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The Power of Concentration, by Theron Q. Dumont INTRODUCTORY
We all know that in order to accomplish a certain thing we must
concentrate. It is of the utmost value to learn how to
concentrate. To make a success of anything you must be able to
concentrate your entire thought upon the idea you are working
out. Do not become discouraged, if you are unable
to hold your thought on the subject very long at first. There are
very few that can. It seems a peculiar fact that it is easier
to concentrate on something that is not good for us, than on
something that is beneficial. This tendency is overcome when
we learn to concentrate consciously.
If you will just practice a few concentration exercises each day
you will find you will soon develop this wonderful power.
Success is assured when you are able to concentrate for you are
then able to utilize for your good all constructive thoughts and
shut out all the destructive ones. It is of the greatest value to
be able to think only that which will be beneficial. Did you ever stop to think what an important
part your thoughts, concentrated thoughts, play in your life?
This book shows their far-reaching and all-abiding effects.
These lessons you will find very practical. The exercises I have
thoroughly tested. They are arranged so that you will notice an
improvement from the very start, and this will give you
encouragement. They point out ways in which you can help
yourself. Man is a wonderful creature, but he must be
trained and developed to be useful. A great work can be accomplished
by every man if he can be awakened to do his very best. But the
greatest man would not accomplish much if he lacked concentration
and effort. Dwarfs can often do the work of giants when they
are transformed by the almost magic power of great mental concentration.
But giants will only do the work of dwarfs when they lack
this power. We accomplish more by concentration than by
fitness; the man that is apparently best suited for a place does
not always fill it best. It is the man that concentrates on its
every possibility that makes an art of both his work and his
life. All your real advancement must come from your
individual effort. This course of lessons will stimulate and
inspire you to achieve success; it will bring you into perfect harmony
with the laws of success. It will give you a firmer hold on
your duties and responsibilities.
The methods of thought concentration given in this work if put
into practice will open up interior avenues that will connect you
with the everlasting laws of Being and their exhaustless
foundation of unchangeable truth. As most people are very different it is impossible
to give instructions that will be of the same value
to all. The author has endeavored in these lessons to awaken
that within the soul which perhaps the book does not express. So
study these lessons as a means of awakening and training that
which is within yourself. Let all your acts and thoughts have
the intensity and power of concentration.
To really get the full benefit of these lessons you should read a
page, then close the book and thoughtfully recall its ideas. If
you will do this you will soon cultivate a concentrated mental
habit, which will enable you to read with ordinary rapidity and
remember all that you read.
LESSON I. CONCENTRATION FINDS THE WAY
Everyone has two natures. One wants us to advance and the other
wants to pull us back. The one that we cultivate and concentrate
on decides what we are at the end. Both natures are trying toa
gain control. The will alone decides the issue. A man by one
supreme effort of the will may change his whole career and almost
accomplish miracles. You may be that man. You can be if you Will
to be, for Will can find a way or make one. I could easily fill a book, of cases where
men plodding along in a matter-of-fact way, were all at once aroused
and as if awakening from a slumber they developed the
possibilities within them and from that time on were different
persons. You alone can decide when the turning point will come. It
is a matter of choice whether we allow our diviner self to control
us or whether we will be controlled by the brute within us.
No man has to do anything he does not want to do. He is therefore
the director of his life if he wills to be. What we are to
do, is the result of our training. We are like putty, and can be
completely controlled by our will power.
Habit is a matter of acquirement. You hear people say: "He comes
by this or that naturally, a chip off the old block," meaning
that he is only doing what his parents did. This is quite often
the case, but there is no reason for it, for a person can break a
habit just the moment he masters the "I will." A man may have
been a "good-for-nothing" all his life up to this very minute,
but from this time on he begins to amount to something. Even old
men have suddenly changed and accomplished wonders. "I lost my
opportunity," says one. That may be true, but by sheer force of
will, we can find a way to bring us another opportunity. There is
no truth in the saying that opportunity knocks at our door but
once in a lifetime. The fact is, opportunity never seeks us; we
must seek it. What usually turns out to be one man's opportunity,
was another man's loss. In this day one man's brain is matched
against another's. It is often the quickness of brain action that
determines the result. One man thinks "I will do it," but while
he procrastinates the other goes ahead and does the work. They
both have the same opportunity. The one will complain of his lost
chance. But it should teach him a lesson, and it will, if he is
seeking the path that leads to success. Many persons read good books, but say they
do not get much good out of them. They do not realize that all
any book or any lesson course can do is to awaken them to their possibilities;
to stimulate them to use their will power. You
may teach a person from now until doom's day, but that person
will only know what he learns himself. "You can lead him to the fountain,
but you can't make him drink."
One of the most beneficial practices I know of is that of looking
for the good in everyone and everything, for there is good in all
things. We encourage a person by seeing his good qualities and we
also help ourselves by looking for them. We gain their good
wishes, a most valuable asset sometimes. We get back what we give
out. The time comes when most all of us need encouragement; need
buoying up. So form the habit of encouraging others, and you will
find it a wonderful tonic for both those encouraged and yourself,
for you will get back encouraging and uplifting thoughts.
Life furnishes us the opportunity to improve. But whether we do
it or not depends upon how near we live up to what is expected of
us. The first of each month, a person should sit down and examine
the progress he has made. If he has not come up to "expectations"
he should discover the reason, and by extra exertion measure up
to what is demanded next time. Every time that we fall behind
what we planned to do, we lose just so much for that time is gone
forever. We may find a reason for doing it, but most excuses are
poor substitutes for action. Most things are possible. Ours may
be a hard task, but the harder the task, the greater the reward.
It is the difficult things that really develop us, anything that
requires only a small effort, utilizes very few of our faculties,
and yields a scanty harvest of achievement. So do not shrink from
a hard task, for to accomplish one of these will often bring us
more good than a dozen lesser triumphs. I know that every man that is willing to pay
the price can be a success. The price is not in money, but in
effort. The first essential quality for success is the desire
to do--to be something. The next thing is to learn how
to do it; the next to carry it into execution. The man that is the
best able to accomplish anything is the one with a broad
mind; the man that has acquired knowledge, that may, it is true,
be foreign to this particular case, but is, nevertheless, of
some value in all cases. So the man that wants to be successful
must be liberal; he must acquire all the knowledge that he can;
he must be well posted not only in one branch of his business
but in every part of it. Such a man achieves success.
The secret of success is to try always to improve yourself no
matter where you are or what your position. Learn all you can.
Don't see how little you can do, but how much you can do. Such a
man will always be in demand, for he establishes the reputation
of being a hustler. There is always room for him because
progressive firms never let a hustler leave their employment if
they can help it. The man that reaches the top is the gritty,
plucky, hard worker and never the timid, uncertain, slow worker.
An untried man is seldom put in a position of responsibility
and power. The man selected is one that has done something, achieved
results in some line, or taken the lead in his department.
He is placed there because of his reputation of putting vigor
and virility into his efforts, and because he has previously shown
that he has pluck and determination.
The man that is chosen at the crucial time is not usually a
genius; he does not possess any more talent than others, but he
has learned that results can only be produced by untiring
concentrated effort. That "miracles," in business do not just
"happen." He knows that the only way they will happen is by
sticking to a proposition and seeing it through. That is the only
secret of why some succeed and others fail. The successful man
gets used to seeing things accomplished and always feels sure of
success. The man that is a failure gets used to seeing failure,
expects it and attracts it to him. It is my opinion that with the right kind
of training every man could be a success. It is really a shame that
so many men and women, rich in ability and talent, are allowed
to go to waste, so to speak. Some day I hope to see a millionaire
philanthropist start a school for the training of failures.
I am sure he could not put his money to a better use. In a year's
time the science of practical psychology could do wonders for
him. He could have agencies on the lookout for men that had lost
their grip on themselves; that had through indisposition
weakened their will; that through some sorrow or misfortune had
become discouraged. At first all they need is a little help to get
them back on their feet, but usually they get a knock downwards
instead. The result is that their latent powers never develop
and both they and the world are the losers. I trust that in the
near future, someone will heed the opportunity of using some of
his millions in arousing men that have begun to falter. All
they need to be shown is that there is within them an omnipotent
source that is ready to aid them, providing they will make use
of it. Their minds only have to be turned from despair to hope to
make them regain their hold.
When a man loses his grip today, he must win his redemption by
his own will. He will get little encouragement or advice of an
inspiring nature. He must usually regain the right road alone. He
must stop dissipating his energies and turn his attention to
building a useful career. Today we must conquer our weakening
tendencies alone. Don't expect anyone to help you. Just take one
big brace, make firm resolutions, and resolve to conquer your
weaknesses and vices. Really none can do this for you. They can
encourage you; that is all. I can think of nothing, but lack of health,
that should interfere with one becoming successful. There is no
other handicap that you should not be able to overcome. To overcome
a handicap, all that it is necessary to do is to use more determination
and grit and will.
The man with grit and will, may be poor today and wealthy in a
few years; will power is a better asset than money; Will will
carry you over chasms of failure, if you but give it the chance.
The men that have risen to the highest positions have usually had
to gain their victories against big odds. Think of the hardships
many of our inventors have gone through before they became a
success. Usually they have been very much misunderstood by
relatives and friends. Very often they did not have the bare
necessities of life, yet, by sheer determination and resolute
courage, they managed to exist somehow until they perfected their
inventions, which afterwards greatly helped in bettering the
condition of others. Everyone really wants to do something, but
there are few that will put forward the needed effort to make
the necessary sacrifice to secure it. There is only one
way to accomplish anything and that is to go ahead and do it.
A man may accomplish almost anything today, if he just sets his
heart on doing it and lets nothing interfere with his progress.
Obstacles are quickly overcome by the man that sets out to accomplish
his heart's desire. The "bigger" the man, the smaller
the obstacle appears. The "smaller" the man the greater the obstacle
appears. Always look at the advantage you gain by overcoming
obstacles, and it will give you the needed courage for their
conquest. Do not expect that you will always have easy
sailing. Parts of your journey are likely to be rough. Don't
let the rough places put you out of commission. Keep on with the
journey. Just the way you weather the storm shows what material
you are made of. Never sit down and complain of the rough places,
but think how nice the pleasant stretches were. View with delight
the smooth plains that are in front of you.
Do not let a setback stop you. Think of it as a mere incident
that has to be overcome before you can reach 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