible extent.
We are surrounded by many forces of which we know but little at
present. Our knowledge of these is to be wonderfully increased.
Each year we learn more about these psychic forces which are full
of possibilities of which we are not even dimly conscious. We
must believe in mental control, learn more about it, and use it,
if we want to command these higher powers and forces which will
unquestionably direct the lives of countless future generations. LESSON XIX. A CONCENTRATED WILL DEVELOPMENT New Method. You will find in this chapter
a most effective and most practical method of developing the will.
You can develop a strong one if you want to. You can make your
Will a dynamo to draw to you untold power. Exercises are given
which will, if practiced, strengthen your will, just as you
would strengthen your muscles by athletic exercises.
In starting to do anything, we must first commence with
elementary principles. Simple exercises will be given. It is
impossible to estimate the ultimate good to be derived from the
mental cultivation that comes through these attempts at
concentration. Even the simple exercises are not to be thought
useless. “In no respect,” writes Doctor Oppenheim, “can a man
show a finer quality of will-power than in his own private,
intimate life.” We are all subjected to certain temptations. The
Will decides whether we will be just, or unjust; pure of thought;
charitable in opinion; forbearing in overlooking other’s
shortcomings; whether we live up to our highest standard. Since
these are all controlled by the Will, we should find time for
plenty of exercises for training of the will in our daily life.
You, of course, realize that your will should be trained. You
must also realize that to do this requires effort that you alone
can command. No one can call it forth for you.
To be successful in these exercises you must practice them in a
spirit of seriousness and earnestness. I can show you how to
train your will, but your success depends upon your mastery and
application of these methods. New Methods of Will-Training. Select a quiet
room where you will not be interrupted; have a watch to determine
the time, and a note-book in which to enter observations.
Start each exercise with date and time of day. Exercise 1 Time decided on. Select some time of the day
when most convenient. Sit in a chair and look at the
door-knob for ten minutes. Then write down what you experienced.
At first it will seem strange and unnatural. You will find
it hard to hold one position for ten minutes. But keep as still
as you can. The time will seem long for it will probably be the
first time you ever sat and did nothing for ten minutes. You will
find your thoughts wandering from the door-knob, and you will
wonder what there can be in this exercise. Repeat this exercise
for six days. 10 P. M. 2nd Day. Notes. You should be able to sit quieter,
and the time should pass more quickly. You will probably feel
a little stronger because of gaining a better control of your
will. It will brace you up, as you have kept your resolution.
10 P. M. 3rd Day. Notes. It may be a little harder for you to
concentrate on the door-knob as perhaps you had a very busy day
and your mind kept trying to revert to what you had been doing
during the day. Keep on trying and you will finally succeed in
banishing all foreign thoughts. Then you should feel a desire to
gain still more control. There is a feeling of power that
comes over you when you are able to carry out your will. This exercise
will make you feel bigger and it awakens a sense of nobility
and manliness. You will say, “I find that I can actually do what I
want to and can drive foreign thoughts out. The exercise, I can
now see, is valuable.” 10 P. M. 4th Day.Notes. “I found that I could
look at the door-knob and concentrate my attention on it at once. Have
overcome the tendency to move my legs. No other thoughts
try to enter as I have established the fact that I can do what
I want to do and do not have to be directed. I feel that I am
gaining in mental strength, I can now see the wonderful value
of being the master of my own will-force. I know now if I make
a resolution I will keep it. I have more self-confidence and can
feel my self-control increasing. 10 P. M. 5th Day.
Notes. “Each day I seem to increase the intensity of my
concentration. I feel that I can center my attention on anything
I wish. 10 P. M. 6th Day.
Notes. “I can instantly center my whole attention on the
door-knob. Feel that I have thoroughly mastered this exercise and
that I am ready for another.” You have practiced this exercise enough, but
before you start another I want you to write a summary of just
how successful you were in controlling the flitting impulses
of the mind and will. You will find this an excellent practice.
There is nothing more beneficial to the mind than to pay close attention
to its own wonderful, subtle activities.
Exercise 2 Secure a package of playing cards. Select
some time to do the exercise. Each day at the appointed time,
take the pack in one hand and then start laying them down on top
of each other just as slowly as you can, with an even motion. Try
to get them as even as possible. Each card laid down should completely
cover the under one. Do this exercise for six days. 1st Day. Notes. Task will seem tedious and tiresome.
Requires the closest concentration to make each card completely
cover the preceding one. You will probably want to lay them down
faster. It requires patience to lay them down so slowly, but benefit
is lost if not so placed. You will find that at first your
motions will be jerky and impetuous. It will require a little practice
before you gain an easy control over your hands and arms.
You probably have never tried to do anything in such a calm way. It
will require the closest attention of your will. But you will
find that you are acquiring a calmness you never had before.
You are gradually acquiring new powers. You recognize how impulsive
and impetuous you have been, and how, by using your will,
you can control your temperament. 2nd Day. Notes. You start laying the cards down slowly.
You will find that by practice you can lay them down much faster.
But you want to lay them down slowly and therefore you have
to watch yourself. The slow, steady movement is wearisome. You
have to conquer the desire of wanting to hurry up. Soon you will
find that you can go slowly or fast at will. 3rd Day. Notes. You still find it hard to go slowly.
Your will urges you to go faster. This is especially true if you
are impulsive, as the impulsive character finds it very difficult
to do anything slowly and deliberately. It goes against the
“grain.” This exercise still is tiresome. But when you do
it, it braces you up mentally. You are accomplishing something
you do not like to do. It teaches you how to concentrate on disagreeable
tasks. Writing these notes down you will find very helpful. 4th Day. Notes. I find that I am beginning to place
the cards in a mathematical way. I find one card is not completely
covering another. I am getting a little careless and
must be more careful. I command my will to concentrate more. It
does not seem so hard to bring it under control. 5th Day. Notes. I find that I am overcoming my jerky
movements, that I can lay the cards down slowly and steadily. I
feel that I am rapidly gaining more poise. I am getting better control
over my will each day, and my will completely controls my movements.
I begin to look on my will as a great governing power.
I would not think of parting with the knowledge of will I have
gained. I find it is a good exercise and know it will help me to
accomplish my tasks. 6th Day. Notes. I begin to feel the wonderful possibilities
of the will. It gives me strength to think of the power
of will. I am able to do so much more and better work now, that
I realize that I can control my will action. Whatever my task,
my will is concentrated on it. I am to keep my will centered there
until the task is finished. The more closely and definitely
I determine what I shall do, the more easily the will carries
it out. Determination imparts compelling force to the will. It exerts
itself more. The will and the end act and react on each other. 7th Day. Notes. Now try to do everything you do today
faster. Don’t hurry or become nervous. Just try to do everything
faster, but in a steady manner. You will find that the exercises you have
practiced in retardation have steadied your nerves, and
thereby made it possible to increase your speed. The will
is under your command. Make it carry out resolutions rapidly. This
is how you build up your self-control and your self-command. It
is then that the human machine acts as its author dictates.
You certainly should now be able to judge of the great benefit
that comes from writing out your introspections each day. Of
course you will not have the exact experiences given in these
examples, but some of these will fit your case. Be careful to
study your experiences carefully and make as true a report as you
can. Describe your feelings just as they seem to you. Allow your
fancies to color your report and it will be worthless. You have
pictured conditions as you see them. In a few months, if you
again try the same exercises, you will find your report very much
better. By these introspections, we learn to know ourselves
better and with this knowledge can wonderfully increase our
efficiency. As you become used to writing out your report, it
will be more accurate. You thus learn how to govern your
impulses, activities and weaknesses. Each person should try to plan exercises that
will best fit his needs. If not convenient for you to practice
exercises every day, take them twice or three times a week. But
carry out any plan you decide to try. If you cannot devote ten minutes
a day to the experiments start with five minutes and gradually
increase the time. The exercises given are only intended
for examples. Will Training Without Exercise. There are
many people that do not want to take the time to practice exercises,
so the following instructions for training the will are given
to them. By willing and realizing, the will grows.
Therefore the more you will, the more it grows, and builds up power.
No matter whether your task is big or small, make it a rule
to accomplish it in order to fortify your will. Form the habit
of focusing your will in all its strength upon the subject to be
achieved. You form in this way the habit of getting a thing done,
of carrying out some plan. You acquire the feeling of being able
to accomplish that which lies before you, no matter what it is.
This gives you confidence and a sense of power that you get
in no other way. You know when you make a resolution that you will
keep it. You do not tackle new tasks in a half-hearted way, but
with a bold, brave spirit. We know that the will is able to carry
us over big obstacles. Knowing this despair never claims
us for a victim. We have wills and are going to use them with
more and more intensity, thus giving us the power to make
our resolutions stronger, our actions freer and our lives
finer and better. The education of the will should not be left
to chance. It is only definite tasks that will render it energetic,
ready, persevering and consistent. The only way it
can be done is by self-study and self-discipline. The cost is
effort, time and patience, but the returns are valuable. There
are no magical processes leading to will development, but
the development of your will works wonders for you because it
gives you self-mastery, personal power and energy of
character. Concentration of the Will to Win. The adaptability
of persons to their business environment is more a matter
of determination than anything else. In this age we hear a good
deal of talk about a man’s aptitudes. Some of his aptitudes, some
of his powers, may be developed to a wonderful extent, but he
is really an unknown quality until all his latent powers are developed
to their highest possible extent. He may be a failure
in one line and a big success in another. There are many successful
men, that did not succeed well at what they first undertook,
but they profited by their efforts in different directions,
and this fitted them for higher things, whereas had they refused
to adjust themselves to their environment, the tide of progress
would have swept them into oblivion.
My one aim in all my works is to try and arouse in the individual
the effort and determination to develop his full capacities, his
highest possibilities. One thing I want you to realize at the
start, that it is not so much ability, as it is the will to do
that counts. Ability is very plentiful, but organizing initiative
and creative power are not plentiful. It is easy to get employes,
but to get someone to train them is harder. Their abilities must
be directed to the work they can do. They must be shown how,
while at this work, to conserve their energy and they must be
taught to work in harmony with others, for most business concerns
are dominated by a single personality. Concentrating on Driving Force Within. We
are all conscious, at times, that we have somewhere within us an
active driving force that is ever trying to push us onward to better
deeds. It is that “force” that makes us feel determined at times
to do something worth while. It is not thought, emotion or
feeling. This driving force is something distinct from thought or
emotion. It is a quality of the soul and therefore it has a
consciousness all its own. It is the “I will do” of the will. It
is the force that makes the will concentrate. Many have felt
this force working within them, driving them on to accomplish
their tasks. All great men and women become conscious that this supreme
and powerful force is their ally in carrying out great
resolutions. This driving force is within all, but until
you reach a certain stage you do not become aware of it. It is
most useful to the worthy. It springs up naturally without any
thought of training. It comes unprovoked and leaves unnoticed.
Just what this force is we do not know, but we do know that it is
what intensifies the will in demanding just and harmonious action.
The ordinary human being, merely as merchandise, if he could be
sold as a slave, would be worth ten thousand dollars. If somebody
gave you a five thousand dollar automobile you would take very
good care of it. You wouldn’t put sand in the carburetor, or mix
water with the gasoline, or drive it furiously over rough roads,
or leave it out to freeze at night. Are you quite sure that you take care of your
own body, your own health, your only real property, as well as
you would take care of a five thousand dollar automobile if it were given to you?
The man who mixes whiskey with his blood is more foolish than a
man would be if he mixed water with gasoline in his car.
You can get another car; you cannot get another body.
The man who misses sleep lives irregularly–bolts his food so
that his blood supply is imperfect. That is a foolish man
treating himself as he would not treat any other valuable piece
of property. Do you try to talk with men and women who
know more than you do, and do you LISTEN rather than try to tell
them what you know? There are a hundred thousand men of fifty,
and men of sixty, running along in the old rut, any one of whom
could get out of it and be counted among the successful men if
only the spark could be found to explode the energy within them
now going to waste. Each man must study and solve his own problem. LESSON XX. CONCENTRATION REVIEWED In bringing this book to a close, I again
want to impress you with the inestimable value of concentration,
because those that lack this great power or, rather that fail
to develop it, will generally suffer from poverty and unhappiness
and their life’s work will most often be a failure, while those
that develop and use it will make the most of life’s opportunities, I have tried to make these lessons practical
and I am sure that many will find them so. Of course the mere
reading of them will not do you a great deal of good, but, if the
exercises are practiced and worked out and applied to your
own individual case, you should be able to acquire the habit of
concentration in such measure as to greatly improve your work and
increase your happiness.
But remember the best instruction can only help you to the extent
to which you put it into practice. I have found it an excellent
idea to read a book through first, and then re-read it, and when
you come to an idea that appeals to you, stop and think about it,
then if applicable to you, repeat it over and over, that you will
be impressed by it. In this way you can form the habit of picking
out all the good things you read and these will have a wonderful
influence on your character. In this closing chapter, I want to impress
you to concentrate on what you do, instead of performing most of
your work unconsciously or automatically, until you
have formed habits that give you the mastery of your work and your
life powers and forces.
Very often the hardest part of work is thinking about it. When
you get right into it, it does not seem so disagreeable. This is
the experience of many when they first commence to learn how to
concentrate. So never think it a difficult task, but undertake it
with the “I Will Spirit” and you will find that its acquirement
will be as easy as its application will be useful.
Read the life of any great man, and you will generally find that
the dominant quality that made him successful was the ability to
concentrate. Study those that have been failures and you will
often find that lack of concentration was the cause.
“One thing at a time, and that done will Is a good rule as I can tell.”
All men are not born with equal powers, but it is the way they
are used that counts. “Opportunity knocks at every man’s door.”
Those that are successful hear the knock and grasp the chance.
The failures believe that luck and circumstances are against
them. They always blame someone else instead of themselves for
their lack of success. We get what is coming to us, nothing more
or less. Anything within the universe is within your grasp. Just
use your latent powers and it is yours. You are aided by both
visible and invisible forces when you concentrate on either “to
do” or “to be.” Everyone is capable of some concentration,
for without it you would be unable to say or do anything. People
differ in the power to concentrate because some are unable to
Will to hold the thought in mind for the required time. The
amount of determination used determines who has the
strongest will. No one’s is stronger than yours. Think of this
whenever you go against a strong opponent.
Never say “I can’t concentrate today.” You can do it just the
minute you say “I will.” You can keep your thoughts from
straying, just the same as you can control your arms. When once
you realize this fact, you can train the will to concentrate on
anything you wish. If it wanders, it is your fault. You are not
utilizing your will. But, don’t blame it on your will and say it
is weak. The will is just the same whether you act as if it were
weak or as if it were strong. When you act as if your will is
strong you say, “I can.” When you act as if it were weak you say,
“I can’t.” It requires the same amount of effort, in each case.
Some men get in the habit of thinking “I can’t” and they fail.
Others think “I can” and succeed. So remember, it is for you to
decide whether you will join the army of “I can’t” or “I can.”
The big mistake with so many is that they don’t realize that when
they say “I can’t,” they really say, “I won’t try.” You can not
tell what you can do until you try. “Can’t” means you will not
try. Never say you cannot concentrate, for, when you do, you are
really saying that you refuse to try. Whenever you feel like saying, “I can’t,”
say instead, “I possess all will and I can use as much as I wish.”
You only use as much as you have trained yourself to use.
An Experiment to Try. Before going to bed tonight, repeat, “I am
going to choose my own thoughts, and to hold them as long as I
choose. I am going to shut out all thoughts that weaken or
interfere; that make me timid. My Will is as strong as anyone’s
else. While going to work the next morning, repeat this over.
Keep this up for a month and you will find you will have a better
opinion of yourself. These are the factors that make you a
success. Hold fast to them always. Concentration is nothing but willing to do
a certain thing. All foreign thoughts can be kept out by willing
that they stay out. You cannot realize your possibilities until
you commence to direct your mind. You then do consciously
what you have before done unconsciously. In this way you note mistakes,
overcome bad habits and perfect your conduct.
You have at times been in a position that required courage and
you were surprised at the amount you showed. Now, when once you
arouse yourself, you have this courage all the time and it is not
necessary to have a special occasion reveal it to you. My object
in so strongly impressing this on your mind is to make you aware
that the same courage, the same determination that you show at certain exceptionable times
you have at your command at all times. It is a part of your vast resources.
Use it often and well, in working out the highest destiny of
which you are capable.
Final Concentration Instruction. You now realize that, in order
to make your life worthy, useful and happy, you must concentrate.
A number of exercises and all the needed instruction has been
given. It now remains for you to form the highest ideal that you
can in the present and live up to that ideal, and try to raise
it. Don’t waste your time in foolish reading. Select something
that is inspiring, that you may become enrapport with those that
think thoughts that are worth while. Their enthusiasm will
inspire and enlighten you. Read slowly and concentrate on what
you are reading. Let your spirit and the spirit of the author
commune, and you will then sense what is between the lines–those
great things which words cannot express. Pay constant attention to one and one thing
only for a given time and you will soon be able to concentrate.
Hang on to that thought ceaselessly until you have attained your object.
When you work, let your mind dwell steadily on your task.
Think before you speak and direct your conversation to the subject
under discussion. Do not ramble. Talk slowly, steadily and connectedly.
Never form the hurry habit, but be deliberate in all you
do. Assume static attitudes without moving a finger or an eyelid,
or any part of your body. Read books that treat of but one
continuous subject. Read long articles and recall the thread of
the argument. Associate yourself with people who are steady,
patient and tireless in their thought, action and work.
See how long you can sit still and think on one subject without
interruption. Concentrating on the Higher Self. Father Time
keeps going on and on. Every day he rolls around means one less
day for you on this planet. Most of us only try to master the
external conditions of this world. We think our success and happiness
depends on us doing so. These are of course important and
I don’t want you to think they are not, but I want you to realize
that when death comes, only those inherent and acquired qualities
and conditions within the mentality–your character, conduct
and soul growth–will go with you. If these are what
they should be, you need not be afraid of not being successful
and happy, for with these qualities you can mold external materials
and conditions. Study yourself. Find Your Strong Points And
Make Them Stronger As Well As Yo Weak Ones And Strengthen Them.
Study yourself carefully and you will see yourself as you
really are. The secret of accomplishment is concentration,
or the art of turning all your power upon just one point
at a time. If you have studied yourself carefully you
should have a good line on yourself, and should be able to make
the proper interior re-adjustments. Remember first, last, and
always, Right thinking and right Living necessarily results in happiness,
and it is therefore within your power to obtain happiness.
Anyone that is not happy does not claim their birthright.
Keep in mind that some day you are going to leave this world and
think of what you will take with you. This will assist you to
concentrate on the higher forces. Now start from this minute, to
act according to the advice of the higher self in everything you
do. If you do, its ever harmonious forces will necessarily insure
to you a successful fulfilment of all your life purposes.
Whenever you feel tempted to disobey your higher promptings, hold
the thought “My-higher-self-insures-to-me-the-happiness-of-doing-that-which
-best-answers-my-true-relations-to-all-others.” You possess latent talents, that when developed
and utilized are of assistance to you and others. But if you
do not properly use them, you shirk your duty, and you will be
the loser and suffer from the consequences. Others will also be
worse off if you do not fulfil your obligations.
When you have aroused into activity your thought powers you will
realize the wonderful value of these principles in helping you to
carry out your plans. The right in the end must prevail. You can
assist in the working out of the great plan of the universe and
thereby gain the reward, or you can work against the great plan
and suffer the consequences. The all consuming fires are
gradually purifying all discordant elements. If you choose to
work contrary to the law you will burn in its crucible, so I want
you to learn to concentrate intelligently on becoming in harmony
with your higher self. Hold the thought: “I-will-live-for-my-best. I-seek-wisdom, self-knowledge,
happiness-and-power-to-help-others. I-act-from-the-higher-self, therefore-only-the-best-can-come-to-me. The
more we become conscious of the presence of the higher self
the more we should try to become a true representative of the
human soul in all its wholeness and holiness, instead of wasting
our time dwelling on some trifling external quality or defect.
We should try to secure a true conception of what we really are so
as not to over value the external furnishings. You will then not
surrender your dignity or self respect, when others ignorantly
make a display of material things to show off. Only the person
that realizes that he is a permanent Being knows what the true
self is.

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