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,” instea
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