The Power of Concentration -
It is of the utmost value to learn how to concentrate. To make the greatest success of anything you must be able to concentrate your entire thought upon the idea you are working on. The person that is able to concentrate utilizes all constructive thoughts and shuts out all destructive ones. The greatest man would accomplish nothing if he lacked concentration.
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 1. CONCENTRATION FINDS THE WAY. Our two natures; one wants to advance; the other wants to pull us back. The one we concentrate on and develop determines what we will become. How you may change your whole career and accomplish miracles. We can be completely controlled by our concentrated thought. How can you make an "opportunity". One man's opportunity is usually another man's loss. A very beneficial practice. Why we get back what we give out. A wonderful encouraging tonic. Every man that is willing to put forth the necessary effort can be a success. The man that is best prepared to do things. How to make your services always in demand. How to reach the top. The man selected to manage is not usually a genius. He does not possess any more talent than others. What he does possess that others do not. Why a few succeed and so many fail.
LESSON 2. THE SELF-MASTERY. SELF-DIRECTION POWER OF CONCENTRATION.
Very few men possess the power to concentrate as they should. The cause of poor concentration. A very good practice. Concentration means strength of mind. The person unable to concentrate never accomplished a great deal. How many weaken their powers of concentration. How concentration can only be developed. How to control your every thought, wish and plan. What concentration is. The person that is able to concentrate gains the Power to control others. Concentration makes the will and intellect act in unison. Why some people are not magnetic. When a powerful personal influence is generated. How to become influential. The cause of spasmodic, erratic concentration. How to centralize your attention. A quick way to develop concentration. The development of physical and mental concentration. How to learn a valuable lesson. One of the best ways to influence another. A good exercise. The real benefit of physical culture usually lost sight of. How to hold the facilities at work.
LESSON 3. HOW TO GAIN WHAT YOU WANT THROUGH CONCENTRATION.
The mistake made by those that do not understand the power of mental attraction. How to get what you want. We are not living in a "fairy age." Not
the age for a "dreamer." The secret of getting what you concentrate on. How a messenger in a bank became its president. "Power to him who power exerts."
LESSON 4. CONCENTRATION, THE SILENT FORCE THAT PRODUCES RESULTS IN ALL BUSINESS.
The power of thought. An experiment showing the power of thought. By concentrated thought you can make yourself what you please. How to greatly increase your efficiency. The face reflects how a person has spent his life. How to awaken possibilities within, you never dreamed of. How to inspire confidence in those you deal with. The value of concentrating your thoughts in the proper channels. How to attract the good things without a, great effort. By concentration you can revolutionize your life and gain happiness greater than you can imagine.
LESSON 5. HOW CONCENTRATED THOUGHT LINKS ALL HUMANITY TOGETHER.
How you may become successful. The barriers to success can be controlled. How to realize your fondest ambitions. How to overcome destructive forces. How to become the master of circumstances. Through concentration you can mold your environment. You can get what you want. Sowing the thought seeds of success. Mind forces that are hardly dreamed of at present. A method for removing unfavorable conditions. Concentration makes you happy and gives you plenty to do.
LESSON 6. THE TRAINING OF THE WILL TO DO.
The great secret of any accomplishment. Everything Is possible today. The inner energy that controls all conscious acts. How you can become a genius. A mighty force at your disposal. Rules that will make you a "man" among men. The spirit that wins. Concentration develops determination and perseverance. Some special instructions. What will power is. You have as strong a will as anyone. You determine your own fate. The importance of learning to use your will.
LESSON 7. THE CONCENTRATED MENTAL DEMAND.
The attitude of the mind affects the expression of the face. The wonderful power of the concentrated mental demand. How to desire something and exclude all distracting thoughts. The silent force of wonderful power within all of us. How to make plans work out. The mightiest power in the world is free for you to use. The motive power which supplies the energies necessary for achievement.
LESSON 8. CONCENTRATION GIVES MENTAL POISE.
The man that can concentrate is well poised. What you must do to be successful today. Concentration that is dangerous. How to make those you come in contact with feel as you do. The man that becomes a power in the world. You can control your life and actions. Successful lives are the concentrated lives. Why people do not get what they "concentrate" on.
LESSON 9. CONCENTRATION CAN OVERCOME BAD HABITS.
Habit is but a powerful enemy and wonderful ally of concentration. Most people are controlled through the power of habit. Most people are imitators and copiers of their past selves. All physical impressions are the carrying out of the actions of the will and intellect. How everyone could be made happier and successful. Some wonderful maxims. Habit the deepest law of human nature. How to overcome undesirable habits. Some special instructions by Dr.
LESSON 10. BUSINESS RESULTS GAINED THROUGH CONCENTRATION.
A successful business not the result of chance. Failure not caused by luck. The intense desire that is necessary to make a business a success. Those that achieve permanent success deserve it. The man that is able to skilfully manage his business. How to realize your ambition. The successful business attitude. Your opinion should be as good as any one else. How many ruin their judgment. The man that gets the best results. A successful business not hard to build up; may be built up In a few years now whereas formerly it took a lifetime. How to do more and better work. How to attract the ideas thought out by others. Many attract forces and Influences that they should not. Broaden the visions of those you come in contact with.
LESSON 11. CONCENTRATE ON COURAGE.
Lack of courage creates financial, as well as mental and moral difficulties. The man without courage attracts all that is contemptible, weakening, demoralizing and destructive. It is just as easy to be courageous as cowardly. Courage concentrates the mental forces on the task at hand. Cowardice dissipates both mental and moral forces. How to banish doubts. No one knows what they can do until they try. Once you understand the law everything is possible. How to build up courage to do as you wish. Difficulties soon melt away before the courageous.
LESSON 12. CONCENTRATE ON WEALTH.
No one was intended to be poor. Through wealth we can uplift ourselves and humanity. Uncongenial and unpleasant conditions are not conducive to proper thought. First step toward acquiring wealth. Most men of all ages have been comparatively rich. Wealth not altogether the result of being industrious. No one can become wealthy from his earnings. Why some have to be taught such painful lessons. How many attract poverty instead of riches. Why it is necessary to give a fair exchange for what we receive. How to make your society not only agreeable to others but sought after.
LESSON 13. YOU CAN CONCENTRATE, BUT WILL YOU?
All have the ability to concentrate. More ability not used than is used. Sometimes only a trifle keeps one from becoming a success. The fault is all your own. How to discover the cause if you are not making good. Make conditions favorable and do not expect them to shape themselves. Stumbling blocks but stepping stones. Hard Passages can be bridged if you just concentrate on them. Why more people do not succeed. Don't be afraid of a rebuff. The man that knows no such thing as failure. Be ready for an opportunity when it comes, No circumstances can keep the determined man from succeeding.
LESSON 14. ART OF CONCENTRATING WITH PRACTICAL EXERCISE.
A daily habit will wonderfully increase your concentration. Seeing yourself as you would like to be. Instruction of the greatest importance. The great creative spirit of the universe. Why things manifest as they do. The cosmic intelligence. A most desired state. How to receive messages from the
universal mind. How to develop power, unknown to you before. Make your mind a powerful transmitter of thought. The best time to practice concentration exercises. How to rejuvenate every cell of your brain and body. An exercise that will give you a self-poised manner. Instead of a nervous strained appearance. Concentrating on the powers within. Concentration will save your energy. How to keep from getting irritable or nervous. The Eastern way of concentrating. Exercise in controlling desires.
LESSON 15. CONCENTRATE SO YOU WILL NOT FORGET.
Why people forget. An easy way to remember. How to deepen your impression. Exercise in Memory Concentration.
LESSON 16. HOW CONCENTRATION CAN FULFILL YOUR DESIRE.
The desire to do implies the ability to do. Man has within him the power to gratify his every wish. If you have been unable to satisfy your longings, it is time you learn how to use your God-given powers. Priceless knowledge and unlimited possibilities within you that Is foreign to most people. How to concentrate on what you want and get it. The miraculous help we apparently receive at times. How one man started a business on thirteen cents and in six years built up a business that pays him $6,000 a year. When you put forth the necessary concentrated effort you will receive great help from unknown sources.
LESSON 17. IDEALS DEVELOP BY CONCENTRATION.
Your happiness and success depends upon your ideals. A valuable lesson. Through concentration we can work out our ideals In physical life. What a different world this would be if we would build the right kind of ideals. Every time you change your ideal you think differently. Life is one continuous unfoldment. You can be happy every step of its way or miserable as you please. How our grandest thoughts come to us.
LESSON 18. MENTAL CONTROL THROUGH CREATION.
An inventor's vision. Why It is easy to project your thoughts to another. How your mental powers can draw to you forces of a helpful nature. The big business man must possess mental power of control. How to make a friend or relative succeed. How to generate enthusiasm and the spirit of success. Your environment is either helpful or harmful. Mental starvation. How to
instill your thoughts and ideas into others. Influence that must be shaken off before you can advance. Our attitude has more to do with success than you realize.
LESSON 19. A CONCENTRATED WILL DEVELOPMENT.
A most effective and practical method of developing the Will. Practical exercises. Will training without exercises. Will-power can overcome big obstacles. The Will to win. Man an unknown quality until his powers are developed. Ability plentiful, but organizing, initiative and creative power not so plentiful. The driving force within.
LESSON 20. CONCENTRATION REVIEWED.
Those unable to concentrate will generally suffer from poverty and unhappiness, The best instructor will only help you to the extent you put it into practice. Gaining the mastery of your work, life powers and forces. Concentrate the dominant quality that makes men successful. Everyone can learn to concentrate better. An experiment to try. Final instructions.
Concentration Finds the Way. Everyone has two natures. One wants us to advance and the other wants to pull us back. The one that we cultivate and concentrate on decides what we are at the end. Both natures are trying to gain control. The will alone decides the issue. A man by one supreme effort of the will may change his whole career and almost accomplish miracles. You may be that man. You can be if you Will to be, for Will can find a way or make one.
I could easily fill a book, of cases where men plodding along in a matter-of-fact way, were all at once aroused and as if awakening from a slumber they developed the possibilities within them and from that time on were different persons. You alone can decide when the turning point will come. It is a matter of choice whether we allow our diviner self to control us or whether we will be controlled by the brute within us. No man has to do anything he does not want to do. He is therefore the director of his life if he wills to be. What we are to do, is the result of our training. We are like putty, and can be completely controlled by our will power.
Habit is a matter of acquirement. You hear people say: "He comes by this or that naturally, a chip off the old block," meaning that he is only doing what his parents did. This is quite often the case, but there is no reason for it, for a person can break a habit just the moment he masters the "I will." A man may have been a "good-for-nothing" all his life up to this very minute, but from this time on he begins to amount to something. Even old men have suddenly changed and accomplished wonders. "I lost my opportunity," says one. That may be true, but by sheer force of will, we can find a way to bring us another opportunity.
There is no truth in the saying that opportunity knocks at our door but once in a lifetime. The fact is, opportunity never seeks us; we must seek it. What usually turns out to be one man's opportunity, was another man's loss. In this day one man's brain is matched against another's. It is often the quickness of brain action that determines the result. One man thinks "I will do it," but while he procrastinates the other goes ahead and does the work. They both have the same opportunity. The one will complain of his lost chance. But it should teach him a lesson, and it will, if he is seeking the path that leads to success.
Many persons read good books, but say they do not get much good out of them. They do not realize that all any book or any lesson course can do is to awaken them to their possibilities; to stimulate them to use their will power. You may teach a person from now until doom's day, but that person will only know what he learns himself. "You can lead him to the fountain, but you can't make him drink."
One of the most beneficial practices I know of is that of looking for the good in everyone and everything, for there is good in all things. We encourage a person by seeing his good qualities and we also help ourselves by looking for them. We gain their good wishes, a most valuable asset sometimes. We get back what we give out. The time comes when most all of us need encouragement; need buoying up. So form the habit of encouraging others, and you will find it a wonderful tonic for both those encouraged and yourself, for you will get back encouraging and uplifting thoughts.
Life furnishes us the opportunity to improve. But whether we do it or not depends upon how near we live up to what is expected of us. The first of each month, a person should sit down and examine the progress he has made. If he has not come up to "expectations" he should discover the reason, and by extra exertion measure up to what is demanded next time. Every time that we fall behind what we planned to do, we lose just so much for that time
is gone forever.
We may find a reason for doing it, but most excuses are poor substitutes for action. Most things are possible. Ours may be a hard task, but the harder the task, the greater the reward. It is the difficult things that really develop us, anything that requires only a small effort, utilizes very few of our faculties, and yields a scanty harvest of achievement. So do not shrink from a hard task, for to accomplish one of these will often bring us more good than a dozen lesser triumphs.
I know that every man that is willing to pay the price can be a success. The price is not in money, but in effort. The first essential quality for success is the desire to do--to be something. The next thing is to learn how to do it; the next to carry it into execution. The man that is the best able to accomplish anything is the one with a broad mind; the man that has acquired knowledge, that may, it is true, be foreign to this particular case, but is, nevertheless, of some value in all cases. So the man that wants to be successful must be liberal; he must acquire all the knowledge that he can; he must be well posted not only in one branch of his business but in every part of it. Such a man achieves success.
The secret of success is to try always to improve yourself no matter where you are or what your position. Learn all you can. Don't see how little you can do, but how much you can do. Such a man will always be in demand, for he establishes the reputation of being a hustler. There is always room for him because progressive firms never let a hustler leave their employment if they can help it.
The man that reaches the top is the gritty, plucky, hard worker and never the timid, uncertain, slow worker. An untried man is seldom put in a position of responsibility and power. The man selected is one that has done something, achieved results in some line, or taken the lead in his department. He is placed there because of his reputation of putting vigor and virility into his efforts, and because he has previously shown that he has pluck and determination.
The man that is chosen at the crucial time is not usually a genius; he does not possess any more talent than others, but he has learned that results can only be produced by untiring concentrated effort. That "miracles," in business do not just "happen." He knows that the only way they will happen is by sticking to a proposition and seeing it through. That is the only secret of why some succeed and others fail. The successful man gets used to seeing
things accomplished and always feels sure of success. The man that is a failure gets used to seeing failure, expects it and attracts it to him.
It is my opinion that with the right kind of training every man could be a success. It is really a shame that so many men and women, rich in ability and talent, are allowed to go to waste, so to speak. Some day I hope to see a millionaire philanthropist start a school for the training of failures. I am sure he could not put his money to a better use. In a year's time the science of practical psychology could do wonders for him. He could have agencies on the lookout for men that had lost their grip on themselves; that had through indisposition weakened their will; that through some sorrow or misfortune had become discouraged.
At first all they need is a little help to get them back on their feet, but usually they get a knock downwards instead. The result is that their latent powers never develop and both they and the world are the losers. I trust that in the near future, someone will heed the opportunity of using some of his millions in arousing men that have begun to falter. All they need to be shown is that there is within them an omnipotent source that is ready to aid them, providing they will make use of it. Their minds only have to be turned from despair to hope to make them regain their hold.
When a man loses his grip today, he must win his redemption by his own will. He will get little encouragement or advice of an inspiring nature. He must usually regain the right road alone. He must stop dissipating his energies and turn his attention to building a useful career. Today we must conquer our weakening tendencies alone. Don't expect anyone to help you. Just take one big brace, make firm resolutions, and resolve to conquer your weaknesses and vices. Really none can do this for you. They can encourage you; that is all.
I can think of nothing, but lack of health, that should interfere with one becoming successful. There is no other handicap that you should not be able to overcome. To overcome a handicap, all that it is necessary to do is to use more determination and grit and will.
The man with grit and will, may be poor today and wealthy in a few years; will power is a better asset than money; Will will carry you over chasms of failure, if you but give it the
chance. The men that have risen to the highest positions have usually had to gain their victories against big odds. Think of the hardships many of our inventors have gone through before they became a success. Usually they have been very much misunderstood by relatives and friends. Very often they did not have the bare necessities of life, yet, by sheer determination and resolute courage, they managed to exist somehow until they perfected their inventions, which afterwards greatly helped in bettering the condition of others.
Everyone really wants to do something, but there are few that will put forward the needed effort to make the necessary sacrifice to secure it. There is only one way to accomplish anything and that is to go ahead and do it. A man may accomplish almost anything today, if he just sets his heart on doing it and lets nothing interfere with his progress. Obstacles are quickly overcome by the man that sets out to accomplish his heart's desire. The "bigger" the man, the smaller the obstacle appears. The "smaller" the man the greater the obstacle appears.
Always look at the advantage you gain by overcoming obstacles, and it will give you the needed courage for their conquest.
Do not expect that you will always have easy sailing. Parts of your journey are likely to be rough. Don't let the rough places put you out of commission. Keep on with the journey. Just the way you weather the storm shows what material you are made of. Never sit down and complain of the rough places, but think how nice the pleasant stretches were. View with delight the smooth plains that are in front of you.
Do not let a setback stop you. Think of it as a mere incident that has to be overcome before you can reach your goal.
The Self-Mastery: Self-Direction Power of Concentration
an 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
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.