The Power of Concentration
The reason why people cannot remember what they want to is that they have not concentrated their minds sufficiently on their purpose at the moment when it was formed.
You can train yourself to remember in this way by the concentration of the attention on your purpose, in accordance with the laws of association.
When once you form this habit, the attention is easily centered and the memory easily trained. Then your memory, instead of failing you at crucial moments, becomes a valuable asset in your every-day work.
Exercise in Memory Concentration. Select some picture; put it on a table and then look at it for two minutes. Concentrate your attention on this picture, observe every detail; then shut your eyes and see how much you can recall about it. Think of what the picture represents; whether it is a good subject; whether it looks natural. Think of objects in foreground, middle ground, background; of details of color and form.
Now open your eyes and hold yourself rigidly to the correction of each and every mistake. Close eyes again and notice how much more accurate your picture is. Practice until your mental image corresponds in every particular to the original.
Nature is a Wonderful Instructor. But there are very few who realize that when we get in touch with nature we discover ourselves. That by listening to her voice, with that curious, inner sense of ours, we learn the oneness of life and wake up to our own latent powers.
Few realize that the simple act of listening and concentrating is our best interior power, for it brings us into close contact with the highest, just as our other senses bring us into touch with the coarser side of human nature. The closer we live to nature the more developed is this sense. "So called" civilization has over developed our other senses at the expense of this one.
Children unconsciously realize the value of concentration--for instance: When a Child has a difficult problem to solve, and gets to some knotty point which he finds himself mentally unable to do--though he tries his hardest--he will pause and keep quite still, leaning on his elbow, apparently listening; then you will see, if you are watching, sudden illumination come and he goes on happily and accomplishes his task. A child instinctively but unconsciously knows when he needs help, he must be quiet and concentrate.
All great people concentrate and owe their success to it. The doctor thinks over the symptoms of his patient, waits, listens for the inspiration, though quite unconscious, perhaps, of doing so. The one who diagnoses in this way seldom makes mistakes. An author thinks his plot, holds it in his mind, and then waits, and illumination comes. If you want to be able to solve difficult problems you must learn to do the same.
How Concentration Can Fulfill Your Desire
t is a spiritual law that the desire to do necessarily implies the ability to do."
You have all read of "Aladdin's Lamp," which accomplished such wonderful things. This, of course, is only a fairy story, but it illustrates the fact that man has within him the power, if he is able to use it, to gratify his every wish.
If you are unable to satisfy your deepest longings it is time you learned how to use your God-given powers. You will soon be conscious that you have latent powers within capable when once developed of revealing to you priceless knowledge and unlimited possibilities of success.
Man should have plenty of everything and not merely substance to live on as so many have. All natural desires can be realized. It would be wrong for the Infinite to create wants that could not be supplied. Man's very soul is in his power to think, and it, therefore, is the essence of all created things. Every instinct of man leads to thought, and in every thought there is great possibility because true thought development, when allied to those mysterious powers which perhaps transcend it, has been the cause of all the world's true progress.
In the silence we become conscious of "that something" which transcends thought and which uses thought as a medium for expression. Many have glimpses of "that something," but few ever reach the state where the mind is steady enough to fathom these depths. Silent, concentrated thought is more potent than spoken words, for speech distracts from the focusing power of the mind by drawing more and more attention to the without.
Man must learn more and more to depend on himself; to seek more for the Infinite within. It is from this source alone that he ever gains the power to solve his practical difficulties. No one should give up when there is always the resources of Infinity. The cause of failure is that men search in the wrong direction for success, because they are not conscious of their real powers that when used are capable of guiding them.
The Infinite within is foreign to those persons who go through life without developing their spiritual powers. But the Infinite helps only he who helps himself. There is no such thing as a Special "Providence." Man will not receive help from the Infinite except to the extent that he believes and hopes and prays for help from this great source.
Concentrate on What You Want and Get It. The weakling is controlled by conditions. The strong man controls conditions. You can be either the conqueror or the conquered. By the law of concentration you can achieve your heart's desire. This law is so powerful that that which at first seems impossible becomes attainable.
By this law what you at first see as a dream becomes a reality.
Remember that the first step in concentration is to form a Mental Image of what you wish to accomplish. This image becomes a thought-seed that attracts thoughts of a similar nature. Around this thought, when it is once planted in the imagination or creative region of the mind, you group or build associated thoughts which continue to grow as long as your desire is keen enough to compel close concentration.
Form the habit of thinking of something you wish to accomplish for five minutes each day. Shut every other thought out of consciousness. Be confident that you will succeed; make up your mind that all obstacles that are in your way will be overcome and you can rise above any environment.
You do this by utilizing the natural laws of the thought world which are all powerful.
A great aid in the development of concentration is to write out your thoughts on that which lies nearest your heart and to continue, little by little, to add to it until you have as nearly as possible exhausted the subject.
You will find that each day as you focus your forces on this thought at the center of the stream of consciousness, new plans, ideas and methods will flash into your mind. There is a law of attraction that will help you accomplish your purpose. An advertiser, for instance, gets to thinking along a certain line. He has formed his own ideas, but he wants to know what others think. He starts out to seek ideas and he soon finds plenty of books, plans, designs, etc., on the subject, although when he started he was not aware of their existence.
The same thing is true in all lines. We can attract those things that will help us. Very often we seem to receive help in a miraculous way. It may be slow in coming, but once the silent unseen forces are put into operation, they will bring results so long as we do our part. They are ever present and ready to aid those who care to use them. By forming a strong mental image of your desire, you plant the thought-seed which begins working in your interest and, in time, that desire, if in harmony with your higher nature, will materialize.
It may seem that it would be unnecessary to caution you to concentrate only upon achievement that will be good for you and work no harm to another, but there are many who forget others and their rights, in their anxiety to achieve success. All good things are possible for you to have, but only as you bring your forces into harmony with that law that requires that we mete out justice to fellow travelers as we journey along life's road. So first think over the thing wanted and if it would be good for you to have; say, "I want to do this; I am going to work to secure it. The way will be open for me."
If you fully grasp mentally the thought of success and hold it in mind each day, you gradually make a pattern or mold which in time will materialize. But by all means keep free from doubt and fear, the destructive forces. Never allow these to become associated with your thoughts.
At last you will create the desired conditions and receive help in many unlooked-for ways that will lift you out of the undesired environment. Life will then seem very different to you, for you will have found happiness through awakening within yourself the power to become the master of circumstances instead of their slave.
To the beginner in this line of thought some of the things stated in this book may sound strange, even absurd, but, instead of condemning them, give them a trial. You will find they will work out.
The inventor has to work out his idea mentally before he produces it materially. The architect first sees the mental picture of the house he is to plan and from this works out the one we see. Every object, every enterprise, must first be mentally created.
I know a man that started in business with thirteen cents and not a dollar's worth of credit. In ten years he has built up a large and profitable business. He attributes his success to two things--belief that he would succeed and hard work.
There were times when it did not look like he could weather the storm. He was being pressed by his creditors who considered him bankrupt. They would have taken fifty cents on the dollar for his notes and considered themselves lucky. But by keeping up a bold front he got an extension of time when needed. When absolutely necessary for him to raise a certain sum at a certain time he always did it. When he had heavy bills to meet he would make up his mind that certain people that owed him would pay by a certain date and they always did. Sometimes he would not receive their check until the last mail of the day of the extension, and I have known him to send out a check with the prospect of receiving a check from one of his customers the following day. He would have no reason other than his belief in the power of affecting the mind of another by concentration of thought for expecting that check, but rarely has he been disappointed.
Just put forth the necessary concentrated effort and you will be wonderfully helped from sources unknown to you.
Remember the mystical words of Jesus, the Master: "Whatsoever thing ye desire when ye pray, pray as if ye had already received and ye shall have."
Ideals Developed by Concentration
Through our paltry stir and strife, Glows the wished Ideal, And longing molds in clay, what life Carves in the marble real.--Lowell.
We often hear people spoken of as idealists. The fact is we are all idealists to a certain extent, and upon the ideals we picture depends our ultimate success. You must have the mental image if you are to produce the material thing. Everything is first created in the mind. When you control your thoughts you become a creator. You receive divine ideas and shape them to your individual needs. All things of this world are to you just what you think they are. Your happiness and success depend upon your ideals.
You are responsible for every condition you go through, either consciously or unconsciously. The next step you take determines the succeeding step. Remember this; it is a valuable lesson. By concentrating on each step as you go along, you can save a lot of waste steps and will be able to choose a straight path instead of a roundabout road.
Concentrate Upon Your Ideals and They Will Become Material Actualities. Through concentration we work out our ideals in physical life. Your future depends upon the ideals you are forming now. Your past ideals are determining your present. Therefore, if you want a bright future, you must begin to prepare for it today.
If persons could only realize that they can only injure themselves, that when they are apparently injuring others they are really injuring themselves, what a different world this would be!
We say a man is as changeable as the weather. What is meant is his ideals change. Every time you change your ideal you think differently. You become like a rudderless boat on an ocean. Therefore realize the importance of holding to your ideal until it becomes a reality.
You get up in the morning determined that nothing will make you lose your temper. This is your ideal of a person of real strength and poise. Something takes place that upsets you completely and you lose your temper. For the time being you forget your ideal. If you had just thought a second of what a well-poised person implies you would not have become angry. You lose your poise when you forget your ideal. Each time we allow our ideals to be
shattered we also weaken our will-power. Holding to your ideals develops will-power. Don't forget this.
Why do so many men fail? Because they don't hold to their ideal until it becomes a mental habit. When they concentrate on it to the exclusion of all other things it becomes a reality.
"I am that which I think myself to be."
Ideals are reflected to us from the unseen spirit. The laws of matter and spirit are not the same. One can be broken, but not the other. To the extent that ideals are kept is your future assured.
It was never intended that man should suffer. He has brought it upon himself by disobeying the laws of nature. He knows them so cannot plead ignorance. Why does he break them? Because he does not pay attention to those ideals flashed to him from the Infinite Spirit.
Life is but one continuous unfoldment, and you can be happy every step of the way or miserable, as you please; it all depends upon how we entertain those silent whisperings that come from we know not where. We cannot hear them with mortal ear, but from the silence they come as if they were dreams, not to you or me alone, but to everyone. In this way the grandest thoughts come to us, to use or abuse. So search not in treasured volumes for noble thoughts, but within, and bright and glowing vision will come to be realized now and hereafter.
You must give some hours to concentrated, consistent, persistent thought. You must study yourself and your weaknesses.
No man gets over a fence by wishing himself on the other side. He must climb.
No man gets out of the rut of dull, tiresome, monotonous life by merely wishing himself out of the rut. He must climb.
If you are standing still, or going backward, there is something wrong. You are the man to find out what is wrong.
Don't think that you are neglected, or not understood, or not appreciated. Such thoughts are the thoughts of
failure. Think hard about the fact that men who have got what you envy got it by working for it.
Don't pity yourself, criticise yourself.
You know that the only thing in the world that you have got to count upon is yourself.
Mental Control Through Creation
attended a banquet of inventors recently. Each inventor gave a short talk on something he thought would be accomplished in the future. Many very much needed things were spoken of. One inventor spoke of the possibilities of wireless telephone. Distance, he said, would shortly be annihilated. He thought we would soon be able to talk to the man in the submarine forty fathoms below the surface and a thousand miles away. When he got through he asked if there were any that doubted what he said. No one spoke up. This was not a case of tactful politeness, as inventors like to argue, but a case where no one present really doubted that the inventor's vision would, in the future, materialize.
These shrewd men, some real geniuses, all thought we would in time be able to talk to those a thousand miles away without media. Now, if we can make an instrument so wonderful that we can send wireless messages a thousand miles, is there any reason why we should not through mental control transmit messages from one person to another? The wireless message should not be as easy to send as the projected thought.
The day will come when all business will employ highly developed persons to send out influences. These influences will be so dominating that employes will be partly controlled by them and so you will profit more and more by your mental powers and depend on them to draw to you all forces of a helpful nature. You will be constantly sending out suggestions to your employes and friends. They will receive these unconsciously, but in case yours is the stronger personality they will carry them out the same as if you had spoken them.
This is being done even today. A finely organized company secures the combined effort of all its men. They may be each doing a different kind of work, but all work to bring about the very best results. The whole atmosphere is impregnated with a high standard of workmanship. Everyone feels he must do his best. He could not be in such surroundings and be satisfied to do anything but his best work.
A business will succeed only to the extent that the efforts of all are co-ordinated towards one result. At least one person is needed to direct all toward the desired end. The person at the head does not have to exactly outline to the others what steps to take, but he must possess the mental power of control over others.
An up-to-date business letter is not written in a casual, commonplace way today. The writer tries to convey something he thinks the receiver will be interested to know. In this way he awakens a responsive spirit. Sometimes just the addition of a word or two will change a letter of the matter-of-fact style to one that compels a response. It is not always what is actually in a letter, but the spirit which it breathes that brings results. That intangible something that defies analysis is the projected thought of the master that brings back the harvest that it claims.
But we should not always claim success for ourselves only. If you are anxious that some friend or relative should succeed, think of this person as becoming successful. Picture him in the position you would like to see him in. If he has a weakness, desire and command that it be strengthened; think of his shortcomings which belong to his negative nature as being replaced by positive qualities. Take a certain part of the day to send him thoughts of an up-building nature. You can in this way arouse his mental powers into activity, and once aroused, they will assert themselves and claim their own.
We can accomplish a great deal more than many of us are ready to believe by sending to another our direct, positive and controlling suggestions of leadership, but whether a man is a success or not is greatly determined by the way he acts on the suggestions he receives.
We either advance or decline. We never stand still. Every time we accomplish something it gives us ability to do greater things. The bigger the attempt undertaken, the greater the things accomplished in the future. As a
business grows, the head of the business also has to grow. He must advance and be ever the guiding influence. By his power to control, he inspires confidence in those associated with him. Often employes are superior to their employers in some qualities, and, if they had studied, instead of neglected their development, they could have been employers of more commanding influence than those whom they serve.
Through your mental power you can generate in another enthusiasm and the spirit of success, which somehow furnishes an impetus to do something worth while.
In concentrated mental control, there is a latent power more potent than physical force. The person becomes aware that the attitude of the mind has a power of controlling, directing and governing other forces. He has been placed in an attitude capable of acquiring that which he desires.
All of us no matter how strong we are, are affected by the mental forces of our environment. There is no one that can remain neutral to influences. The mind cannot be freed from the forces of a place. If the environment of your place of business is not helpful, it will be harmful. That is why a change of position will often do a person a great deal of good.
No person was ever intended to live alone. If you are shut up with only your own thoughts you suffer from mental starvation. The mind becomes narrow; the mental powers weaken. Living alone often causes some of the milder forms of insanity. If children do not play with those their own age, but associate with only older people, they will take on the actions of the older people. The same is true of older persons if they associate with people younger than they are. They take on the spirit of youth. If you wish to retain your youth you need the influences of youth. Like attracts like all over the world.
The thought element plays a great part in our lives. Every business must not only command physical effort but it must also command thought effort. There must be co-ordination of thought. All employers should aim to secure employes that think along similar lines. They will work in fuller sympathy with each other. They will better understand each other. This enables them to help each other, which would be utterly impossible if they were not in sympathy with each other. It is this that goes to make up a perfect organization, which directs and influences them toward the one end. Instead
of each person being a separate unit, each one is like a spoke in a big wheel. Each member carries his own load, and he would not think of shirking. Anyone working in such an atmosphere could not help turning out his best work.
All great leaders must be able to inspire this co-operative spirit. They first secure assistance through their mental control. They then make their assistants realize the value of mental control. Soon there is a close bond between them; they are working toward a single purpose. They profit by their combined effort. The result is that they accomplish much.
If your business is conducted in the right spirit, you can instill your thoughts and your ideas into your employes. Your methods and ideas become theirs. They don't know it, but your mental forces are shaping their work. They are just as certain to produce results as any physical force in nature.
The up-to-date business man of the future is going to take pains to get his employes to think and reason better. He will not want them to become depressed or discouraged. There is time that instead of being wasted he will endeavor to have them use in concentrated effort that will be profitable to both employer and employed. There must be more of the spirit of justice enter into the business of the future.
There is a firm I know that will not hire an employe until he has filled out an application blank. No doubt those that fill it out think it is foolishness, but it is not. A capable manager can look over this application blank and pretty nearly tell if this person will fit into his management. The main thing he wants to know is the applicant's capacity for efficient co-operative effort. He wants persons that have faith in themselves. He wants them to realize that when they talk of misfortunes and become blue they are likely to communicate the same depressing influence to others. The up-to-date manager wants to guard against hiring employes who will obstruct his success.
You must realize that every moment spent in thinking of your difficulties of the past, every moment spent in bad company is attracting to you all that is bad; is attracting influences that must be shaken off before you can advance.
Many firms prefer to hire employes that never worked before so that they have nothing to unlearn. They are then not trained, but have no bad business
habits to overcome. They are more easily guided and grasp the new methods more effectively because they are not contrary to what they have already learned. They are at once started on the right road, and as they co-operate readily they receive the mental support of the management in learning the methods that have been perfected. This inspires confidence in themselves and they soon become efficient and, finally, skilled workers.
Most big business firms today employ efficiency experts. Each day or week they are in a different department. They earn their money because they familiarize persons with very little business experience with plans that has taken the "expert" years of training and much money to perfect.
The attitude we take has a great deal more to do with our success than most of us realize. We must be able to generate those forces that are helpful. There is a wonderful power in the thought rightly controlled and projected and we must through concentration develop this power to the fullest possible extent.
We are surrounded by many forces of which we know but little at present. Our knowledge of these is to be wonderfully increased. Each year we learn more about these psychic forces which are full of possibilities of which we are not even dimly conscious. We must believe in mental control, learn more about it, and use it, if we want to command these higher powers and forces which will unquestionably direct the lives of countless future generations.
A Concentrated Will Development
ew Method. You will find in this chapter a most effective and most practical method of developing the will. You can develop a strong one if you want to. You can make your Will a dynamo to draw to you untold power. Exercises are given which will, if practiced, strengthen your will, just as you would strengthen your muscles by athletic exercises.
In starting to do anything, we must first commence with elementary principles. Simple exercises will be given. It is impossible to estimate the ultimate good to be derived from the mental cultivation that comes through these attempts at concentration. Even the simple exercises are not to be thought useless. "In no respect," writes Doctor Oppenheim, "can a man show a finer quality of will-power than in his own private, intimate life." We are
all subjected to certain temptations. The Will decides whether we will be just, or unjust; pure of thought; charitable in opinion; forbearing in overlooking other's shortcomings; whether we live up to our highest standard. Since these are all controlled by the Will, we should find time for plenty of exercises for training of the will in our daily life.
You, of course, realize that your will should be trained. You must also realize that to do this requires effort that you alone can command. No one can call it forth for you.
To be successful in these exercises you must practice them in a spirit of seriousness and earnestness. I can show you how to train your will, but your success depends upon your mastery and application of these methods.
New Methods of Will-Training. Select a quiet room where you will not be interrupted; have a watch to determine the time, and a note-book in which to enter observations. Start each exercise with date and time of day.
Time decided on. Select some time of the day when most convenient. Sit in a chair and look at the door-knob for ten minutes. Then write down what you experienced. At first it will seem strange and unnatural. You will find it hard to hold one position for ten minutes. But keep as still as you can. The time will seem long for it will probably be the first time you ever sat and did nothing for ten minutes. You will find your thoughts wandering from the door-knob, and you will wonder what there can be in this exercise. Repeat this exercise for six days.
10 P. M. 2nd Day.
Notes. You should be able to sit quieter, and the time should pass more quickly. You will probably feel a little stronger because of gaining a better control of your will. It will brace you up, as you have kept your resolution. 10 P. M. 3rd Day.
It may be a little harder for you to concentrate on the door-knob as perhaps you had a very busy day and your mind kept trying to revert to what you had been doing during the day. Keep on trying and you will finally succeed in banishing all foreign thoughts. Then you should feel a desire to
gain still more control. There is a feeling of power that comes over you when you are able to carry out your will. This exercise will make you feel bigger and it awakens a sense of nobility and manliness. You will say, "I find that I can actually do what I want to and can drive foreign thoughts out. The exercise, I can now see, is valuable."
10 P. M. 4th Day.
Notes. "I found that I could look at the door-knob and concentrate my attention on it at once. Have overcome the tendency to move my legs. No other thoughts try to enter as I have established the fact that I can do what I want to do and do not have to be directed. I feel that I am gaining in mental strength, I can now see the wonderful value of being the master of my own will-force. I know now if I make a resolution I will keep it. I have more self-confidence and can feel my self-control increasing.
10 P. M. 5th Day.
Notes. "Each day I seem to increase the intensity of my concentration. I feel that I can center my attention on anything I wish.
10 P. M. 6th Day.
Notes. "I can instantly center my whole attention on the door-knob. Feel that I have thoroughly mastered this exercise and that I am ready for another."
You have practiced this exercise enough, but before you start another I want you to write a summary of just how successful you were in controlling the flitting impulses of the mind and will. You will find this an excellent practice. There is nothing more beneficial to the mind than to pay close attention to its own wonderful, subtle activities.
Secure a package of playing cards. Select some time to do the exercise. Each day at the appointed time, take the pack in one hand and then start laying them down on top of each other just as slowly as you can, with an even motion. Try to get them as even as possible. Each card laid down should completely cover the under one. Do this exercise for six days.
Notes. Task will seem tedious and tiresome. Requires the closest concentration to make each card completely cover the preceding one. You will probably want to lay them down faster. It requires patience to lay them down so slowly, but benefit is lost if not so placed. You will find that at first your motions will be jerky and impetuous. It will require a little practice before you gain an easy control over your hands and arms. You probably have never tried to do anything in such a calm way. It will require the closest attention of your will. But you will find that you are acquiring a calmness you never had before. You are gradually acquiring new powers. You recognize how impulsive and impetuous you have been, and how, by using your will, you can control your temperament.
Notes. You start laying the cards down slowly. You will find that by practice you can lay them down much faster. But you want to lay them down slowly and therefore you have to watch yourself. The slow, steady movement is wearisome. You have to conquer the desire of wanting to hurry up. Soon you will find that you can go slowly or fast at will.
Notes. You still find it hard to go slowly. Your will urges you to go faster. This is especially true if you are impulsive, as the impulsive character finds it very difficult to do anything slowly and deliberately. It goes against the "grain." This exercise still is tiresome. But when you do it, it braces you up mentally. You are accomplishing something you do not like to do. It teaches you how to concentrate on disagreeable tasks. Writing these notes down you will find very helpful.
Notes. I find that I am beginning to place the cards in a mathematical way. I find one card is not completely covering another. I am getting a little careless and must be more careful. I command my will to concentrate more. It does not seem so hard to bring it under control.
Notes. I find that I am overcoming my jerky movements, that I can lay the cards down slowly and steadily. I feel that I am rapidly gaining more poise. I am getting better control over my will each day, and my will completely controls my movements. I begin to look on my will as a great governing power. I would not think of parting with the knowledge of will I have gained. I find it is a good exercise and know it will help me to accomplish my tasks.
Notes. I begin to feel the wonderful possibilities of the will. It gives me strength to think of the power of will. I am able to do so much more and better work now, that I realize that I can control my will action. Whatever my task, my will is concentrated on it. I am to keep my will centered there until the task is finished. The more closely and definitely I determine what I shall do, the more easily the will carries it out. Determination imparts compelling force to the will. It exerts itself more. The will and the end act and react on each other.
Notes. Now try to do everything you do today faster. Don't hurry or become nervous. Just try to do everything faster, but in a steady manner.
You will find that the exercises you have practiced in retardation have steadied your nerves, and thereby made it possible to increase your speed. The will is under your command. Make it carry out resolutions rapidly. This is how you build up your self-control and your self-command. It is then that the human machine acts as its author dictates.
You certainly should now be able to judge of the great benefit that comes from writing out your introspections each day. Of course you will not have the exact experiences given in these examples, but some of these will fit your case. Be careful to study your experiences carefully and make as true a report as you can. Describe your feelings just as they seem to you. Allow your fancies to color your report and it will be worthless. You have pictured conditions as you see them. In a few months, if you again try the same exercises, you will find your report very much better. By these introspections, we learn to know ourselves better and with this knowledge
can wonderfully increase our efficiency. As you become used to writing out your report, it will be more accurate. You thus learn how to govern your impulses, activities and weaknesses.
Each person should try to plan exercises that will best fit his needs. If not convenient for you to practice exercises every day, take them twice or three times a week. But carry out any plan you decide to try. If you cannot devote ten minutes a day to the experiments start with five minutes and gradually increase the time. The exercises given are only intended for examples.
Will Training Without Exercise. There are many people that do not want to take the time to practice exercises, so the following instructions for training the will are given to them.
By willing and realizing, the will grows. Therefore the more you will, the more it grows, and builds up power. No matter whether your task is big or small, make it a rule to accomplish it in order to fortify your will. Form the habit of focusing your will in all its strength upon the subject to be achieved. You form in this way the habit of getting a thing done, of carrying out some plan. You acquire the feeling of being able to accomplish that which lies before you, no matter what it is. This gives you confidence and a sense of power that you get in no other way. You know when you make a resolution that you will keep it. You do not tackle new tasks in a half-hearted way, but with a bold, brave spirit. We know that the will is able to carry us over big obstacles. Knowing this despair never claims us for a victim. We have wills and are going to use them with more and more intensity, thus giving us the power to make our resolutions stronger, our actions freer and our lives finer and better.
The education of the will should not be left to chance. It is only definite tasks that will render it energetic, ready, persevering and consistent. The only way it can be done is by self-study and self-discipline. The cost is effort, time and patience, but the returns are valuable. There are no magical processes leading to will development, but the development of your will works wonders for you because it gives you self-mastery, personal power and energy of character.
Concentration of the Will to Win. The adaptability of persons to their business environment is more a matter of determination than anything else. In this age we hear a good deal of talk about a man's aptitudes. Some of his
aptitudes, some of his powers, may be developed to a wonderful extent, but he is really an unknown quality until all his latent powers are developed to their highest possible extent. He may be a failure in one line and a big success in another. There are many successful men, that did not succeed well at what they first undertook, but they profited by their efforts in different directions, and this fitted them for higher things, whereas had they refused to adjust themselves to their environment, the tide of progress would have swept them into oblivion.
My one aim in all my works is to try and arouse in the individual the effort and determination to develop his full capacities, his highest possibilities. One thing I want you to realize at the start, that it is not so much ability, as it is the will to do that counts. Ability is very plentiful, but organizing initiative and creative power are not plentiful. It is easy to get employes, but to get someone to train them is harder. Their abilities must be directed to the work they can do. They must be shown how, while at this work, to conserve their energy and they must be taught to work in harmony with others, for most business concerns are dominated by a single personality.
Concentrating on Driving Force Within. We are all conscious, at times, that we have somewhere within us an active driving force that is ever trying to push us onward to better deeds. It is that "force" that makes us feel determined at times to do something worth while. It is not thought, emotion or feeling. This driving force is something distinct from thought or emotion. It is a quality of the soul and therefore it has a consciousness all its own. It is the "I will do" of the will. It is the force that makes the will concentrate. Many have felt this force working within them, driving them on to accomplish their tasks. All great men and women become conscious that this supreme and powerful force is their ally in carrying out great resolutions.
This driving force is within all, but until you reach a certain stage you do not become aware of it. It is most useful to the worthy. It springs up naturally without any thought of training. It comes unprovoked and leaves unnoticed. Just what this force is we do not know, but we do know that it is what intensifies the will in demanding just and harmonious action.
The ordinary human being, merely as merchandise, if he could be sold as a slave, would be worth ten thousand dollars. If somebody gave you a five thousand dollar automobile you would take very good care of it. You
wouldn't put sand in the carburetor, or mix water with the gasoline, or drive it furiously over rough roads, or leave it out to freeze at night.
Are you quite sure that you take care of your own body, your own health, your only real property, as well as you would take care of a five thousand dollar automobile if it were given to you?
The man who mixes whiskey with his blood is more foolish than a man would be if he mixed water with gasoline in his car.
You can get another car; you cannot get another body.
The man who misses sleep lives irregularly--bolts his food so that his blood supply is imperfect. That is a foolish man treating himself as he would not treat any other valuable piece of property.
Do you try to talk with men and women who know more than you do, and do you LISTEN rather than try to tell them what you know?
There are a hundred thousand men of fifty, and men of sixty, running along in the old rut, any one of whom could get out of it and be counted among the successful men if only the spark could be found to explode the energy within them now going to waste.
Each man must study and solve his own problem.
n bringing this book to a close, I again want to impress you with the inestimable value of concentration, because those that lack this great power
or, rather that fail to develop it, will generally suffer from poverty and unhappiness and their life's work will most often be a failure, while those that develop and use it will make the most of life's opportunities,
I have tried to make these lessons practical and I am sure that many will find them so.
Of course the mere reading of them will not do you a great deal of good, but, if the exercises are practiced and worked out and applied to your own individual case, you should be able to acquire the habit of concentration in such measure as to greatly improve your work and increase your happiness.
But remember the best instruction can only help you to the extent to which you put it into practice. I have found it an excellent idea to read a book through first, and then re-read it, and when you come to an idea that appeals to you, stop and think about it, then if applicable to you, repeat it over and over, that you will be impressed by it. In this way you can form the habit of picking out all the good things you read and these will have a wonderful influence on your character.
In this closing chapter, I want to impress you to concentrate on what you do, instead of performing most of your work unconsciously or automatically, until you have formed habits that give you the mastery of your work and your life powers and forces.
Very often the hardest part of work is thinking about it. When you get right into it, it does not seem so disagreeable. This is the experience of many when they first commence to learn how to concentrate. So never think it a difficult task, but undertake it with the "I Will Spirit" and you will find that its acquirement will be as easy as its application will be useful.
Read the life of any great man, and you will generally find that the dominant quality that made him successful was the ability to concentrate. Study those that have been failures and you will often find that lack of concentration was the cause.
"One thing at a time, and that done will
Is a good rule as I can tell."
All men are not born with equal powers, but it is the way they are used that counts. "Opportunity knocks at every man's door." Those that are successful hear the knock and grasp the chance. The failures believe that luck and circumstances are against them. They always blame someone else instead of themselves for their lack of success. We get what is coming to us, nothing more or less. Anything within the universe is within your grasp. Just use your latent powers and it is yours. You are aided by both visible and invisible forces when you concentrate on either "to do" or "to be."
Everyone is capable of some concentration, for without it you would be unable to say or do anything. People differ in the power to concentrate because some are unable to Will to hold the thought in mind for the required time. The amount of determination used determines who has the strongest will. No one's is stronger than yours. Think of this whenever you go against a strong opponent.
Never say "I can't concentrate today." You can do it just the minute you say "I will." You can keep your thoughts from straying, just the same as you can control your arms. When once you realize this fact, you can train the will to concentrate on anything you wish. If it wanders, it is your fault. You are not utilizing your will. But, don't blame it on your will and say it is weak. The will is just the same whether you act as if it were weak or as if it were strong. When you act as if your will is strong you say, "I can." When you act as if it were weak you say, "I can't." It requires the same amount of effort, in each case.
Some men get in the habit of thinking "I can't" and they fail. Others think "I can" and succeed. So remember, it is for you to decide whether you will join the army of "I can't" or "I can."
The big mistake with so many is that they don't realize that when they say "I can't," they really say, "I won't try." You can not tell what you can do until you try. "Can't" means you will not try. Never say you cannot concentrate, for, when you do, you are really saying that you refuse to try.
Whenever you feel like saying, "I can't," say instead, "I possess all will and I can use as much as I wish." You only use as much as you have trained yourself to use.
An Experiment to Try. Before going to bed tonight, repeat, "I am going to choose my own thoughts, and to hold them as long as I choose. I am going to shut out all thoughts that weaken or interfere; that make me timid. My Will is as strong as anyone's else. While going to work the next morning, repeat this over. Keep this up for a month and you will find you will have a better opinion of yourself. These are the factors that make you a success. Hold fast to them always.
Concentration is nothing but willing to do a certain thing. All foreign thoughts can be kept out by willing that they stay out. You cannot realize your possibilities until you commence to direct your mind. You then do consciously what you have before done unconsciously. In this way you note mistakes, overcome bad habits and perfect your conduct.
You have at times been in a position that required courage and you were surprised at the amount you showed. Now, when once you arouse yourself, you have this courage all the time and it is not necessary to have a special occasion reveal it to you. My object in so strongly impressing this on your mind is to make you aware that the same courage, the same determination that you show at certain exceptionable times you have at your command at all times. It is a part of your vast resources. Use it often and well, in working out the highest destiny of which you are capable.
Final Concentration Instruction. You now realize that, in order to make your life worthy, useful and happy, you must concentrate. A number of exercises and all the needed instruction has been given. It now remains for you to form the highest ideal that you can in the present and live up to that ideal, and try to raise it. Don't waste your time in foolish reading. Select something that is inspiring, that you may become enrapport with those that think thoughts that are worth while. Their enthusiasm will inspire and enlighten you. Read slowly and concentrate on what you are reading. Let your spirit and the spirit of the author commune, and you will then sense what is between the lines--those great things which words cannot express.
Pay constant attention to one and one thing only for a given time and you will soon be able to concentrate. Hang on to that thought ceaselessly until you have attained your object. When you work, let your mind dwell steadily on your task. Think before you speak and direct your conversation to the subject under discussion. Do not ramble. Talk slowly, steadily and connectedly. Never form the hurry habit, but be deliberate in all you do.
Assume static attitudes without moving a finger or an eyelid, or any part of your body. Read books that treat of but one continuous subject. Read long articles and recall the thread of the argument. Associate yourself with people who are steady, patient and tireless in their thought, action and work. See how long you can sit still and think on one subject without interruption.
Concentrating on the Higher Self. Father Time keeps going on and on. Every day he rolls around means one less day for you on this planet. Most of us only try to master the external conditions of this world. We think our success and happiness depends on us doing so. These are of course important and I don't want you to think they are not, but I want you to realize that when death comes, only those inherent and acquired qualities and conditions within the mentality--your character, conduct and soul growth--will go with you. If these are what they should be, you need not be afraid of not being successful and happy, for with these qualities you can mold external materials and conditions.
Study yourself. Find Your Strong Points And Make Them Stronger As Well As Yo Weak Ones And Strengthen Them. Study yourself carefully and you will see yourself as you really are.
The secret of accomplishment is concentration, or the art of turning all your power upon just one point at a time.
If you have studied yourself carefully you should have a good line on yourself, and should be able to make the proper interior re-adjustments. Remember first, last, and always, Right thinking and right Living necessarily results in happiness, and it is therefore within your power to obtain happiness. Anyone that is not happy does not claim their birthright.
Keep in mind that some day you are going to leave this world and think of what you will take with you. This will assist you to concentrate on the higher forces. Now start from this minute, to act according to the advice of the higher self in everything you do. If you do, its ever harmonious forces will necessarily insure to you a successful fulfilment of all your life purposes. Whenever you feel tempted to disobey your higher promptings, hold the
though "My-higher-self-insures-to-me-the-happiness-of-doing-that-which -best-answers-my-true-relations-to-all-others."
You possess latent talents, that when developed and utilized are of assistance to you and others. But if you do not properly use them, you shirk your duty, and you will be the loser and suffer from the consequences. Others will also be worse off if you do not fulfil your obligations.
When you have aroused into activity your thought powers you will realize the wonderful value of these principles in helping you to carry out your plans. The right in the end must prevail. You can assist in the working out of the great plan of the universe and thereby gain the reward, or you can work against the great plan and suffer the consequences. The all consuming fires are gradually purifying all discordant elements. If you choose to work contrary to the law you will burn in its crucible, so I want you to learn to concentrate intelligently on becoming in harmony with your higher self.
Hold the thought: "I-will-live-for-my-best. I-seek-wisdom, self-knowledge, happiness-and-power-to-help-others. I-act-from-the-higher-self, therefore-only-the-best-can-come-to-me. The more we become conscious of the presence of the higher self the more we should try to become a true representative of the human soul in all its wholeness and holiness, instead of wasting our time dwelling on some trifling external quality or defect. We should try to secure a true conception of what we really are so as not to over value the external furnishings.
You will then not surrender your dignity or self respect, when others ignorantly make a display of material things to show off. Only the person that realizes that he is a permanent Being knows what the true self is.