Self Improvement Books
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Bruce MacLelland’s Prosperity Through Thought-Force discusses how one man, whose life was accustomed to failure and who did not have strong abilities, was able to make an incredible change in his life using certain principles. The book is inspiring because it shows what you can do once you know certain principals—autosuggestion, introspection, concentration, determination, attraction, imagination and more.
You too can make incredible changes in your life by using your mind in the most productive way. I hope you enjoy this book.
PROSPERITY THROUGH THOUGHT-FORCE
By Bruce MacLelland
Less than three years ago I was a poor bookkeeper earning one thousand dollars per year in a city where living on that amount was possible only by the strictest economy. My personality was buried in a sea of worry, anger, suspicion and hatred. These things prevented my evolution to the position to which my talents entitled me. I knew I should not be under inferior men, but did not know why it was so. Smarting under a sense of injustice, I felt the fiercest antagonism to both people and things.
My friends were few, my health poor, hard work and poverty my lot, and there was nothing to indicate a brighter future. The thought was brought to my attention that success in life could be obtained by developing strength of character and controlling my mental forces. The idea appealed to me as possibly true, while if it were not true there would be no injury resulting from a trial of it. I worked vigorously to cultivate strength of character, constantly suggesting courage, peace, force and decision. From the awakening in morn until slumber closed my consciousness the suggestions were incessant. It was a year and a half before any financial improvement was noticed, though it was apparent that I was getting stronger daily.
At the end of the first year I resigned my position, determined to tolerate existing circumstances no longer; without money or friends. I did not know where I was going or what I would do. I had grown. Where a year before I had worried myself ill through fear of losing my position, I now voluntarily gave it up, knowing and feeling I would do better. Within twenty-four hours an offer of one hundred dollars per month was received and I accepted. In six months my salary was advanced to eighteen hundred a year because I was the right man in the right place and had, during a crisis in the business, in the absence of the manager, dared to assume authority and act independently with a successful outcome.
At the meeting of the Board of Directors I was regularly elected secretary of the corporation by which I was employed, and two months later my salary was advanced another fifty dollars a month because I conceived and carried out two ideas which netted many thousands of dollars to my employers.
At the end of the second year of self-suggestions I resigned and, without capital, opened an office for myself. I was given credit for over twenty thousand dollars, mainly on my record of past dealings. These things were attributable to the fact that those who had dealt with me had confidence in my judgment and honesty. They felt the radiations of honesty, ability and judgment from my mind. Briefly, in one year I had paid every dollar I owed and had eleven thousand dollars ahead. I then quit the business in order to have leisure to write the personal experiences upon which the ideas herein contained are based.
But I must acknowledge that even now, with plenty of money for all needs, a happy home and everything one need wish, I have moments of depression, of loss of confidence in self, lack of faith in God, as well as the occasional inability to sustain a happy buoyancy and contentment of mind. Then the reaction comes and I regain strength to calmly wait and be led, strong in my belief of a guiding hand. I hope to help those who peruse these pages by instilling courage into them until they are strong enough to accomplish their aspirations.
Readers will not find this a tale conceived in a fantastic moment of idleness. The writer dislikes to parade the sanctity of his inner life to the gaze of those who mayhap cannot understand, but this work may be the means of bringing some one out of the gloom of despond into the happy light of developed courage where he or she may calmly face the world in adverse circumstances and, by rising superior to environment, acquire happiness, peace and independence.
Bruce MacLelland. New York, January, 1904.
The above was written three years ago. In the light of retrospection I can only add, it is grandly true. Every principle set forth in this book is based on scientific truth. All are provable from the hypothesis set forth.
I moved to Oklahoma, Beautiful Land, where amid sunshine and flowers we rub shoulders with cowboys, Indians, regular soldiers, gamblers, farmers, business men and trappers, thrown together in promiscuous confusion incident to the settlement of a new country.
If we want to work, we work; if play, we play. The exhilaration of freedom reaches its acme of perfection when, on a good horse, we fly across the prairies.
I spend my life writing, reading, plowing, riding after cattle, making hay, harvesting corn and cotton, oats and alfalfa (and attending the county fair, by gosh!).
As to money? There’s enough and to spare. Why spend one’s life amassing a fortune? Look at the fun one, misses.
We are only here once, at least that’s all we know of now. Let’s get money enough, then look around a bit and see what people and things are like.
Bruce MacLelland, January, 1907.
In this little book I have written, in my own way, hot from the soul, what I know to be true. It is my book pure and simple, written from the fullness of a spirit at peace, written for you because it will do you good and because I could not get it off my mind until it was written.
There are many things omitted which should have been included. They may be given to you later.
If the general ideas benefit you, make your life happier, I am content; if you feel antagonistic to its teachings, I await your censure; if it conveys a truth, opposition cannot kill it; if not truthful, it will die a natural death. Its future will depend upon the call for it.
It was written solely to gratify the desire to tell others what has been of benefit to me and as such I leave it with you.
During the progress of my life some things worth pondering have come to my observation. Among them was the everywhere apparent fact that quiet, forceful workmen who were always absorbed with their work, enjoyed that work, owned their homes, had enough to eat and wear, treated their families kindly, were respected by superiors (comparative), and their lives seemed ideal. There was no straining and striving to outshine their neighbors, no frantic endeavors to do something or be something beyond their simple, homelike, happy selves.
It was also apparent that when there was a promotion in the shop, these steadfast, silent men were promoted, while their hustling, bustling, hurrying, worrying, fault-finding, snapping and snarling fellow workmen stayed in the ranks and were swamped by debts, forever in trouble. As I became associated with employers there seemed to be a new element in them not found in the workmen. This was a feeling of independent reliance on self, and it occurred to me that perhaps that reliance, or lack of it, was the difference between employer and employee.
Later in life it became possible for me to closely observe some of the masterminds in the world of business, and to the qualities peculiar to each there seemed to be added an inherent force, a something one could feel distinctly upon coming into contact with them. They were able to think of thousands as others thought of hundreds, and obtained them as easily. They were broad, strong, hopeful individuals, who bent their energies to accomplish vast undertakings, the very thought of which would frighten an ordinary man.
It was also noted that the wisest men, those who could see the farthest into any project, were quiet, calm men, who could not be easily disturbed. Some of the wisest were not capable of making money beyond their barest needs. From which were deduced the conclusions that wisdom is induced by peace or calmness and that wisdom without force is of small value. While the one enables the mind to determine what to do, the other is absolutely necessary to carry out that determination. Force without wisdom, while expanding itself largely in useless and ill-directed efforts, accomplishes little or nothing.
It was also observed that, as wisdom increased, the mental forces were conserved, not driven to excess, exercised but not exhausted, which increased the limit of force. Accordingly one possessing wisdom and a slight degree of force could, by properly directing that force, accomplish more than one that had greater force and a less degree of wisdom. It was seen that well-laid plans and determined efforts often brought small returns, while the great successes were the outgrowth of small beginnings. That there must be reasons for all this is self-evident. Tracing backward from effect to cause, it was easily determined that physical prowess need not be considered, since some of the greatest leaders have been slight, weak men. Then the educational line was carefully investigated, and but a few of the greatest were college bred, and some were illiterate. It was evident that the secret lay not in education.
It was also noticed that some people had the ability to absorb knowledge as easily as a sponge absorbs water, yet were unable to derive any benefit from their learning, while their classmates who were unable or unwilling to learn often startled the world by some great achievement. Negative natures make the best students, but positive natures produce the most action. Further research proved that the most obedient is boy in school often became a clerk for the worst rascal;
That the educated, independent thinker was the best of all;
That the man who was the most anxious to obtain money had the least; that he whose sole ambition was to own a cottage got no more;
That the man who hated the most was loved the least; and that the man who tried to frighten others was himself afraid.
It was observed that haters’ bodies were always tensely drawn, the muscles incapable of relaxation, both mind and body shriveled and contracted, functions deranged and the bodies full of aches and pains. The explanation was that hatred; jealousy and despondency had an attraction for a tense, inharmonious frame of mind and produced the corresponding effects in the body.
It was also seen that successful men went in herds, and unsuccessful men did likewise, but in different herds;
That the man who could swear the loudest would run the quickest;
That what constituted success to one was failure and humiliation to another;
That one man would become a victim to circumstances, while his brother laughed at surroundings and suggestions and “sailed on”;
That some men talked of doing great things, while others just did things and said nothing;
That talkative people could not stop their chatter even if they desired; that silent men could talk more interestingly than the talkers;
That any line of business was a medium for an accumulation of wealth to the right man.
All these things led us to believe that neither the size of the man nor the learning he possessed had anything to do with the accomplishment of his object, but that, instead, the condition of his mind, coupled with the desire and expectation of success, seemed to attract everything to him.
Then followed considerable research into the psychological makeup of the human mind in order to determine whether our friend Cassius was right, when he said, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings,” and if so wherein lay the fault.
The study of mental language and power of suggestion showed clearly that confidence concerning one’s ability to do could be developed, and that the belief made the doing possible. Its demonstration of thought projection opened the way to the realization of the fact that thought is a literal element, and the study of self-demonstrated that “Know thyself” is the deepest and best advice ever given to mankind. It embraces the knowledge that character or self can be strengthened and ennobled; That force can be added to one;
That the mind attracts success in all things as it is freed from jealousy, envy, distrust, ill will, anger, haste and fear;
That this study of self, or introspection, made plain to each his own -strong as well as weak qualities, or his hold on justice, force, confidence, determination, etc.
East India philosophy taught the value and power of the imagination, that one grows like whatever he thinks of himself as being, and is literally what he thinks or what he thinks himself into being. Observation impressed upon us the constant effect of the mental images brought to the attention by surroundings, that through that power some were controlled by circumstances, while others, giving less attention to the surroundings and more to some ambition, are able to rise above circumstances and control them.
We mean that a child raised in poverty is always in touch with poor people, sees in their homes as well as his own only the bare necessities of life, hears how hard it is to get money, knows his father must work hard for little wages, wears poor clothing and conforms to all the life of the poor until it becomes a part of him. The evidence he sees of wealth is not real. He feels it is not for him. The things he has seen all his life, the circumstances with which he has been surrounded, have created that frame of mind. Now let him make mental images of himself occupying a better position in life, having money and friends and everything he desires. In time that becomes the reality, while the old life is the unreal. His circumstances change as his mind changes. He has risen above circumstances, has controlled them.
The study of Nature in all her forms, the effects of desire in both animals and man, proved the existence of a Law of Vibration, and if the law was invoked vigorously to supply the deficient qualities in each mentality, their inflow followed, but, if invoked to bring money and worldly gain, there would be no response. All good things came to him who built up purity and strength of character. This alone was meant when the Christ said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
It was true then, and is equally true today. Seeking the Kingdom does not mean faith in any existing creed. It means to develop a condition of calmness or peace in the mind allowing an inflow of Divine Wisdom, when one becomes in rapport with the Supreme -dwells in heaven. “Heaven is within you,” a condition and not a place. All this was believed, and the study of others’ thoughts versus their present condition proved that their income was the effect of their strength or weakness of character, which in turn was due to their manner of thinking and the nature of their thoughts; but development of self alone gave demonstration and established the fact that success in life is due entirely to the personality of the individual; that through introspection, mental suggestions, the Law of Vibration and the power of imagination, anyone can make of himself whatever he chooses.
Personality consists of elements which have been named courage, confidence, judgment, decision, determination, aspiration and truth. The degree in which they are possessed determines the power of the individual. The conditions of calmness and concentration allow the best use of these powers.
Thoughts are vital, living, actual things, as real as oxygen or hydrogen. They come from without, and their value to any mind depends on the condition of that mind. If it is strong and forceful it receives strong and forceful thoughts, which produce strength of character; if fretful, vacillating, uninspiring and cowardly it receives that class of thought which produces misery, poverty and poor health, and every thought received and issued from your mind makes a stronger or weaker person of you.
A knowledge of these things does not produce results, but realization of this truth with the resulting watchfulness and control our thoughts does, and the practice of autosuggestion develops the elements of mind, making the control possible.
These truths are of the world of mind, and the grosser condition of mind, in which ordinary individuals live, can scarcely believe it possible that there are higher planes attainable by that particular mind. By planes of mind is meant the condition producing the attitude which would cause some to ridicule any new invention or idea in contrast to the promoter, who could see clearly the feasibility of the project, and the various attitudes are shown by all those taking views between those two. It is the ability in one to see a truth when told of it, the lack of ability in the other to accept any portion of it.
These planes have existed since history begun and have been the greatest hindrance to world betterment, particularly in regard to morals and religion. The lower attitudes being numerically greater have obstructed the expression of the thought of the lesser number of advanced thinkers. Galileo was compelled to retract when he advanced the idea that the world is round, and the inquisition was instituted by gross minded churchmen in order to stop freedom of thought.
When, after the practice of autosuggestion, a higher condition is reached, it is at first but temporary, and while back in the original state, which reaction invariably occurs, one will think, “Oh, it is all nonsense”; and a revulsion, a sickening of despair, of hope lost, will hold that mind in its grasp. This experience will only come after you have sufficiently grasped the realization of the idea to give you the impetus to act, and after perhaps weary months of constant suggestions.
This principle is not based on your belief or faith -that has nothing to do with it. It is a scientific truth and it matters not what you think about it so long as you work to develop yourself. Study carefully and reflect on these ideas, one thing at a time, then do it and keep on doing it. Believe what you please about it. Keep your own counsel (this is imperative).
There are those who cannot believe these truths. Their minds are of the lower order, entirely occupied with worldly matters. They are blind to spiritual truths and call all others visionary in their superb self-sufficiency. If a mind capable of half seeing, half-believing these things is brought into contact with them it will be blinded by their blindness, and since the lower order of mind predominates the volume is on that side, and by telling others of our beliefs when the first wave of happy enthusiasm strikes us we are apt to wreck our own lives by first inciting and then being overwhelmed by their antagonism. But if we keep still and work to develop strength, courage, power, force, push, good will, etc., we shall become strong enough to stand on our own feet in spite of
any and all.
When the author was a little lad blacking boots on the street of his native village, some one asked him, in a crowd, what he intended being when grown. He honestly and earnestly replied, “An attorney”; whereupon an ignorant and loud-mouthed buffoon gave a guffaw and said, “You, a lawyer!” then laughed immoderately. The crowd laughed. His child’s soul shrank within him. He gave it up. Not until now has the opportunity occurred. That guffaw cost him thirty years out of his natural vocation.
Keep your own counsel.
If, however, there are those among our friends who need these truths for their own welfare and are capable of accepting them, by all means tell them; but do not cast your pearls before swine, for they will turn and rend you.
Be not afraid, do your duty each instant. Do it as well as you can. Hope and expect better things and your success is assured. The hostile action of the combined powers of earth cannot stop you. You are supreme in your own personality.
Practice economy but not stinginess – freely spend your money for needed things, but everything wanted is not needed.
ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE LAW
Your fortune or lack of fortune is not the result of chance but of your observance of certain fixed laws. You may not be aware of acting in accordance with sharply defined and active principles, but you do and always have so acted.
You make your own misery; you make your own unhappiness; you make your own poverty, all by the attitude of your mind, which is the result of the reflex action of your past thoughts. But you say: I was born that way. I was always impatient, worrying, anxious. I cannot change it. Yes, probably you were, but you can change it, unless you determine you cannot and do not try. If you do, that settles it. No power whatever, from God or man, can do anything for you when you assume that attitude.
Your character, the will that impels you to be indignant at one thing and pleased at another, has been formed, as it now is, by parentage and the thought aura which surrounded you. It constructed a motor, the subconsciousness, on which one electric current of life acts while an equally strong current of different construction has no effect. The current incapable of being useful or harmful to you would be received by another and the one affecting you would make no impression on him. This is due to the different construction in your mentalities. The one may have been calm, and this will produce wisdom; the other, hair brained, and this produces foolishness; and the one or the other predominating in you brought you to the present condition through the attractive power of your mentality.
A man is the product of his ancestors’ thoughts and conditions.
His present condition is the result of past thoughts.
His future condition will be the result of present thoughts.
Your mind is that all-permeating life which holds the atoms composing the body together, sends the warm, sparkling life blood surging through the veins, renews the tissues, and, if withdrawn, would leave the body, inclusive of brain, a cold, senseless mass. Mind is not entirely in the body, but acts on and through the body both consciously and subconsciously, and determines the status of the individual. By mind we do not here refer to the brain, which is as truly a portion of the body as are the nerves, muscles and sinews.
Conscious mind is the intelligent recognition of self. This will be read by your conscious mind. Conscious mind is positive in its relation to subconscious mind and controls your thoughts through desires, and literally builds into your subconscious mind that of which you think. If you are deficient in courage, or any other quality of mind, by dwelling on thoughts of courage, or the other deficient qualities, through repeating the word which to you is a symbol of the thought, you attract to the subconsciousness the element desired, and by so doing build up your personality, thereby insuring success in both spiritual and material matters, in health and wealth.
Passions develop gradually through generations. A bundle of uncontrolled emotions, your present self, may have had its birth generations ago and been handed down from your ancestors through your parents to you. These may have been foreign to your real self but grafted on to your nature through the aura of thought with which you were surrounded.
This inoculation of success or failure, of health or disease, is not due to the spoken words or actions so much as to the quality of thought coming from a parent’s mind. If the parents are quiet and conservative in disposition, the child is very apt to be likewise; if restless, impatient, anxious, hurrying (which means cowardly), the children will be affected by it.
They unconsciously receive the thought and it becomes a part of them. If the parents have a large degree of courage in themselves, every thought is tinged with it and the child, though cowardly in its nature, grows into a vigorous, courageous man or woman. Courage is a positive element and, if developed, overcomes fear, a negative property, in every instance. The little child has his own personality and is subject to grafting just to the extent that the individuality of the parents exceeds his own. If receptive, he readily grasps the qualities of success or failure that are in the parents. If positive in his own individuality, he would not be inoculated with the parents’ characteristics to as great a degree. This explains why some children are so different from others in the same family.
This subconscious mind is a magnet of attractive and repellent qualities. It receives thought, a literal element, and sends it out again reinforced in volume and intensity in proportion to the operating power of the will. It is attractive in its relation to the Supreme at all times and receives power from the Force of Nature. It is the operating force which gains health, fame and wealth. It is the mind which enables a sleeping person to do certain things, such as climbing to the top of high buildings by the water pipe, swimming rapid rivers, and other actions impossible while awake.
Subconscious mind has no volition of its own and only acts on suggestions from your conscious mind or the Source of Wisdom. If you say, “I cannot,” the subconscious mind receives the suggestion, assimilates it, and it then becomes a part of you. This connects you with other despondent minds through the quality of your thought, and you feed each other with failures.
One object of autosuggestion is to impress upon your subconscious mind the thought that you can and will, and success follows. This mind also reacts on your conscious mind. If you have been an “I cannot” chap for years, every time you think a vigorous “I can” thought your other self says, “No, you cannot,” and depresses you, making your efforts spasmodic and unfruitful. You must first get that mind trained to feel that you can, and it will sustain you if you feel discouraged. This takes time, the length depending on your receptiveness and flexibility. There can be no failure.
Every cheerful, happy thought reaches the subconscious mind, it is digested as thoroughly as the condition of the mind will allow, and the remainder is rejected, just as the stomach digests food. Some stomachs are in such a condition that they can only receive liquids; others assimilate solid foods, while a healthy stomach requires a variety of strong foods. So with minds. Some are so burdened by worry (fear) that thoughts of strength make but light impressions; others can receive a greater portion, while the healthy mind accepts it as a matter of fact. During suggestion the growing mind receives the next, similar thought and more thoroughly assimilates it until at last all such thought is received and retained. Then your progress is rapid, your successes are assured, and returns come in hard cold cash. From that time on you are working out accomplished facts and you may tell your friends if you desire, although gush is detrimental and to be avoided.
So your mind is today your ancestors’ power of love, justice, confidence, truth, determination, aspiration, and those other qualities which make up personality, increased or diminished by the kind of thoughts you have used during your life, and they are not names of an indefinable something but the literal realities which compose individuality.
If parental suggestions and your surroundings made you believe as you do now believe, would not a change in surroundings and different suggestions change your belief? Why not then make the suggestions yourself? And a change in the improved mind will bring improved surroundings.
These elements are not only received from people but from the Divine Life which surrounds us and permeates us and of which we are composed. They flow from one brave man to another, constantly strengthening them, and both are connected with the great body of these elements from which they receive a constant inflow.
This, we know, may be hard for our readers to understand and harder to believe. Some cannot believe it. They are groping in the dark and do not believe there is anything to see. The two elements of mind, love and intellect, constitute the whole mind of man. Will, affection, emotion, in fact all sensations, are the divisions of love; while understanding, thought, language and instinct are of the intellect.
In the successful man affection and emotion, and, to a certain extent, sensation, must be under the control of the will, and this in turn must be guided by understanding, from which is evolved harmonious thought, which in turn draws the material success that is desired. Therefore, to be successful you must bring all fear and its resulting emotions under the control of the will or destroy them entirely, and to that end we will devote our attention.
When the mind is in a condition of harmony, i.e., the emotions under the control of the will, the will guided by the intellect, the aim high, it produces a condition of peace and allows the inflow of wisdom, infinite wisdom which produces progression; it will carry one from ill health and poverty to health and sufficient income for all needs. This is a law, this progression or success, and you are being deprived of your just rights if you do not have every needful thing. It is but natural for you to have money, friends and happiness; and any other state of existence is inharmonious and unnatural.
You have the right to enjoy life, follow the occupation you choose, do as you please, so long as you please to injure no one, either in thought or action. This is your natural condition and nothing but the action of your own mind can deprive you of it. It is a law; live in the law and your development is assured.
It is literally true that conditions confront one precisely as they are expected. Expect poverty and failure and you will get them. People think of you just as you think of yourself.
If some position is big for you, i.e., you fear you cannot hold it because of the great responsibility, that is the measure you have put on yourself and others measure you by that standard and would not let you handle important work for them even if you are educated and polished.
We do not mean that if you think you are smart others will think likewise. If you consider yourself smart it is because you have not wisdom enough to realize how little the wisest men know or can hope to know, and others measure you by what you are, i.e., by what you think, and not by what you think you are, or by what you think you think.
Your attitude of mind in both particulars is usually a very good guide to your mental state. If you expect failure, probably you are deficient in courage, self-appreciation and that optimistic, happy, loving expectation so essential to success. Some have such a wonderful power and determination that they are successful in spite of all difficulties; but the better and easier way is to build up your mind so that it may expect ease, peace, happiness, health, wealth, and thereby attract them to you; for most of us will fall by the wayside if we depend upon our force alone. And anyway the road is rough and stormy, and the degree of attainment, even for those who succeed, is much lower than it would have been had that force not been depleted in fighting obstacles created by that same mind.
If you think you are worth little or nothing to yourself and the world, others think that of you; while the fact is you have some talent, some usefulness, some little niche to fill peculiar to yourself, and no one else can fill it for you, and, unless you occupy it, there will be no occupant. You are just as much needed in your place as any other man is needed in his. Have respect for yourself as one of the forces used in and by the Supreme to the great end that to us doth not appear as yet.
Have you ever noticed that when you are angry or discouraged or sullen, others instinctively avoid you? That you see every other sullen man or woman with whom you come in contact; while a good natured, jolly person is apt, very apt, to escape your notice altogether. That is due to the attractive force of mind. People in similar conditions naturally gravitate to each other.
If you would make the right kind of friends to assist you in a business way, -no successful business can be conducted without them, learn to think strong, self-reliant thoughts and they will come to you.
If you want to know just what you are, notice how strangers act with whom you come in contact. Do they smile or frown when they meet you? Are they glad to see you or anxious to get away? Do they scarcely notice you or seem to recognize your strength? If the first, you are a cheery, happy disposition. If the second, the reverse, and need more good will and sunshine in your soul. If the third, you need strength, power and force. If the last, you are equally as strong or stronger than they, and your degree of strength can be determined by their force of personality.
This Law of Attraction may be limited as follows:
Mind attracts people and things in affinity with its condition.
Gloom brings despondency. Hate brings ill health.
Fear of poverty and lassitude bring destitution.
Hope brings happiness and elasticity. Courage, determination and energy bring success.
Dwelling on any quality of mind adds that quality to you, whether it be helpful or injurious.
The induction of any positive quality, such as courage, decision or aspiration, destroys the opposite negative quality, such as fear, indecision or gloom.
This is not a theory, but a principle well understood by Joseph, Moses and the Christ of Jewish history. Parts of that history, called the Bible, contain a true explanation of the power of mind.
These qualities will strengthen your mind to such an extent that you will attract to you all good things. There are no mistakes in the operation of natural laws. Every man, woman or child gets exactly what he deserves, what he draws to himself. Your present position in life is the result of your past thoughts, and your future position will be the result of your present thoughts.
Possibly you may say, “I don’t believe a man can get wealth through his thought power.” What brings wealth? Did you say opportunity? Do not believe it. I tell you the man makes the opportunity. Thousands are losing their wealth daily. Other thousands are accumulating wealth.
It’s all in the man.
Do you know a calm, courageous, forceful, determined, self-reliant, aspiring man? If so, what is his financial condition? He is beyond need, must be. Do you know a weak, whining, melancholy, morbid, nervous, fretful, vacillating man, who probably spends his time pushing one thing today, another tomorrow, not holding to one idea long enough to drive it to a successful conclusion? What is his condition? Physically, morally, mentally and financially a wreck. Why is he so useless to himself and the world? Because his mind does not have the qualities of wisdom, persistency, determination, aspiration and courage. If he had he would not be a failure.
But you say, “I do not believe these qualities can be developed. I do not believe a coward can grow into a courageous man, or a failure into a success.” Why not try it and find out? It certainly is worth a trial. Your progress may be slow at first, but remember and realize if you can -you will in time that you are actually speaking to the source of all wisdom, which is prayer -not saying prayers. Also remember that a lifetime and more has made you what you are and immediate transformation is impossible.
Your mind at this moment is connected with other similar minds, and each reacts on the other. If yours is strong, forceful and courageous, it mingles with that class of mentality, sleeping or waking, constantly invigorating and renewing every one with whom you are in touch, while they send similar strength to you, and all draw through the attractive force of mind the same qualities from the source of power. If weak, get into touch with strong minds by building up your own; then they will send strength to you, and you will cease to starve on the weak elements now received from minds of your present caliber.
That principle is demonstrated by the fact that a stranger in any city gravitates toward people like himself. He finds his level. Can you conceive of a strong, vigorous, successful man going among strangers and mingling with despondent, unsuccessful people; or one of the latter class finding congenial friends among the first mentioned who would value his friendship and company? Wherever a person is, he or she associates with similar people, and this must be an association of mind before there is any material friendship.
Choose your company is a useless admonition. The person chosen might object to the choice. Improve the character of your thoughts and you will naturally gravitate towards a better class of friends. Their association will put you in touch with opportunities that never would have been yours under the old conditions. But you say, “How am I to change the character of my thoughts?” Just keep the thought of courage, peace, strength, power, justice, good will, decision, force, confidence, determination, etc., before you; live in it, dwell on it, demand it, pray for it, and these qualities will come to you, slowly at first, but every atom gained gives you increased strength to draw more until at last the added strength attracts a cleaner, stronger class of thoughts and they bring you in touch with successful men.
So with money and continued prosperity. The attractive force of your mentality will bring you the opportunity. You need not seek it. It will seek you, and your mind will be in condition to recognize the value, will have the decision to force you to act and the courage to carry you through. Using your thought powers to seek an avenue to lead you to wealth is an error, and a useless expenditure of energy. No great success was ever planned but came naturally from following an idea, working on it quietly, steadily and courageously, and usually with little fear of future success or failure. Choose the occupation you like. If it were something that you consider beyond you, and it probably will be, develop yours into a successful mind by the methods to be given you, when it will be commonplace and natural.
One of the first requisites is a condition of calmness or peace. Many people are today in a chaotic condition; they cannot hold their thoughts to one subject for ten seconds, cannot prevent their darting around with lightning-like rapidity. If a successful thought comes they cannot grasp it firmly enough or hold it long enough to act on it. This condition of mind weakens both mental power and physical strength, renders sleep fitful and subject to fantastic imagining, and prevents the inflow of strength and destroys all prospect of health and success.
You are what you think; not what you think you are.
This quality is usually confused with stubbornness and that fierce dominating desire to ride roughshod over every one who has opposing ideas; the desire to bulldoze, overpower, tyrannize, without regard to whether right or wrong. That kind of man is just as self-willed when shown he is in the wrong as before, and he will not be moved by reason, logic or superior wisdom. He will sacrifice money, friends, home; plunge his family into want, if by so doing he can only have his own way. This attitude of mind is one of ignorance, inelasticity intense selfishness, and one in which determination has no part. It is usually brought about by circumstances controlling the individual, and by the individual living under circumstances which produce a narrow round of duties, of thoughts, or, in other words, a narrow life. Study, travel, intermingling with all classes and kinds of people usually take a great portion of this characteristic away.
Judicial history is full of records of families broken up, children scattered, parents made miserable over some trifle, because neither would give up to the other. This is due to inability to control the passions. Those minds were not governed by determination, a quality which enables one to see the goal over a great barrier of obstacles, which makes difficulties but slight things, keeps the mind off trouble no matter how insistent, brings that condition which never knows when it has been defeated. This condition is never troubled with doubts of success, but, after careful consideration, chooses the course to be pursued and goes straight to the goal. It readily adopts any suggestion better than its own ideas which will enable it to avoid trouble. The determined mind does not rush pell-mell along, does not try to force things; but is content to wait, if waiting will sooner bring results. It avoids obstacles, makes friends, seeks the easiest possible road to the goal, but never loses sight of its purpose.
It is the determined mind which calculates, reasons, seeks ideas, uses those which seem better than its own, and at last lays its plans and cannot be diverted from them. This quality well developed produces the desired result in any line of effort, and a mind endowed with wisdom enough to first choose the best method of endeavor and the highest goal can, with determination, reach that goal.
This quality can be developed by thinking of yourself as persistent in the one aim and purpose; by not allowing others to determine what you shall do; by not mentally ceasing effort when obstacles interfere; by repeating the words either verbally or mentally: “I am determined; I have determination; I shall succeed;” until the quality is developed in the subconscious mind, when it becomes a part of your personality. Then the jaw will grow square, the flesh firm, the look steadfast, mild and even. The body expresses just what the mind holds. Indecision and a lack of vigorous life are evidenced by the loose and drooping lower jaw, the vacant stare and ambling, uncertain gait.
Some people think they art determined when they art only bullheaded.
CONCENTRATION is a condition of mind rather than an element, and may be imposed through the thought atmosphere of the parental surroundings; or it may be developed through the action of the individual mind. This state of mind is an essential attribute of success. The biblical wording, “Give no anxious thought to the morrow,” embodies in it a perfect state of concentrative power which enables the possessor to give the whole force of his intellect to whatever he may be doing at each particular moment. This enables one to do well whatever is being done, and constantly adds, through the attractive power of the mentality, to the force of personality embodied in that particular individual.
By holding the thought of concentration and by building it up through the methods already outlined, your strength of mind and force of personality will constantly be increased; and, on the contrary, if one lacks the power of holding his thought entirely focused on one subject about which he desires to think, the full power of the mind cannot be given to that subject. It is like trying to do two or three things at once, and, as the mind has ability to do only one thing at a time, it is overwhelmed by any constant strain and does none of the things well.
The Law of Attraction holds good, and, just in that degree in which we lack concentration, we draw more and more to us the elements which tend to increase this deficiency in focalizing. “To him that hath shall be given” simply means that one who has any quality of mind also has the ability to increase that quality; it will grow in him; “and to him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath” is the opposite, that is, one loses whatever concentration power he possesses by the force of attraction which constantly adds to the hurrying, scattering condition of mind.
But one says, “How will concentration help me to get a better position?” or another says, “How will it bring business to my store?” Just this way. You are instructed to do a certain thing, say construct an important business letter, which you do as well as you can, but your rattled brain, slurring through it, leaves out some important sentence which afterwards involves the firm in litigation. Do you suppose that you stand as well with them thereafter, that your recommendation will have the same ring as though you had been able to give your best attention to the letter and been able to use your wisdom and foresight in its construction? Would anybody be so apt to seek you for a trusted helper in some big undertaking in the first case as the last? What is here advocated is the difference between success and failure.
Again, have you ever gone into a store to buy and found the clerk preoccupied, mind a thousand miles away, and you have been compelled to ask a question two or three times before getting an answer? Do you diligently seek that clerk the next time or do you go elsewhere? That’s the how.
Every family has a thought atmosphere, i.e., qualities of mind such as courage, truth, etc., which form a mental lake, as it were, and all persons coming into its proximity can feel its action upon them. Have you ever been in a household where you felt uncomfortable and was glad to get away; where you did not like to go; felt a repulsion at the suggestion of a visit? This was because you felt the thought atmosphere or mental lake of that family, and it was not as peaceful as your own state of mind and therefore not congenial.
A practical demonstration of this power of concentration is shown by the actor who forgets his audience, his surroundings, everything, and lives in the life of the person he is representing; and not until he has this power can he ever rise to any great height in his profession. So in business. When a man has the power to give his whole mind to the particular idea which he is at that moment entertaining, he will sift it, adjust it, assimilate it, and pick out the true and reject the false, and will benefit himself through his wisdom, which is in a very great degree the product of his power of concentration.
The lack of this quality produces what a third person would call a scatter-brained man or woman. Their thought is incessantly darting here and there, uselessly exhausting the mentality. In fact, the mind can better stand the strain of continued thought on some important, (Important is here used relatively -material subjects are equally important in the thought world; the importance is only in the mind of the thinker) subject for hours at a time than even a few minutes of such exhausting misuse of its powers.
Nervousness is nothing but the lack of concentration, and concentration is only possible to courageous people. In fact, half of the ills the body is heir to are brought on by weakness due to throwing thoughts around at random, as it were; for the body is but an expression of the mind (not brain, mind or soul), and holding your thoughts to one thing at a time, then changing the character by conscious direction of the will, putting no more power into each thought than is necessary to its successful conclusion, enables the mind to gather strength constantly, and this can be plainly felt throughout the body, which becomes more vigorous, elastic, buoyant and healthy. When you are once started on this line your own mind will show the way and lead you on.
Then, again, the concentrative mind is the mind of power in so much as it carries with it the ability to take the thought, examine it, turn it over in mind, then change it from the subject in hand to some other line of thought at pleasure, interest itself in something else and recreate itself.
Constantly dwelling upon any one idea starts the mind to thinking in a circle and, as it continues in this method, it gradually loses all power to get outside of the circle, until at last it may be but one continual round of hate, revenge, jealousy and other deteriorating elements which will act as an effectual bar to success and lead to insanity. There is also the condition of haste and flurry that makes us do foolish things and feel indignant at ourselves afterwards, yet do something equally foolish a little later; wherein we imagine persons above us, in whose presence we smile and smirk and tremble. All that can be avoided by cultivating calmness, which is another name for courage and concentration.
METHODS OF PROCEDURE
This study of the condition of the mind enables one to determine in what particular element he may be lacking, to know himself. Knowing his weak points, he can develop them and round out the mind into a harmonious whole.
It is the projection of thought inward instead of outward, and may be developed by fixing on some weakness of
which you may be aware, then developing that element and watching the effect of your changed mind. This gives you an insight into an unknown world. It enables you to find some other weakness. Then develop that. Continue until a harmonious whole is produced, when a new world, the world of mind, is opened to you.
A man’s actions under any set of circumstances can be clearly outlined by his facial expression, gait and bearing. Human nature becomes an open book; your friends a most fascinating study.
The endless pursuit of money and pleasure gives way to a happy contentment. Your soul is satisfied. From this one reaches up and on seeking the Infinite Life. The whole man, both soul and body, becomes thrilled with It.
You realize the oneness of all and know you will always have enough and to spare.
A young man in our employ said to me, “I cannot hold my position under that superintendent any longer. He is gruff and surly and insults me. ”
I said, “Young man, go to your office and concentrate on your work and learn to put forth more energy and tell the truth. ”
(It was the exact trouble, as Mr. Roth, our superintendent, afterwards told me. )
He immediately informed me that he was an ideal man, worked exceedingly hard and had never told a falsehood in his life.
We let him go.
What can be done for such people? Blind to their own faults, they see their reflection in every one else, and it is always the other fellow who is in the wrong.
If you are not in harmony with your surroundings, look inside, not outside, for the cause.
Every characteristic of a man is written on his face; is shown by his bearing and his gait.
Liars art all cowards
The value of mental suggestion as regards the subconscious effect was explained in a preceding chapter. Theeffect produced is not to make you believe you are different from what you are, but to educate your subconscious mind, which now is what has heretofore been suggested to it through sight, hearing and associations, and thereby make you different from what you are. It is a question of being, not believing.
We will take the element of courage in illustrating the actual method of autosuggestion. Let us suppose you are deficient in courage. There are no absolutely fearless people, so do not be ashamed to acknowledge your defect. A man may say he fears nothing, yet smiles when he does not feel like smiling, because some one smiled at him, fearing his or her displeasure; or rushes pell-mell in wild confusion at the simple request for a business paper from an employer, or trembles at his frown.
Say to yourself, “I have courage, I am fearless, I must have courage, I fear nothing.” Repeat it constantly while not otherwise engaged.
Think of it just before going to sleep at night. This is important. The thought will rest in your subconsciousness, while your positive mind, which never sleeps, is roaming around the world. Repeat it the very first conscious moment after awakening. Continue it now and then during the day. The effect of self-suggestion is illustrated every day.
A little boy ran laughing into the house and said, “There is a bear outdoors,” and went out again. This was repeated several times until at last he was afraid to go out. He did not believe there was a bear outdoors, but the constant inciting of the element of fear brought him into touch with the great body of fear and engendered fear in him, totally without cause and due entirely to his own suggestions.
In the same family a little girl lived who was afraid to retire alone at night. One evening she had company, a much younger girl, and the two forgot their fear in their talking and went to their room alone. The next day she said, “I am not afraid to go alone to bed,” in a decisive tone. From that time on her fears gradually left her until she became almost fearless instead of the timid little one of the past.
Suggestions may be verbal or caused by any outside agency and be for one’s welfare or injury. Let them cover every defect in your mind. Make your own forms to cover each case.
Suppose your highest aim in life is to secure a good position. Let us make an illustration of supposing that you are a farmer’s hired man, without money, education or friends, placed in a position where you never meet business men, and, worse than all, imbued with the idea that a position of, say, bookkeeper is beyond you, impossible for you to attain. The first thing to be done is to overcome the thought of failure, the idea that it is beyond you. Think of it often, let the idea sink into your mind, grow accustomed to it, see yourself in such a position, and gradually the thought that you can be something and do something will take possession of you. Never mind how it is to be accomplished -ways and means will be found.
Do your present work, humble as it may be, as well as you can, and give it your whole attention. It will grow less irksome and a certain pleasure will be derived from it. Soon an opportunity to secure work in a wholesale store or something similar will come your way, probably as porter or teamster, and more than likely through your own exertions. Now keep on doing each task as well as you possibly can, giving no thought to the future. But you say, “I cannot help being worried over the future”; then repeat to yourself, “I shall never worry over anything, nothing will burden me.” Make your own suggestions covering any point in which you feel you are deficient.
Tell no one of your aspirations.
Then study bookkeeping at home. Do not get in a hurry about it; study it carefully, quietly at home. An opening will eventually come. Your past record of faithful service will prove a boon to you now. Make an application in a manly, straightforward way. If you feel faint-hearted about it, say to yourself, as before suggested, “Confidence, I must have confidence.” If this opportunity is missed, keep up the suggestions until you feel confident. It will come and the desired position with it.
This principle is applicable to any walk in life. The bookkeeper who aspires to be owner can employ it as successfully as the farm hand who aspires to be a bookkeeper.
Suppose, again, you are a merchant whose business is poor, your shelves full of shopworn goods, your soul full of rancor and ill will. Just reverse your thought, stop talking and thinking of others’ faults, the trouble is in yourself. Develop good will to all. See yourself in imagination as successful. Gradually your face will beam with good will and ideas for pushing your business will come to you. Your customers will enjoy dropping in, others will come and stay, and success will follow. So with any position or occupation. Be the man. Build yourself into a man and results will take care of themselves.
Never say, “die.” Once the seed is planted, your progress must continue. Each strong, clean thought brings you nearer the goal. When you have brought your mind into a condition of calmness thoughts will come to you, ideas will suggest themselves (for thoughts come from without, you never generate important ideas yourself then you have accumulated strength that enables you to carry out the suggestion to a successful conclusion.
THE LAW OF VIBRATION
As has been previously suggested the subconscious mind is capable of receiving impressions from the Source of Wisdom, and if it were not so harassed by restrictions placed upon it by the parents and by the conscious mind, it would be controlled in every action by the Vital Force of Life.
This Force of Life keeps in motion thought vibrations at all times, and the minds in unison with it can feel a joyous ecstasy which, entering the inner mind, sends a glow of health and strength through the whole being, both spirit and body, producing happiness for the present and confidence in the future.
This Force through the power of thought vibrations leads the individual into the pursuit for which his peculiar composition fits him.
The longing one may have for a certain pursuit is this force acting on him, trying to bring him to his work; but the positive mind says, “It is too grand for me,” or “I can never do it,” instead of leaning on the guiding hand and being led.
This being led is no small affair. It’s easy to say, like our good old Methodist mothers, “He leadeth me,” but that is as though we had a ring in our nose and were led by a string attached thereto. Being led means that we follow our inclinations, not repress them; that we choose the occupation we love, watch for the guiding voice within ourselves. Its manifestation comes not through a burning bush but through inclinations to do this or that; by feeling that one thing will not do even though it looks to be best, and by cultivating that guiding intuition with sufficient courage to act on its suggestions and wisdom enough to avoid pernicious activity; by letting events shape themselves and not trying to set the old Hudson river on fire, and yet holding that happy enthusiasm which leads us to be still and do things.
Work, concentrative work, and watchful interest in our own inner guide will do things for us.
We often feel like doing some particular thing but cannot tell why, and it always proves to be the proper thing
for us to do.
The deficiency of any element could be instantly supplied if the soul were brought at once into accord with this thought force. Many so called educated people, having confined their subconscious mind to the impressions given to them by teachers and textbooks and none to their own inner suggestions, have built up a character so positive that wisdom cannot enter their subconsciousness. They are learned know what wise men, who received their impressions or thoughts in this way, have told them -but have little wisdom.
THE LAW OF DEMAND
We are often told of some mystical thing, known as faith, which must be possessed before prayer or demand can be answered. This is not entirely true, or if true a very small degree of faith will work most wonderful results. In fact, if a calm, peaceful condition of mind is obtained through autosuggestion without the exercise of any faith, the vibrations of thought will bring results.
The spark of divine life is implanted in all, and in those who have the least degree of sensuality, fear, rancor, greed and the host of evils which work havoc in the lives of men, it shines forth in their face, form and motion, spreading gladness wherever its possessor goes. This life is forever connected with the great body of life, and receives a constant inflow, which, as before stated, is sent to the subconscious mind, guiding and directing it in paths of peace, happiness and prosperity. This influence ceases to be a guide whenever the conscious mind assumes the ascendancy, and directs the efforts along its own lines.
The effect of shaping our own life is shown by our decision to do certain things. Then we rush about hither and thither in the fulfillment, and usually fail; or, if successful, the results are unsatisfactory. We try to guide our guiding spirit, our subconsciousness, which should be allowed to guide us. We produce thereby unrest, suspicion, trouble, which throw us off our balance, destroy our poise, just as a sleeping man standing on the ledge of a high window would immediately fall if awakened. His conscious mind would induct fear, with its accompanying loss of self-control, into the subconsciousness, just as we, through our mental suggestions or decisions to do, destroy the even continuity of progress which otherwise would be ours.
Make changes in life by natural gravitation, not by mental wisdom. Wisdom is the guiding hand of God. Be led, for, if you are not, the spark of Divine Life in you becomes a force to produce unrest, hurry, haste and strife through its constant tendency to bring the individual into those paths in which he is best fitted to succeed. The mind, unable to accomplish its results, tries the harder and exhausts itself in fruitless efforts, and becomes sullen, angry and rancorous as a result. If in that condition a prayer is sent out for some material object, there will be no result, because the world of mind does not recognize money and property.
If, on the other hand, the prayer be for peace, strength, confidence (or faith), all qualities of self, an immediate and lasting result will follow, from which we learn that confidence in ourselves to produce every needful thing is faith in the Supreme, which works through us, directing our efforts into channels for which we are fitted. We are then led by the God in self, the inner consciousness, into that work we can best do. If you have an ambition, an earnest longing for some vocation in life, that is your guide trying to bring you into it.
Do not quit your present employment now, posthaste, and rush into something you are sure you should do. Just hold the thought of that desired position or vocation; listen for your guiding impulse and gradually grow into the new life. Do not try to shape your own life at all. No great success ever came through forced effort. It creeps in easily, gently, happily. Let your life go on smoothly, feeling and knowing that you will reach your aim, careless as to the how. This attitude of mind leads you to do things instead of wasting energy in fruitless expectations of some great enterprise you intend carrying out later on in life.
Thomas Edison and other similar men illustrate so well this principle: quiet, concentrative, patient, wholly absorbed in the subject at hand. If your mind is in a hasty, scattered condition, it leads you to shun your present task as perhaps not of sufficient importance to enlist your entire attention. It will attract from the elements around you the thought force of similar minds all bent on failure, and draw failure to you in whatever line of occupation you follow. No one who is constantly boring his friends with the great things he expects to do ever accomplished anything; while the successful man keeps his ideas to himself, feeling that this strengthens him.
It comes about through that great law which does not allow us to know what the future has in store for us, teaching thereby that the true life is one of contentment with present surroundings, aspirations for the future, and faith in our ability to attract to us at all times all needful things through the connection of the God in man, with the Source of all Wisdom and Power and the attractive power of mind to draw from that source all needful things as needed. This is a receptive state in which one receives a constant inflow of vigor and life, thereby increasing the attractive power, and, as the demands on the exchequer grow from enlarged ideas of the proper position one should sustain, the personality has kept pace, and it will be as easy for you to maintain your higher mode of living as it was to maintain your lower.
We know that all advice, logical or illogical, is a useless waste of energy, and that the knowledge of these things will not assist you in the least; that if you are in a hurrying state now, even if you can recognize the truth in what is said here, it would be impossible for you to suddenly change. The effect of perhaps centuries of heredity cannot be at once overcome. But if you desire to change your life, your mode of thought, and give your earnest attention to it; if you require peace, say to yourself, “I must have peace of mind”; think of yourself as peaceful; demand courage (fear is at the bottom of it) and it will grow upon you. After a time you will find yourself becoming absorbed in some work, some study; your mind will be at rest; then your face will gradually fill out with manly strength, your body will grow more symmetrical, money will come easily, and the dull, weary grind will cease.
If you are overworked, have long hours and tasks, either mental or physical, beyond your strength, in the support of a large family; worrying as to where you are to get the money on next rent day; it is because of your condition of mind, your lack of courage to calmly, fearlessly face the world and demand your rightful share. Do not infer that it is meant that you are to force the world to give you a living without labor of any kind. What is meant is that you should expect and get congenial employment, not from others, but on your own responsibility; that this employment should not be beyond your strength and should bring you sufficient revenue to keep you in comfort.
Just reverse your mental attitude, seek courage, and feel and know your irresistible power to overcome all material conditions. Seek peace and wisdom, learn to expect better things, and soon some little change will occur, naturally, that will ease your burden. Others will come from time to time, until at last you will find yourself where you desired to be and can hardly tell how it came about.
Require of the Supreme Life, as your right, more wisdom. Do not weakly pray for it as a boon. Determine to have it. Be careful that you do not insist upon something that will harm you, for you will get any quality demanded, either good or bad. Require wisdom to see your deficiencies Determine to know your inner self.
Do not force yourself, but expect results if the present condition of your mind will permit. Practice also the forgetting of self at all times by entirely giving yourself up to the thing you are doing.
Wisdom and Knowledge are not synonymous -not quite.
THE LAW OF IMAGINATION
That there is a law whereby we grow like whatever we hold in mind is but little known.
This law governs every person and is in constant operation.
Its effects can be seen on every hand by those who are not blind to its existence.
There is a time in infancy when the mind is purely hereditary. It is undeveloped in its subconsciousness -a clean phonograph cylinder, as it were, ready to receive its first impression. The parents have given it potentiality and hereditary proclivities, and the first notice it takes of anything puts on the first impression. Thereafter every time it takes notice of an object, a thought, an animal, additional impressions are added, while the thought atmosphere in which it lives is unceasingly writing upon it. Thus the individuality is formed without the conscious effort of the child.
At maturity there may be much undesirable matter recorded. Fear and indecision may be a part. To put additional impressions in a lasting way on to the cylinder it is necessary to first remove the existing matter. If the possessor concentrates his attention to the period in life prior to the first impression, he sees in imagination that period of life. It has a tendency to produce a condition similar to the one at that period. Persistently imagining will remove all early teachings and the effect of early surroundings, enabling the character to be formed by conscious direction as the owner wills.
Every thought now makes a new impression. Let him see the symbol of the thought before him and the cylinder receives an impression; similar thoughts produce deeper impressions.
Holding in mind the kind of person one desires to become builds the necessary elements into the cylinder or subconsciousness and he grows into that kind of a personality.
The jocular saying, “Think you are rich and you are rich,” which the opponents of Christian Science so often use, if changed to read “Think of yourself as being rich and you will grow rich” would, if backed up by the essential force of character and energy, contain some truth.
On the other hand, force, wisdom and energy will bring results without the power of imagination, which can best be employed in building those qualities into the intellect.
The following article was clipped from a Chicago, IL., newspaper and speaks for itself:
VIVID IMAGINATION KILLS A WOMAN
SHE THOUGHT SHE HAD BEEN POISONED, AND THIS SO AFFECTED THE ACTION OF HER HEART THAT SHE DIED.
“CHICAGO, Tuesday. -“Not poisoned, but dead because she thought she had been poisoned,” was the singular verdict pronounced by Coroner’s Physician Springer today, after performing an autopsy on the body of Virginia Jackson, an aged negro woman and former slave. “This old lady thought she had been poisoned,” said Dr. Springer, “and it affected her heart to such an extent that it killed her. ”
A neighbor gave Mrs. Jackson a bottle containing a brownish liquid. Evidently, say the police, the woman jumped to the conclusion, on feeling ill immediately after she had tasted of the contents of the bottle, that she had been poisoned.”
It was not the effect of the imagination on the heart that killed her. It was the severing of the spiritual chord that binds body and soul.
No, I am not a spiritualist!
The most marked effect of these early impressions is that the child when grown will resist any change. He believes anything with which he has been inoculated without regard to reason or truth. Knowing nothing of a higher mind, he rejects every aspiration whether advanced by his own soul or by another’s.
The less the parents know the more firm is the conviction of the child in all their characteristics.
To induct a new and better mind he must first unlearn all he has been taught excepting whatever amount of courage, decision, etc., they might have had, and then build upon a new foundation.
By way of digression let us observe that old superstitions, the religion of our fathers, is clung to by some minds after their reason and their intuitive sense of the eternal fitness of things loudly proclaim its absurdity They cannot wholly remove the impressions of their strict training in youth even when those teachings are known to be false.
Sit by the fireside alone in the evening and imagine the word courage before you. Look at it. Spell it. Think of it. Let it sink deeply into your mind. Read your Bible and you will learn more about the power of imagination. You grow into the conditions you image before you. Imagine yourself an ideal man as nearly as you can conceive of perfection, not as regards your face or form, but as regards being a whole-souled, honest, earnest, steadfast personality; broad enough to see good in all religions, all nations, all individuals; big enough to think without excitement of owning thousands of dollars, lands, carriages and horses. Hold this ideal in your mind; then think of it often, and be not impatient as to results.
This law is not only true as to man, but to all life. Spotted buildings and fences cause an increase in the number of spotted cattle on the farm.
If this method is too intricate, let it rest for a time, but keep up your autosuggestions. Use these first, last and every day for developing any quality or element in which you may be deficient.
THE MENTAL ATTITUDE
We have elsewhere spoken of planes of mind which one may occupy. These cover a wide variation, from that of the dullard who scarcely thinks at all, lives like the lower animals, is guided by instinct, knows enough to eat and work, but whose mind never receives a new thought, is never filled with aspiration or an inflow of wisdom, to the clearheaded, forceful, calm, courageous, aspiring mind, which lifts itself above the world and reaches back drawing the world up with it. These may vary to any extent, governed by the degree of courage or confidence, or justice or power in either, and by the manner of thinking, each variation producing a different plane.
The proper mental attitude, then, is the plane where one can think clearly, evenly, slowly (not densely), holding the thought as long as desired, with no interference by intruding thought on other subjects; living in that condition without taking strength by conscious effort, but rather as a natural condition; the attitude that is always going ahead, pushing out strong, vigorous thoughts, never shrinking into itself fearing failure; a developed condition of peace, wisdom, force, justice, etc.
The majority of those who have studied mental attraction understand it to mean that one does nothing but figuratively hold one’s breath and await results, while, on the contrary, very vigorous pushing thoughts occupy the mind. In its cultivated calmness, hardheaded, practical business plans are conceived; good judgment gives the power to avoid fatal mistakes; the concentrative strength prevents pernicious activity, which defeats one’s object, and confidence in self produces a feeling of security and peace with a happy optimism. This kind of a mind steadily advances towards prosperity.
Every sensible person knows that results are obtained by putting forth effort of some kind. We see a man go into the woods with an axe and cut down a tree; that is physical effort, and the felling of the tree is the result of that same effort, and the greater value of the timber in lumber as compared to its value as a tree marks the gain accruing from his efforts. Again, we see the same man employing a number of men to fell the trees, while his time is devoted to selling the lumber with greater profit to himself.
The first case was an effect of physical effort pure and simple; the second, of building up a business through the condition of mind produced by holding the mental attitude of courage and confidence in self. The resulting action was the natural and logical outcome of that condition of mind. Had he held a slighter degree of courage he would have feared to launch out; feared to incur the liability of paying the wages of his men; feared he would find no market; feared it could not be a success; and would never have undertaken to have a business of his own.
The possessor of the right mental attitude is the kind of man of whom one instinctively says: “He is bound to be a success.” The energy others use in worrying is used for work which becomes as necessary as air, and one literally works out his own salvation.
It embraces perfect self-possession, since self is lost in the absorption of the mind by the subject occupying the attention. There is, then, no fear of superiors; in fact, no thought of other people as regards their personalities, and no decision as to their goodness or badness, no judgment of any kind, nor any distraction by the thousand and one petty fears and worries governing ordinary souls; never a tremble or doubt about the proper signing of business contracts or worry regarding their fulfillment. This condition, never excited, never angered, does not allow the excessive use of one’s powers; for be it firmly impressed upon you that anger or worry or excitement of any kind produces in the mentality an exhausting rapidity of thinking similar to the effect of turning a full head of steam on an unloaded stationary engine, rapidly racking it to pieces.
Anger, a species of insanity, increases the intensity of thought and seems to drive one’s ideas promiscuously around without their touching anything, producing the same result as would be obtained by striking repeated blows at the air with one’s clinched fist; the harder the blow, the more damaging the result; the more intense the anger, the more mental power lost. This angry condition of mind produces sickness of the body, taking form as sick headache, indigestion, etc. Some think it a sign of strength, but strength of mind lies in the power to hold an even temper at all times.
The proper mental attitude not only allows the free and best use of one’s abilities, but also increases material fortune by attracting the ideas which will push the business or furnish new plans for more acceptable lines, and by bringing one in touch with a more wholesome class of people; first, by one’s strong thought going out meeting and mingling with similar thought; next, by bringing those on that plane into personal contact, when they invariably become respectful of the other and usually fast friends. This attitude is not some impossible visionary thing, but is held in some degree by every successful man. If this mental condition be cultivated, the attention being given to its development instead of to some business, the mind lives in a new world, sees everything in a different light.
Opportunities for accumulating money which before escaped notice are evident on every hand, and it is realized that what one does is more important than how much one does. A single stroke of business often makes a fortune, and it is as easy for a strong man to make one hundred dollars as for a weak man to make one dollar, the only difference being that a broad-minded, forceful man goes out with that intention, while the little fellow as earnestly endeavors to make the one dollar by part of a day’s labor; simply the difference in the way these men look at money.
When one occupies a high attitude of mind in the seclusion of his home, he is attracting to himself the people who are high minded; but when he goes out into the world, the lower thought of other people meets and mingles with his and he loses his clearness of mind, brings himself down to their level. One should not open his soul to anyone, should not allow other people to dominate him or arrogantly assume the ascendancy. He must, to preserve his health and fortune, wrap the mantle of reserve around him, not by being haughty (an acknowledgment of one’s own weakness), but by building up through thinking of himself as a being separate and distinct from all others, as occupying a life of his own, a distinct individuality. Then his friends will have more respect for his opinions and personality.
Sympathy bestowed on others is only wasted strength. They hold all that is given like a leech and crave the more, since it sustains them while it is being given, but destroys their self-reliance and weakens the giver until, if persisted in, it would reduce the one to mental poverty and leave the other high and dry on the shoals of dependence with no one strong enough to lean on for support. It literally amounts to giving one’s self, one’s force, away and getting no return, and since justice to all includes justice to self, it is a violation of Infinite Law, the punishment being loss of force and the resulting lessening of the ability to care for one’s self.
There are, then, two people incapable of caring for themselves, two burdens on society, where there was but one before. This does not imply that one cannot do a kindness or think good will to all; only do not allow anyone to twine himself around you and suck your life blood away by constantly drawing sympathy from you. There is a sort of mental sympathy one can feel that prompts the giving to destitute families, caring for the sick, and generally helping one’s less fortunate neighbors, without giving away one’s life through extending sympathy to every one that asks.
Helping others destroys their self-reliance and self-respect, and should not be done by outright gifts at any time, since some will ravenously accept anything and everything and dislike the giver for all time. They instinctively feel that he was instrumental in causing them to become less able to take care of themselves, and they feel under obligations to him also, which produces a feeling of inferiority, and the dislike is the natural effect.
But if one does give at all it should be money or property of some kind, and not sympathy. Sympathy is too valuable to give away; is so necessary to enable one to provide for self and family. Constantly giving it away destroys one’s chief asset. It is as though one cut off an arm and gave it to some one else, destroying his own ability to earn and doing them no good. There are some who are so sympathetic that their heart goes out to every man, woman and child, dumb beasts as well, that have sorrow or suffering. It is impossible for them to stop at once, but the ability can be cultivated without lessening the amount of good done others. One can protect a horse from brutality without weeping over it or feeling like it.
It is not to be implied that the frame of mind that sends out a constant stream of love and good will should be repressed. On the contrary, that is the particular needful thing to promote health and vigor in one; but the element so created does not reach the class of people who crave sympathy, they are incapable of feeling love (emotion is usually supposed to be love; there is a wide difference), and your thoughts only reach people whose condition of mind is similar to your own, are assimilated, absorbed by them and returned with their added strength to invigorate you. There is a cold, crafty, selfish, soulless frame of mind held by some which results in their being miserly, mean and shriveled; this condition is the result of withholding the outflow of love and good will to all. They are so afraid of poverty that whatever wealth they get is held in a vise-like grip.
If you really desire to help dependent people (unmixed with any love for catering to your own emotion and no desire to secure the approbation of others for your good deeds), instill into those poor weak minds more respect for themselves, inspire them with a desire to be self-supporting; encourage them to make a start in some line of effort, teach them to stand on their own feet, and you have made a man instead of destroying yourself by giving yourself away and leaving the recipient less able than before to be independent.
It is largely a love of self-approbation, a sort of “you are a good man for helping that woman” idea, a standing off and patting one’s self on the back for one’s goodness, a feeling that sometime we may need sympathy and if we give it we will get it, a thorough lack of faith in the Supreme or of confidence in self that excites one to extend sympathy, rather than a desire to put another on a self-supporting basis.
Inspire people to be self-reliant instead of making paupers, both for your own good and for theirs. A species of weakness and lack of self-reliance produces the idea held by some mothers, and fathers as well, that their children will take care of them in their old age, and it usually results in their being tolerated for past favors rather than loved for what they are; or being unceremoniously turned adrift.
Had they lived their own life and taught their children to do likewise, their attractive power in their old age would have been stronger than ever before; money would have come easier; their children and friends would have loved them for their inherent strength. This life of ours is the only one we know we have, and should be lived in its fullness, not absorbed by children, friends or paupers; putting us upon the shelf as it were in our latter days. The only “trusts” you need bother about is trust in yourself and in your ability to get along smoothly through your own efforts.
There is a state or condition of mind which realizes that success and the acquisition of wealth are possible to the thinker, another that realization is probable, and another that feels success is assured. This latter goes after it and gets it. Opposed to this is the condition which makes a person say, “It is too good to be true,” or, “It is not for me,” which is an effectual bar to material progress. It is simply building a stone wall before you -an impassable obstacle. Why prevent yourself from prosperity? Why not rather feel and know the irresistible power of the human will, exercise the power within you, develop your latent capabilities, and enjoy life as is your right, which nothing but your own thoughts can prevent?
A great amount of advertising has been done along the line of hypnotic control. It has been advanced that no one could resist the influence of one acquainted with its wonderful mysteries; that if the operator made certain cabalistic passes with the hand, looked the subject in the eye or between the eyes; the victim must give up everything desired. Such teachings are false, idiotic and vicious. Try it sometime, and you will more than likely find yourself shutting the door on the outside, and that quickly, while your intended victim will consider you an unmitigated ass and forget you.
Now, on the other hand, suppose you bring your mind to a state of peace and strength and then go quietly into an office and ask for what you want, expecting to get it. The other fellow feels your thought and is favorably affected by it. Have you ever met a man for whom you were willing to do any reasonable thing he desired? One you liked the first time you met him, who impressed you as being a good fellow? Why do you have such thoughts? Simply because that man feels good will towards you and is strong in his own mentality. He never fears nor hates anyone. He has aspiration and uses others to further his ends, but usually does more for them than they for him. In fact, he seeks their welfare as well as his own. You feel his desire to be of service to you, and that state of mind strikes a responsive chord in your soul and you are possessed with the desire to help him. That is personal magnetism. You like him because he likes you. Such a man never wants for anything. Money, friends, success, happiness are his. In helping others he helped himself.
Any foolish idea of forcing others to do your will by concentrating your mind on them, and by so doing to make them do something against their own interests and to your financial gain, will result in failure as deserved. Every such thought sent from your mind reacts and lowers your mental powers, increases the element of ill will, brings you into contact with scheming, designing people who injure you. For let it be clearly understood that scheming personalities herd together and you will herd with them. Schemes and efforts to defraud another are entirely unnecessary and sure to eventually promote failure.
The writer has watched strong men of shady financial reputations, has made it a point to become well enough acquainted with them to study their inner self. Not one of them enjoyed his life. Some of them thought yachting, golfing, owning thoroughbreds and racing them was the acme of enjoyment; but the inner soul-satisfying joy of life, the bliss of breathing the pure air in mental harmony, the joy of being big enough to love peace and concord with plenty, the joy of working and seeing the results of one’s own creation, the very essence of life itself was lost to them, and constant moving, constant change and excitement were necessary to prevent soul sickness and melancholy. They were whited sepulchers.
The fires of the Christian’s hell could never burn brighter than the fires within their own souls. This was the condition at the height of their prosperity. Ninety percent of them die in poverty. Why should any man even entertain such an idea? One’s own resistless force, relieved of the overpowering load of fear, hate, jealousy, lust and suspicion, directed towards things joyful and successful, will carry him forward to health, wealth and happiness without walking over the prostrate bodies of his fellow men.
BETTER SOMETIMES TO FORGET
When you do not have immediate success and everything -looks discouraging, just remember that it is a stage of progress which all encounter, and forget it for a time. Rest yourself and gather strength for renewed effort. This power of forgetting is the best test of mental strength. When everything looks gloomy, the sunshine is hidden by the clouds of distrust, life a failure, and the world a mistake; then to be able to get it all off your mind, to interest yourself in something light and happy, thereby taking on strength, is one necessary attribute to success in any line of effort.
For when the mind is engaged in any work or worry it gives off its strength, and when happily employed it takes on strength and power. If you are incessantly struggling, striving and pushing in spasmodic and fruitless attempts to acquire material wealth, it grows weaker every instant and less able to win the desired end; but, on the contrary, if you can dig up enough self-control to turn your mind into lighter channels, take a walk or drive over beautiful country roads, go to a ball game or play a game of billiards, in fact, any amusement you thoroughly enjoy, it rests the mentality, which gathers strength while resting, and your fears seem foolish as viewed by your new mind, and you go bravely to work without any forced effort or any weak sinking of the spirit, doing the thing at hand as well as you can and building up a strong individuality for the future.
So you see how necessary to your welfare and happiness is the power of forgetting. If you cannot forget your troubles, say to yourself and think of it as you say it, “I must forget my troubles.” Insist forcefully upon having the power to forget; not impatiently, fretfully, complainingly, but using whatever confidence or faith you can summon. Your burden will grow lighter, gradually your mind will become healthy, and all fear, which is the cause of your worry, will disappear. Be not afraid to demand earnestly from the Supreme, with all your power, any quality in which you may be lacking.
The supply is unlimited. All you can assimilate is yours for the asking, if you ask in the right way. To be humble does not mean to be a craven. It only means to realize the wonderful love, power and justice of the Infinite One; to realize that this power is in you and forms your life, and that if you did not interfere by filling your mind so full of doubt, distrust and the consequent worry that it could not act, it would gently, lovingly lead you to material prosperity and happiness.
One of the great hindrances to business success is taking the business home with you. Your mind runs in a groove all day and at night as well, for the predominant thought of our sleeping hours is the same as of our conscious life. This continued current of similar thought nauseates, disgusts, wearies and sickens the intellect. There is no refreshing reception of new thought, no progress, and failure results. A similar state would be produced in the body by eating potatoes and nothing else day after day. The mind requires food, mental or spiritual food, if you please, just as much as the body requires material food, and unless it receives it there can be no invigorating life.
Determine to leave your business at the office. Study your home life. Attend wholesome places of amusement. Forget your troubles if your mind is strong enough; if not, demand forgetfulness. Think of thoughts that will make you happy, any little incidents of the day or of your past life. This faculty of turning the mind upon whatever one chooses to think is not common. It requires a strong, forceful mind, and such we are trying to inculcate in you.
Worrying thoughts go out, meet other similar thoughts, are reinforced by them, and return with greater volume ‘to renew the agitation of the suffering mind. So overpowering does this disease become that the thought of poverty will set -some people in a frenzy of worry.
Would it not be a blessing to you if nothing ever bothered you, nothing could worry you, leaving a happy, elastic aspiring mind instead? If you accomplished nothing else, would it not repay you for your trouble? Are you willing to weakly say you cannot, and drudge on, or will you say, “Well, it cannot harm me to try. No one will know it; no one will laugh at me if I fail. I will try.” It cannot be done instantly. It must be a growth.
There can be no elasticity of conception, no wandering into new fields seeking broader avenues of business and pleasure while the mind is enslaved by worry, held down in the mire, the victim of disease.
Worry is a symptom of the mental disease, fear.
Banish all fear from your mind; say, “Things are coming my way; I am growing into a successful man; I am full of courage;” and gradually you will build up courage and optimism and all worry will disappear.
I once knew a woman who was so controlled by fear that she would not allow her little boy out of her sight, dreading some misfortune to him. Should he go out of doors, she rushed after him and brought him in, usually with some exclamation of dread that he would fall into the well or be kicked by the horses. That poor little life was cramped. His healthy, vigorous action restricted. The beautiful bud of a strong man was dwarfed into a driveling, cowardly simpleton. This is a literal truth. That woman would have done better had she taken the boy’s life outright and given the spirit freedom, rather than sink it so deep in the mire of fear that it may never return absolutely uncontrollable fear, destroying all chance for success; for wisdom, calm judgment, and that elastic, pushing spirit so necessary, cannot live in such a mind.
Fear is the Foundation of Fools
PHYSICAL EFFORT VS MENTAL ATTRACTION
All people must classify themselves either as masters or servants. They must have sufficient courage and self- reliance to start a business of their own, employing others to carry out their ideas, or else they must work for someone who has.
It is, therefore, largely a matter of individual decision whether one will serve or be served; since if a certain amount of force be wisely guided results must be produced in conformity to the volumes of power employed, lessened only by the mistakes made through lack of wisdom. As both qualities can be added to one, it rests entirely with you what position in life you will occupy.
It is self-evident that no man by bodily effort alone can accomplish great results. The volume of returns must be of necessity limited. If the effort be turned in the direction of laboring entirely for others with no mental assistance, the wage averages one dollar and seventy-five cents per day. If, however, the mind co-operates with the body and the laborer is a skilled carpenter, the wage rate is materially advanced; but if the carpenter contracts to erect buildings and employ men to assist him, the mind becomes the predominant factor and the bodily effort though still employed becomes of secondary importance, since he must furnish materials and give instructions to the other workmen before he can do any manual labor himself; and, as his business grows, he becomes so busy with the business details that the body is only used to carry the mind around to inspect the different buildings. Then the mind is dominant and the wage whatever he chooses to count his services worth, limited only by competition.
We do not, however, reach the pure attitude of mental attraction until we think of the wealthy banker who comes to the office in a carriage at eleven o’clock, sits in an easy chair until two, spending the balance of the day as his inclination directs; yet he gathers thousands of dollars while the others gather hundreds. Therefore one must have courage to contemplate the assumption of responsibilities if he would have wealth, must think of himself as relying entirely on his own ideas and his ability to push them to a successful conclusion. Snugly ensconcing one’s self under the protecting wing of some corporation or stronger individual brings retrogression, and with very few exceptions the trials of life increase and the salary decreases with age. We know it may send an electric thrill of terror to your soul to contemplate yourself as being without a position and salary, but it is the making of you. We do not advise haste or immediately severing your present relations.
Commence by thinking of yourself as standing on your own feet, relying on yourself alone; this brings strength and allows the natural law of gravitation to operate and you will drift into the desired independence. If you do not want to put forth the necessary effort to undertake something alone, at least develop a frame of mind that will hold up and carry some one’s business for which he will pay well. The principal reason why applicants for positions receive scant courtesy is because they bring a dependent frame of mind into the office. Let the manager feel, by feeling so yourself, that you can be leaned on instead of leaning on him, and see how quickly he will attach you to his business. The world is overrun with dependents, human hop toads and leeches, all intent on finding some one on whom to cling for support.
These things are but common sense, nothing startling or visionary about them.
Mental effort brings large returns. The development of mind gives a broader view to everything. Business is done on a large scale. The man who works at day labor ten hours daily, earning two dollars per day, is using physical effort. The broker or financier who stays in his place of business for four hours daily and puts forth no physical effort attains much greater results and uses mental effort. Let the laborer suppose himself to be occupying the position of the financier and there arises at once a desire in his mind to fill that place.
That is aspiration, usually followed by the thought, “Oh, I cannot do it,” showing a want of self-confidence and courage. There is where the mental attitude comes in. You must build yourself into a condition where you can feel “I can and will do it,” and then have no exhilaration, no excitement, the precise condition that you would have if you said, “I can earn $2.00 per day laboring.”
Now the projection of thought brings returns consistent with its character. The strong, courageous, active thought brings health and wealth, but that thought cannot be allowed to “die a-borning” or there will be no returns. The laborer would earn nothing unless he put forth effort. Neither will the mentalist, unless the thought is vigorously projected into the world, and that constant unwavering condition of hopeful, determined expectation, a natural condition brought about by autosuggestion, will carry one into larger lines of effort.
Now every time you think “I am tired of this condition and do not purpose living in it; I shall better it,” you are making a suggestion to yourself. Constantly repeating this class of thought will make you over until you will eventually send forth a constant stream of forceful enthusiasm. Your face will brighten; your step become elastic, vigorous and hopeful; the entire character become changed into a man of action, mental not physical. Plans for pushing your business will suggest themselves and life will take on a new aspect. Repeating the words courage and confidence will make you able and willing to undertake things which before appalled you.
Again referring to the different results obtained by bodily efforts and mind’s attractive powers, there was a splendid illustration in the cases of two Iowa farmers who came under my observation. The one started in life with seventy dollars, the gift of his father. What can one do with seventy dollars? Why, bank it and go to work for some one. That was the decision his mind brought him. Its condition produced that thought, chemicalization. So he found employment, and, being vigorous, active and ambitious, received his board and twenty-two dollars per month, which he carefully hoarded. After some eight years of worse than slavery he saved enough to start himself as an independent farmer on a rented farm, and at last owned the farm.
His was entirely a case of striving after results through bodily efforts and he was successful, but others got the best years of his life at a nominal wage. He failed in his duty to himself, was unjust to himself, gave his force away, made money for others. He had no right to so misuse his energy; it was a God-given force to provide for his dependent ones. We are very apt to howl down the wealthy man as an autocrat and censure him for his success, but if we must blame anyone we should rather condemn the men who work for him, giving him part of their earnings when they should have all.
But, you say, some can do better by working for others than they can for themselves. I doubt it, or, if they can, the fault lies in their lack of wisdom to plan, courage and self-reliance to carry out. John G. Saxe wrote:
Fools will be fools as certain as fate,
Men of wisdom, make them your tools;
That, only that, is the use of fools.”
It contains a large element of truth, yet their foolishness scarcely exceeds our own, since we give our assistance and sympathy to their cowardly whines of poverty, hard luck, etc. Let them devote as much strength to some work, any work, as they do to getting sympathy and help and they would be able to care for themselves.
My hand is always in my pocket dragging out the dollars for some imbecile who is too cowardly craven to face the world standing on his own feet; and, if one spends time explaining these things to him, he whines, “I can’t.” Oh, yes, I’m a good fellow all right, and, as a result, am the vat into which hundreds dump their woes. I return thanks daily. That, when in the past I have tried the dumping process, some stony-hearted old businessman has figuratively kicked me out and on to my feet. It is making a man of me. Going up against the real thing is a developer all right (slang is so expressive). Oh, if you must come, tell your woes, get advice and go away with the expression, “I feel so much better after talking to you; my burdens are lighter,” why come along, we will brace you up.
But let us go back and finish the history of our farmers.
The second man in mind had thirty dollars as his portion. He bought a team of poor old horses, paying a part thereon, and pre-empted some land. He raised his own crop, and in ten years was worth fifty thousand dollars more than enough. It never occurred to him to go to work for another. His mind was incapable of receiving that class of thought. He relied on himself and asked no favors. Both were equally successful, having accomplished their object, yet what a trifle the one had as compared to the other.
Now this talk about it being the fate of the one to have to struggle, etc., is all rot. The fate lies in one’s own mind. We personally know that the mental faculties can be developed until one sees everything from a different viewpoint. Things look different. Success looks easy instead of that impossible thing we have heretofore longed for. Start the suggestions.
Things on which we depend seldom meet out expectations. Success comes quietly, gently.
FEAR OF FAILURE BRINGS IT TO YOU
An active factor in all misery is fear, the product of deficiency in self-assertiveness, the action of the faculties when not supported by the element courage. When an attempt to do some particular thing promising more returns than have aver heretofore been earned is undertaken, the first effect in some people is a fear that they cannot accomplish the undertaking, and this sets in motion the very thought element that will seek other failures, bring one into touch with them, add the burden of their indecision and general weakness to one’s own, make that class of people our friends and drive the courageous people away.
Shrinking from the world, the fear of interviewing those who might be induced to do business, withdrawing into one’s self, bashfulness, flushed face and halting speech are all from this element fear. We see its manifestation on every hand. Here one is eating his breakfast at breakneck speed, for fear of being late to the office. Another trembles at the footsteps of his employer, and, if spoken to, can scarcely make an intelligent reply. A third sits alone at home nights and mentally, if not actually, shrieks at every noise, imagines burglars are in the house even when common sense would tell him that no self-respecting burglar would spend time robbing such a modest home.
The businessman worries himself into an early grave for fear his ventures will not be successful. The preacher does not allow his thoughts free action for fear he will be dismissed for heresy. The dog crouches at his master’s feet fearing bodily harm. All insurance is founded on fear. The walking delegate fears he will lose his position unless he creates trouble and strife to prove his usefulness.
The merchant fears trade will fall off. Every class of man and kind of animal knows this self-abusing, soul- destroying element, fear. It has been generated since the world began and is so ponderous in volume that everybody and everything are affected by it. The miser is its product; the grasping for wealth by all is its manifestation, caused by a fear of poverty in old age and growing into the desire for power and love of show; and so fixed becomes the wealth acquiring habit that there is no limit to its desires and no amount can satisfy its appetite.
People are on a nervous tension, strung up to the breaking point, strained, rigid, unyielding, until the face is lined and seamed, the eyes restless, the fingers twitching, arms swinging. Sitting quietly in a chair, relaxing the muscles and resting is foreign to their nature and would be, to these people, actual torture. Such people have little common sense and no one respects them. I remember a gruff old manager of a railroad when a new clerk fluttered and flushed and stammered over a question he had been asked, turning to his chief clerk and asking, while his face was a study, “John, what’s the matter with the damn fool?” There was no emotion or feeling in the question, just a plain interrogation. They must be moving, active, cannot and do not rest until the nervous system breaks down; then off they go at breakneck speed to some health resort to rest and recuperate, if financially able, when they find that rest is not to be commanded at pleasure after years of ceaseless activity.
It is, therefore, essential that courage be developed to insure health and success; courage to look at difficulties or new and better projects squarely, without flinching, dissect them, render your opinion and dismiss them from your mind; courage enough to forget business when at home with family and friends, enough to relax the muscles, open the soul to an inflow of new strength, to smile easily, naturally, to live one day at a time letting the morrow take care of itself, to face the world and demand your share of the good things, enough to use, but none to hoard.
Financial success may be brought about by keeping the mind fixed in a determined, resolute way on a larger income; learning to expect it, even if fear largely predominates in the makeup, only every thought of fear puts an obstacle in the way of its accomplishment and an overwhelming degree of fear will prevent the mind from knowing and realizing that success is for you; but good health, that is, freedom from the ordinary aches and pains of our fellows, cannot be realized until the mind is at rest, when the body will likewise rest, and resting gather health and strength.
SOME OTHER THINGS
It has been said before that desire is the controlling force of your destiny. By this it is not to be inferred that simply because one desires wealth it will come, but rather if one relieves the mind of all passion, untruth and fear, leaving freedom of mental action, that desire controlled by will, which is in turn guided by wisdom, will attract to you, through the strengthened personality, all needful things.
If, in this condition, thoughts of trouble and poverty come (and they attract to you those most undesirable things; try to avoid such thoughts), you could easily turn your mind into thoughts of success which would then be attracted instead. There is but little value in constant admonitions, such as to choose good company, to avoid people who are failures and not to worry, to expect success, etc. If the desire for good company and prosperity honestly deserved can be instilled into a mind, the resulting self-purging and purifying will build up that mind into a pure man who unconsciously gravitates toward similar people.
All arguing is valueless, since, for example, a child’s mind not being on the same mental plane as the parent’s cannot see things from the same viewpoint. Tell the boy not to smoke; he sees others apparently enjoying a good smoke and desires to try it himself. After he has grown up and finds what a nuisance it is, he tells his son not to smoke and carefully explains how he did not obey his father and is now sorry for it, and his son immediately gets a cigar and tries it. The source of all wisdom cannot make a mistake.
The human being having the quality of wisdom adulterated by his imperfections, for the stagnant pool will taint the purest rivulet, does not see things as clearly and accordingly makes many mistakes for which he suffers. Again, the quality of truth enables one to detect error, inasmuch as in any idea advanced, containing part truth and part error, the truthful portion would appeal to the mind having the quality of truth developed as being true, while the error would not occupy a prominent position and would fall away and fade from sight from lack of attention.
If, however, that mind has but little truth in it, then the error in any proposition seems to be the truth, and an unsuccessful mind is likewise attracted to a plan promising more probability of failure than of success, and, if its possessor was going into business, would adopt such a plan; while the successful mind would feel and know the probabilities of success were small and reject the proposition, but immediately embrace the plan rejected by the unsuccessful mind. Cultivate, therefore, truth for self-protection.
If one sees all the faults in another, it is because those same faults are in one’s self. If not, the qualities of mind would attract the attention to the better side of the criticized nature. There is no one so low but there remains some good qualities, and if the critic were absolutely pure, those good qualities would occupy such a prominent position that the imperfections would escape his notice. If, therefore, you gossip, putting in circulation the element of ill will and literally destroying the mentality of your neighbor as well as building up through the reaction of your own thought those very defects in your character, would it not be well for you to cultivate good will to all, when all desire to find defects in others would disappear?
Then build up peace, justice and love in yourself in order to be able to see them in others. The simple desire in your soul will start you on the road, for know you that desire is prayer. Long set forms of words, repeated hurriedly, on your knees, in a cold room, in conformity to duty as laid down by some sect, as outlined in their creed, is not prayer, and will bring no response. But the warm soul pulse of earnest desire starts in vibration all those qualities desired, and builds up the individual through their inflow. We hold that all nature prays. Trees, flowers, birds, all animals, inclusive of man, send out their desires for life, love and happiness, and such prayer is answered.
Learn to control yourself that your desires may be entirely for love, peace, purity, strength, justice, decision, force, and these things will be added to you and money will follow as fast as you allow your personality to develop. In your weak state you find money hard to get. You strive and struggle for it. It seems almost impossible for you to accumulate anything, and it is hard for you to acquire if your parents were poor and you have always been in poverty, because in your mind this educated you to set material value on a pedestal and mentally worship it as being above you.
If the greatest self-control has been reached, the amount of revenue derived from your efforts depends on the amount of force in you and on how you look upon monetary values. Force is obtained by conserving your energy; by never being anxious or worrying; by not throwing your whole power into whatever you do, but using only as much as is required to do it well; by not flinging your thoughts around at random; by alternating leisure and labor, for, be it known, the person who devotes his whole time to pleasure is farther from happiness than he who is ground down by cares.
As before stated, you can no more regulate these things in yourself without great labor and protracted effort than you can stop the progress of the midday sun. But constant endeavors and forceful demands for the deficient qualities will attract them to you, until at last absolute self-control will result and you will be able to use just the required amount of mental effort to accomplish results, and even then a man of small caliber will only do little things. Some never rise above a peanut stand, others sigh for more worlds to conquer; there is the difference. Any particular individual will, therefore, attract to himself results in accordance with the caliber. If a peanut man, he will get peanut results, i.e., if he thinks in pennies, the result is pennies; if in millions, the result is millions. The law is as clearly demonstrated in the one case as the other. Both drew to themselves in accordance with their force. If the little mind receives force and power, pennies become too small to seek, and broader fields of effort follow bringing greater returns.
But, you say, “Why does not the little mind think in millions at once?” Simply because he cannot think beyond his caliber. When his force is built up he finds his ideas have in some way undergone a change and things come in greater volume. This acquisition of force is assisted by aspiration, inasmuch as the idea of greater things is constantly held before the mind’s eye, and growth results. Without this desire for constant improvement, retrogression sets in and the progress is backward. No one can stand still in mentality. It is push forward or slip backward.
Aspiration attracts both ways -to you, bringing power and force, and from you, lifting you upwards, just as the earth and a falling stone are mutually attracted towards each other in proportion to their volumes. The larger the stone, the greater is the effect on the earth; so the greater your force, the greater your attraction towards better things. It is just as easy for the forceful man to attract millions as for the peanut man to attract nickels, and both are governed by the same law. Build up, therefore, your ability to expect thousands instead of dollars, and thousands you will get.
This fact is further exemplified when it is remembered that an honest man is seldom cheated. We mean a man who would not take advantage in a business transaction when he could. His pure mind brings him in contact with honest people, and, if another tries to take advantage of him, some instinctive voice holds him from accepting the transaction. The old adage that honesty is the best policy is based on a scientific fact. Cultivate it. This quality, force, is the sustaining power that enables one to laugh at trouble, the mental attribute that causes others to recognize its possessor as a strong man.
If any character be strongly endowed with it, some degree of success would be obtained, even if the great part of it was wasted in violence, and self-control is only valuable in a business sense as it enables the mind to use all its powers to the very best advantage; to stop the worrying thought and substitute instead the strong, vigorous ideas of pushing on to the desired end. A weak man (one lacking in force and power) having perfect self-control will accomplish more by properly directing his force and retaining his energy than the strong man who wastes his energy in driving numberless projects towards, but never to, completion, in worrying over his failures, in anger and other modes of mental dissipation, for it uses the same energy to worry that would be used for pushing forward a successful business.
One idea carried to a successful conclusion will produce larger returns, even if it be but a poor idea, than a half dozen imperfectly carried out. The less irons a weak character has in the fire the better for him, since he requires the concentrative energy of all his power to carry one plan forward. On the other hand, a strong, vigorous man can carry several plans to as great a success as the other fellow can his simple purpose, but not to as great success as he could if his whole power was given to one large project.
The little fellow attempts sometimes to carry out great things on the principle that the higher the aim the greater the results, which is true in so far that great aspirations bring force of character which enables one to increase his power, but until that increased power is obtained there is danger of his being, assailed in mind by his own doubts and lack of confidence in his ability to carry it out, which invariably leads to failure. This lack of confidence is shown by the expression, “I know I can do it,” while, if confidence prevailed, the question as to whether or not he could, would not occur to him, and, if the question were asked, he would probably answer abruptly, “Why not?”
Now do not understand that a perfect state of confidence must be developed before any degree of success can be obtained, for, if that were true, the most of us would never be successful; only, one should do those things which he can do without being assailed by doubts and fear of failure, and, in the meantime, build up the qualities of force, courage, confidence and determination; and as they are acquired he will find himself doing work of such caliber that the idea of it would alone have frightened him off some time before, while carrying with him the intention of doing some larger line of business will accustom his mind to the idea and he will not “scare at the cars” so easily. In time he will grow into such confidence in himself that it will be no longer a great idea, but just a commonplace affair when he is ready for its projection.
The lack of education will not be a bar to success. Wisdom and knowledge are not synonymous; neither are refinement and polish. Some of the most refined, gentle and estimable people are wholly without polish; while some of the smart set are puppets and snobs. If, however, the mind puts a limit on itself because of a lack of education and says, “Oh, he has a good education; of course he can do it; but I did not have that advantage and there is no use of my trying,” that thought will put a bar to all great progress. In general terms, we are just what we assume ourselves to be, but may be whatever we determine to be.
If you have a child of whom you desire to make a failure, just teach him that education, alone will make him a success, and nothing else will be required. You establish a limitation for him, and he will never, can never make the necessary effort to be a man unless his own power of observation shows him the David Harums of life and proves your teachings erroneous. By great men we do not refer to statesmen or noted people in any sense, but to the quiet, strong, forceful, and self-controlled man who always has enough and to spare of this world’s goods and who has conquered his spirit.
Neither does age prove any bar. Lack of youthful elasticity may make progress slow until confidence is acquired; but the sober judgment of mature years will counterbalance it. Spirit, your spirit, has always existed, will always exist in some form, and the time limit called age is only a measure of the length of existence in this body.
People whose minds never rise above the round of petty trifles, who constantly think of themselves instead of losing the consciousness of their own identity by thinking of their work entirely -concentrating on it -are apt to talk of themselves or of some one else instead of discussing matters of greater import. They are also apt to talk incessantly with but little to say and nothing worth hearing. If you are loquacious, find the cause; it will be in your mental condition.
If you receive a thought, you send it out again, reinforced, to be absorbed by another mind. If you think hate towards some fellow man, you add to your stock of hate and increase your thought current of hate, and that is sin. Attending theaters, ball games and similar places of amusement is not a sin, but rather a rest and recreation which add to your strength and should be cultivated. Low resorts, such as cheap variety theaters, with barroom attachment and female attendants, or the pistol-firing, blood-curdling drama of the hero rescuing the maiden and similar rot, contain a vulgar thought atmosphere and you, by absorbing it, weaken and degrade yourself. But a high-grade actor, from thinking strong thoughts (and he cannot be such an actor without vigorous thought) becomes strong, and his influence adds to your strength and improves your mind aside from the relaxation, which also benefits you.
Goodness, godliness, holiness, consist in building up the qualities of good will, strength, judgment, determination, confidence, courage, power, justice, gentleness, order, precision, force, calmness, and the resulting self-control; in short, of being a gentleman in the best sense of the word.
Fathers, mothers, what kind of justice would you show if you deliberately chose one child and said, “He shall have money, health, happiness,” and of the other, “He shall have cares, worry, poverty, misery”? Yet that is just what the Supreme Life says to us if the doctrine of predestination is true. Can you believe such a fearful thing could come from a mind in which lies exact, unfaltering justice? Would you do it? And yet some believe that the Universal Life is less just than the human being. The law is there, and that law says, in unmistakable terms: you make your own life by the thoughts you think.
Every thought received in your mind is in accordance with the attitude of that mind and that attitude is governed entirely by your desire, -as a man thinketh, etc. Though that desire may be beyond control, through years of heredity and your own uncontrolled thought, that does not change it, and you must suffer the same. If you desire to hate anyone, your mind is immediately filled with thoughts of hate, which you send out again reinforced by the strength of your own personality. This hateful thought meets and mingles with the great body of hateful thoughts which has been generated through countless years, and, reacting, comes back to your own mind, establishing a connection between the great body of hate and yourself from which a current constantly comes to you, degrading, weakening, eventually destroying you.
On the other hand it works precisely the same way if your mind desires love. Love others and others will love you, and your ability to love will grow, constantly adding strength to your mind. Anyone can bring the hate or love of the entire world on himself, as he chooses, by building up the quality in his own mind. As now constituted, the minds of most people desire to love their friends and hate their enemies. Now don’t you know you have no enemies excepting as you make them by considering them as such? You send them hating thought, they return it; this establishes a connection between you, constantly taking your strength to keep up the war. You cannot afford to do this; it is destroying your money making power.
Just reverse your plan and imagine him in mind as a friend; think of him as such; feel friendly towards him. That is strength. Then the current he generates will rebound from you like the sunrays from a plate of polished steel and do no harm, while he will feel your friendship and accept it heartily. Such a course requires mental strength, and by saying and thinking good will to all you can reach it.
That is controlling people. Acting ugly when they are ugly, fighting people, compelling them to do your bidding, is but a crude physical control at best; but when some violent tempered, infuriated man stands before you and you look into his eyes kindly, unflinchingly, absolutely fearless, the anger will fade away, the hostile attitude dissolve, your own look of good will and courage supplanting it, and you feel his hearty grasp of your extended hand. That is the mastery. That is self-control.
But if you become affected by his anger, lose your temper, act as ugly as he, then self-control is lost and he is your master and troubles are accumulating for you. The Indians with whom William Penn traded were affected by his mental condition. He meant to be just and they felt his honesty, and as a reward for holding the right mental attitude the Quaker garb was the best life insurance a person could have in Indian war times. If you master yourself first, hold yourself absolutely obedient to your desire for peace; you can control anyone, savage or civilized.
The passengers on a through train from Chicago to New York were disturbed by the constant crying of a little babe in its mother’s arms. She walked along the aisle of the car, tossed the babe up and down, laid it face downward on her lap, and her nerves were evidently at a tension. At last a gentleman asked her to permit him to try to quiet the child, and, in a few minutes, it was peacefully sleeping, and he did nothing but hold it in his arms. Evidently knowing the effects of the mental condition of the mother upon the baby, he would not allow her to take the child until both obtained a restful sleep. Poor baby! Poor mother! What a difference inherited or cultivated calmness in the mother would have made in the lives of both.
Had she been quiet in mind, which means that thoughts pass through one at a time, deliberately and not in droves (each crowding and jostling the other and more pushing from behind), the child would have been stronger, more courageous and healthful, and bright smiles of happy contentment would have shown in the baby face instead of the constant nervous crying.
Now, briefly, to summarize: Build yourself into a calm, determined, courageous, forceful man by the aid of autosuggestion, and the attractive force of your mentality will bring success to you. You need not seek it. It will seek you. Use the methods given for any quality desired, eloquence, wisdom, health, anything -you will get results.
Faith is a dead letter unless accompanied with active, progressive thoughts and actions.
Cowards cannot concentrate
NEARING THE END
After all that has been said, suppose it be stated in plain terms just what is considered necessary to have, or acquire, in some measure, before any degree of success can be had in any line of effort.
Let aspiration take precedence, inasmuch as there is included therein hope of future betterment, without which there can be no progress. In this condition one is never satisfied, which does not mean never contented. The feeling that there is more beyond remains, which is no impediment to perfect contentment, but rather does it augment that condition, producing the feeling that we are all right at this particular moment, and, when the future becomes the present, we will have become stronger and wiser and therefore better able to sustain ourselves.
Aspiration is not ambition. The one is hope, desire and expectation of your own and world betterment. The other a desire to outstrip your fellow men in the race for temporal glory and power. The first adds to your strength, builds up your conception, accustoms you to the idea of better things, brings peace to your mind. The second makes you jealous of others’ success, hostile to the world, thereby bringing antagonism of others upon you, using your strength in useless resistance to that hostile thought, and this weakens you and prevents success.
Aspiration can be grown by suggestion. The attitude of peace, assisted by aspiration and developed by suggestion, prepares the mind for the induction of thought, of new ideas. As this is developed you see opportunities to make money that were hidden though in plain view. Hurried, impatient, angry thoughts become a thing of the past. Strong, forceful, quiet, concentrative ideas, one at a time, take their place, and from these you choose the one adapted to your own peculiar mental composition. The right one in its entirety will be chosen if the quality of truth in you is fully developed. If not perfectly developed, but only the foundation is there, such part as you are able to recognize will be accepted and your success will be limited to the degree in which the whole idea, free from intruding error; is worked out.
Then having chosen your work without any idea of shining as a great leader, free from every thought of the morrow, devote your energy to its being pushed on and on. There is a constant inflow of new ideas for its promotion, and as they are worked out life becomes one constant joy, each day bringing its new pleasure and its new work and the quality of determination holds you from deviating from that work, from chasing one idea, one occupation today, another tomorrow, and wasting your life in fruitless effort.
Good will to all is a wonderful lightener of mental burdens. Jealous, hating thought brings its burden of antagonism from the world and wastes strength in resisting it which could be used in pushing your ideas forward.
Then develop calmness, courage, push, confidence, determination, concentration, justice, truth, with any other qualities in which you are deficient. This produces the same effect in your personality that tempering does in steel. You are the man. Instinctively people feel your success is assured. They speak of you as a coming man. Ideas for making money will come to you unsought. The natural thing for you to do is always the right thing. You push those ideas forward and success comes as a natural result. Every effort brings some effect, every thought is an effort. Determined thought bent in the direction of success brings it to you. It becomes a natural evolution. As your personality grows the little business grows with it. Holding the mental habit is your natural condition and requires no effort to maintain it. You therefore only need study yourself, practice autosuggestion, use the Law of Vibration, employ the power of imagination, and the future is assured.
There, we are done. These ideas have lightened my burden. May they do as well for you. There is a great truth therein. What part of it we are able to see can only be determined by its effects. It must be measured by the amount of truth we have developed in ourselves.
This much I know and have proven autosuggestion or suggestion to self, the power of imagination, the Law of Demand, will build up your personality and increase your fortune; will make you contented and happy.
The best wish I can give you is that these old ideas as I have clothed them will do as much for you as they have done for me, and give you as much pleasure in the reading as has the writing given me.
According to your faith and works be it unto you.
Filed Under : Self Improvement Books
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