The Power of Concentration, by Theron Q. Dumont
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The Power of Concentration
By THERON Q. DUMONT Author of "Personal Magnetism"; "Practical Memory Training"; "Mental Therapeutics"; "Successful Salesmanship"; "Master Mind"; etc., etc.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION. It is of the utmost value to learn how to concentrate. To make the greatest success of anything you must be able to concentrate your entire thought upon the idea you are working on. The person that is able to concentrate utilizes all constructive thoughts and shuts out all destructive ones. The greatest man would accomplish nothing if he lacked concentration.
LESSON 1. CONCENTRATION FINDS THE WAY. Our two natures; one wants to advance; the other wants to pull us back. The one we concentrate on and develop determines what we will become. How you may change your whole career and accomplish miracles. We can be completely controlled by our concentrated thought. How can you make an "opportunity". One man's opportunity is usually another man's loss. A very beneficial practice. Why we get back what we give out. A wonderful encouraging tonic. Every man that is willing to put forth the necessary effort can be a success. The man that is best prepared to do things. How to make your services always in demand. How to reach the top. The man selected to manage is not usually a genius. He does not possess any more talent than others. What he does possess that others do not. Why a few succeed and so many fail.
LESSON 2. THE SELF-MASTERY. SELF-DIRECTION POWER OF CONCENTRATION. Very few men possess the power to concentrate as they should. The cause of poor concentration. A very good practice. Concentration means strength of mind. The person unable to concentrate never accomplished a great deal. How many weaken their powers of concentration. How concentration can only be developed. How to control your every thought, wish and plan. What concentration is. The person that is able to concentrate gains the Power to control others. Concentration makes the will and intellect act in unison. Why some people are not magnetic. When a powerful personal influence is generated. How to become influential. The cause of spasmodic, erratic concentration. How to centralize your attention. A quick way to develop concentration. The development of physical and mental concentration. How to learn a valuable lesson. One of the best ways to influence another. A good exercise. The real benefit of physical culture usually lost sight of. How to hold the facilities at work.
LESSON 3. HOW TO GAIN WHAT YOU WANT THROUGH CONCENTRATION. The mistake made by those that do not understand the power of mental attraction. How to get what you want. We are not living in a "fairy age." Not the age for a "dreamer." The secret of getting what you concentrate on. How a messenger in a bank became its president. "Power to him who power exerts."
LESSON 4. CONCENTRATION, THE SILENT FORCE THAT PRODUCES RESULTS IN ALL BUSINESS. The power of thought. An experiment showing the power of thought. By concentrated thought you can make yourself what you please. How to greatly increase your efficiency. The face reflects how a person has spent his life. How to awaken possibilities within, you never dreamed of. How to inspire confidence in those you deal with. The value of concentrating your thoughts in the proper channels. How to attract the good things without a, great effort. By concentration you can revolutionize your life and gain happiness greater than you can imagine.
LESSON 5. HOW CONCENTRATED THOUGHT LINKS ALL HUMANITY TOGETHER. How you may become successful. The barriers to success can be controlled. How to realize your fondest ambitions. How to overcome destructive forces. How to become the master of circumstances. Through concentration you can mold your environment. You can get what you want. Sowing the thought seeds of success. Mind forces that are hardly dreamed of at present. A method for removing unfavorable conditions. Concentration makes you happy and gives you plenty to do.
LESSON 6. THE TRAINING OF THE WILL TO DO. The great secret of any accomplishment. Everything Is possible today. The inner energy that controls all conscious acts. How you can become a genius. A mighty force at your disposal. Rules that will make you a "man" among men. The spirit that wins. Concentration develops determination and perseverance. Some special instructions. What will power is. You have as strong a will as anyone. You determine your own fate. The importance of learning to use your will.
LESSON 7. THE CONCENTRATED MENTAL DEMAND. The attitude of the mind affects the expression of the face. The wonderful power of the concentrated mental demand. How to desire something and exclude all distracting thoughts. The silent force of wonderful power within all of us. How to make plans work out. The mightiest power in the world is free for you to use. The motive power which supplies the energies necessary for achievement.
LESSON 8. CONCENTRATION GIVES MENTAL POISE. The man that can concentrate is well poised. What you must do to be successful today. Concentration that is dangerous. How to make those you come in contact with feel as you do. The man that becomes a power in the world. You can control your life and actions. Successful lives are the concentrated lives. Why people do not get what they "concentrate" on.
LESSON 9. CONCENTRATION CAN OVERCOME BAD HABITS. Habit is but a powerful enemy and wonderful ally of concentration. Most people are controlled through the power of habit. Most people are imitators and copiers of their past selves. All physical impressions are the carrying out of the actions of the will and intellect. How everyone could be made happier and successful. Some wonderful maxims. Habit the deepest law of human nature. How to overcome undesirable habits. Some special instructions by Dr. Oppenheim.
LESSON 10. BUSINESS RESULTS GAINED THROUGH CONCENTRATION. A successful business not the result of chance. Failure not caused by luck. The intense desire that is necessary to make a business a success. Those that achieve permanent success deserve it. The man that is able to skilfully manage his business. How to realize your ambition. The successful business attitude. Your opinion should be as good as any one else. How many ruin their judgment. The man that gets the best results. A successful business not hard to build up; may be built up In a few years now whereas formerly it took a lifetime. How to do more and better work. How to attract the ideas thought out by others. Many attract forces and Influences that they should not. Broaden the visions of those you come in contact with.
LESSON 11. CONCENTRATE ON COURAGE. Lack of courage creates financial, as well as mental and moral difficulties. The man without courage attracts all that is contemptible, weakening, demoralizing and destructive. It is just as easy to be courageous as cowardly. Courage concentrates the mental forces on the task at hand. Cowardice dissipates both mental and moral forces. How to banish doubts. No one knows what they can do until they try. Once you understand the law everything is possible. How to build up courage to do as you wish. Difficulties soon melt away before the courageous.
LESSON 12. CONCENTRATE ON WEALTH. No one was intended to be poor. Through wealth we can uplift ourselves and humanity. Uncongenial and unpleasant conditions are not conducive to proper thought. First step toward acquiring wealth. Most men of all ages have been comparatively rich. Wealth not altogether the result of being industrious. No one can become wealthy from his earnings. Why some have to be taught such painful lessons. How many attract poverty instead of riches. Why it is necessary to give a fair exchange for what we receive. How to make your society not only agreeable to others but sought after.
LESSON 13. YOU CAN CONCENTRATE, BUT WILL YOU? All have the ability to concentrate. More ability not used than is used. Sometimes only a trifle keeps one from becoming a success. The fault is all your own. How to discover the cause if you are not making good. Make conditions favorable and do not expect them to shape themselves. Stumbling blocks but stepping stones. Hard Passages can be bridged if you just concentrate on them. Why more people do not succeed. Don't be afraid of a rebuff. The man that knows no such thing as failure. Be ready for an opportunity when it comes, No circumstances can keep the determined man from succeeding.
LESSON 14. ART OF CONCENTRATING WITH PRACTICAL EXERCISE. A daily habit will wonderfully increase your concentration. Seeing yourself as you would like to be. Instruction of the greatest importance. The great creative spirit of the universe. Why things manifest as they do. The cosmic intelligence. A most desired state. How to receive messages from the universal mind. How to develop power, unknown to you before. Make your mind a powerful transmitter of thought. The best time to practice concentration exercises. How to rejuvenate every cell of your brain and body. An exercise that will give you a self-poised manner. Instead of a nervous strained appearance. Concentrating on the powers within. Concentration will save your energy. How to keep from getting irritable or nervous. The Eastern way of concentrating. Exercise in controlling desires.
LESSON 15. CONCENTRATE SO YOU WILL NOT FORGET. Why people forget. An easy way to remember. How to deepen your impression. Exercise in Memory Concentration.
LESSON 16. HOW CONCENTRATION CAN FULFILL YOUR DESIRE. The desire to do implies the ability to do. Man has within him the power to gratify his every wish. If you have been unable to satisfy your longings, it is time you learn how to use your God-given powers. Priceless knowledge and unlimited possibilities within you that Is foreign to most people. How to concentrate on what you want and get it. The miraculous help we apparently receive at times. How one man started a business on thirteen cents and in six years built up a business that pays him $6,000 a year. When you put forth the necessary concentrated effort you will receive great help from unknown sources.
LESSON 17. IDEALS DEVELOP BY CONCENTRATION. Your happiness and success depends upon your ideals. A valuable lesson. Through concentration we can work out our ideals In physical life. What a different world this would be if we would build the right kind of ideals. Every time you change your ideal you think differently. Life is one continuous unfoldment. You can be happy every step of its way or miserable as you please. How our grandest thoughts come to us.
LESSON 18. MENTAL CONTROL THROUGH CREATION. An inventor's vision. Why It is easy to project your thoughts to another. How your mental powers can draw to you forces of a helpful nature. The big business man must possess mental power of control. How to make a friend or relative succeed. How to generate enthusiasm and the spirit of success. Your environment is either helpful or harmful. Mental starvation. How to instil your thoughts and ideas into others. Influence that must be shaken off before you can advance. Our attitude has more to do with success than you realize.
LESSON 19. A CONCENTRATED WILL DEVELOPMENT. A most effective and practical method of developing the Will. Practical exercises. Will training without exercises. Will-power can overcome big obstacles. The Will to win. Man an unknown quality until his powers are developed. Ability plentiful, but organizing, initiative and creative power not so plentiful. The driving force within.
LESSON 20. CONCENTRATION REVIEWED. Those unable to concentrate will generally suffer from poverty and unhappiness, The best instructor will only help you to the extent you put it into practice. Gaining the mastery of your work, life powers and forces. Concentrate the dominant quality that makes men successful. Everyone can learn to concentrate better. An experiment to try. Final instructions.
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 to 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 your goal.
LESSON II. THE SELF-MASTERY: SELF-DIRECTION POWER OF CONCENTRATION
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.