LESSON VII. THE CONCENTRATED MENTAL DEMAND
Source: The Power of Concentration
The Will To Do is the greatest power in the world that is
concerned with human accomplishment and no one can in advance
determine its limits.
The things that we do now would have been a few ages ago
impossibilities. Today the safe maxim is: "All things are
The Will To Do is a force that is strictly practical, yet it is
difficult to explain just what it is. It can be compared to
electricity because we know it only through its cause and
effects. It is a power we can direct and to just the extent we
direct it do we determine our future. Every time you accomplish
any definite act, consciously or unconsciously, you use the
principle of the Will. You can Will to do anything whether it is
right or wrong, and therefore the way you use your will makes a
big difference in your life.
Every person possesses some "Will To Do." It is the inner energy
which controls all conscious acts. What you will to do directs
your life forces. All habits, good or bad, are the result of what
you will to do. You improve or lower your condition in life by
what you will to do. Your will has a connection with all avenues
of knowledge, all activities, all accomplishment.
You probably know of cases where people have shown wonderful
strength under some excitement, similar to the following: The
house of a farmer's wife caught on fire. No one was around to
help her move anything. She was a frail woman, and ordinarily was
considered weak. On this occasion she removed things from the
house that it later took three men to handle. It was the "Will To
Do" that she used to accomplish her task.
Genius Is But A Will To Do Little Things With Infinite Pains.
Little Things Well Done Open The Door Of Opportunity For Bigger
The Will accomplishes its greater results through activities that
grow out of great concentration in acquiring the power of
voluntary attention to such an extent that we can direct it where
we will and hold it steadily to its task until our aim is
accomplished. When you learn so to use it, your Will Power
becomes a mighty force. Almost everything can be accomplished
through its proper use. It is greater than physical force because
it can be used to control not only physical but mental and moral
There are very few that possess perfectly developed and balanced
Will Power, but those who do easily crush out their weak
qualities. Study yourself carefully. Find out your greatest
weakness and then use your will power to overcome it. In this way
eradicate your faults, one by one, until you have built up a
strong character and personality.
Rules for Improvement. A desire arises. Now think whether this
would be good for you. If it is not, use your Will Power to kill
out the desire, but, on the other hand, if it is a righteous
desire, summon all your Will Power to your aid, crush all
obstacles that confront you and secure possession of the coveted
Slowness in Making Decisions. This is a weakness of Will Power.
You know you should do something, but you delay doing it through
lack of decision. It is easier not to do a certain thing than to
do it, but conscience says to do it. The vast majority of persons
are failures because of the lack of deciding to do a thing when
it should be done. Those that are successful have been quick to
grasp opportunities by making a quick decision. This power of
will can be used to bring culture, wealth and health.
Some Special Pointers. For the next week try to make quicker
decisions in your little daily affairs. Set the hour you wish to
get up and arise exactly at the fixed time. Anything that you
should accomplish, do on or ahead of time. You want, of course,
to give due deliberation to weighty matters, but by making quick
decisions on little things you will acquire the ability to make
quick decisions in bigger things. Never procrastinate. Decide
quickly one way or the other even at the risk of deciding wrong.
Practice this for a week or two and notice your improvement.
The Lack of Initiative. This, too, keeps many men from
succeeding. They have fallen into the way of imitating others in
all that they do. Very often we hear the expression, "He seems
clever enough, but he lacks initiative." Life for them is one
continuous grind. Day after day they go through the same
monotonous round of duties, while those that are "getting along"
are using their initiative to get greater fullness of life. There
is nothing so responsible for poverty as this lack of initiative,
this power to think and do for ourselves.
You Are as Good as Anyone. You have will power, and if you use
it, you will get your share of the luxuries of life. So use it to
claim your own. Don't depend on anyone else to help you. We have
to fight our own battles. All the world loves a fighter, while
the coward is despised by all.
Every person's problems are different, so I can only say "analyze
your opportunities and conditions and study your natural
abilities." Form plans for improvement and then put them into
operation. Now, as I said before, don't just say, "I am going to
do so and so," but carry your plan into execution. Don't make an
indefinite plan, but a definite one, and then don't give up until
your object has been accomplished. Put these suggestions into
practice with true earnestness, and you will soon note
astonishing results, and your whole life will be completely
changed. An excellent motto for one of pure motives is: Through
my will power I dare do what I want to. You will find this
affirmation has a very strengthening effect.
The Spirit of Perseverance. The spirit of "sticktoitiveness" is
the one that wins. Many go just so far and then give up, whereas,
if they had persevered a little longer, they would have won out.
Many have much initiative, but instead of concentrating it into
one channel, they diffuse it through several, thereby dissipating
it to such an extent that its effect is lost.
Develop more determination, which is only the Will To Do, and
when you start out to do something stick to it until you get
results. Of course, before starting anything you must look ahead
and see what the "finish leads to." You must select a road that
will lead to "somewhere," rather than "nowhere." The journey must
be productive of some kind of substantial results. The trouble
with so many young men is that they launch enterprises without
any end in sight. It is not so much the start as the finish of a
journey that counts. Each little move should bring you nearer the
goal which you planned to reach before the enterprise began.
Lack of Perseverance is nothing but the lack of the Will To Do.
It takes the same energy to say, "I will continue," as to say, "I
give up." Just the moment you say the latter you shut off your
dynamo, and your determination is gone. Every time you allow your
determination to be broken you weaken it. Don't forget this. Just
the instant you notice your determination beginning to weaken,
concentrate on it and by sheer Will Power make it continue on the
Never try to make a decision when you are not in a calm state of
mind. If in a "quick temper," you are likely to say things you
afterwards regret. In anger, you follow impulse rather than
reason. No one can expect to achieve success if he makes
decisions when not in full control of his mental forces.
Therefore make it a fixed rule to make decisions only when at
your best. If you have a "quick temper," you can quickly gain
control over it by simple rule of counting backwards. To count
backwards requires concentration, and you thus quickly regain a
calm state. In this way you can break the "temper habit."
It will do you a lot of good to think over what you said and
thought the last time you were angry. Persevere until you see
yourself as others see you. It would do no harm to write the
scene out in story form and then sit in judgment of the character
that played your part.
Special Instructions to Develop the Will To Do. This is a form of
mental energy, but requires the proper mental attitude to make it
manifest. We hear of people having wonderful will power, which
really is wrong. It should be said that they use their will power
while with many it is a latent force. I want you to realize that
no one has a monopoly on will power. There is plenty for all.
What we speak of as will power is but the gathering together of
mental energy, the concentration power at one point. So never
think of that person as having a stronger will than yours. Each
person will be supplied with just that amount of will power that
he demands. You don't have to develop will power if you
constantly make use of all you have, and remember the way in
which you use it determines your fate, for your life is moulded
to great extent by the use you make of your will. Unless you make
proper use of it you have neither independence nor firmness. You
are unable to control yourself and become a mere machine for
others to use. It is more important to learn to use your will
than to develop your intellect. The man that has not learned how
to use his will rarely decides things for himself, but allows his
resolutions to be changed by others. He fluctuates from one
opinion to another, and of course does not accomplish anything
out of the ordinary, while his brother with the trained will
takes his place among the world's leaders.
Next: LESSON VIII. CONCENTRATION GIVES MENTAL POISE
Previous: LESSON VI. THE TRAINING OF THE WILL TO DO