LESSON XIII. YOU CAN CONCENTRATE, BUT WILL YOU?
Source: The Power of Concentration
It was never intended that man should be poor. When wealth is
obtained under the proper conditions it broadens the life.
Everything has its value. Everything has a good use and a bad
use. The forces of mind like wealth can be directed either for
good or evil. A little rest will re-create forces. Too much rest
degenerates into laziness, and brainless, dreamy longings.
If you acquire wealth unjustly from others, you are misusing your
forces; but if your wealth comes through the right sources you
will be blessed. Through wealth we can do things to uplift
ourselves and humanity.
Wealth is many persons' goal. It therefore stimulates their
endeavor. They long for it in order to dress and live in such a
way as to attract friends. Without friends they would not be so
particular of their surroundings. The fact is the more attractive
we make ourselves and our surroundings the more inspiring are
their influences. It is not conducive to proper thought to be
surrounded by conditions that are uncongenial and unpleasant.
So the first step toward acquiring wealth is to surround yourself
with helpful influences; to claim for yourself an environment of
culture, place yourself in it and be molded by its influences.
Most great men of all ages have been comparatively rich. They
have made or inherited money. Without money they could not have
accomplished what they did. The man engaged in physical drudgery
is not likely to have the same high ideals as the man that can
command comparative leisure.
Wealth is usually the fruit of achievement. It is not, however,
altogether the result of being industrious. Thousands of persons
work hard who never grow wealthy. Others with much less effort
acquire wealth. Seeing possibilities is another step toward
acquiring wealth. A man may be as industrious as he can possibly
be, but if he does not use his mental forces he will be a
laborer, to be directed by the man that uses to good advantage
his mental forces.
No one can become wealthy in an ordinary lifetime, by mere
savings from earnings. Many scrimp and economize all their lives;
but by so doing waste all their vitality and energy. For example,
I know a man that used to walk to work. It took him an hour to go
and an hour to return. He could have taken a car and gone in
twenty minutes. He saved ten cents a day but wasted an hour and a
half. It was not a very profitable investment unless the time
spent in physical exercise yielded him large returns in the way
The same amount of time spent in concentrated effort to overcome
his unfavorable business environment might have firmly planted
his feet in the path of prosperity.
One of the big mistakes made by many persons of the present
generation is that they associate with those who fail to call out
or develop the best that is in them. When the social side of life
is developed too exclusively, as it often is, and recreation or
entertainment becomes the leading motive of a person's life, he
acquires habits of extravagance instead of economy; habits of
wasting his resources, physical, mental, moral and spiritual,
instead of conserving them. He is, in consequence, lacking in
proper motivation, his God-given powers and forces are
undeveloped and he inevitably brings poor judgment to bear upon
all the higher relationships of life, while, as to his financial
fortunes, he is ever the leaner; often a parasite, and always, if
opportunity affords, as heavy a consumer as he is a poor
It seems a part of the tragedy of life that these persons have to
be taught such painful lessons before they can understand the
forces and laws that regulate life. Few profit by the mistakes of
others. They must experience them for themselves and then apply
the knowledge so gained in reconstructing their lives.
Any man that has ever amounted to anything has never done a great
deal of detail work for long periods at any given time. He needs
his time to reflect. He does not do his duties today in the same
way as yesterday, but as the result of deliberate and
concentrated effort, constantly tries to improve his methods.
The other day I attended a lecture on Prosperity. I knew the
lecturer had been practically broke for ten years. I wanted to
hear what he had to say. He spoke very well. He no doubt
benefited some of his hearers, but he had not profited by his own
teachings. I introduced myself and asked him if he believed in
his maxims. He said he did. I asked him if they had made him
prosperous. He said not exactly. I asked him why. He answered
that he thought he was fated not to experience prosperity.
In half an hour I showed that man why poverty had always been his
companion. He had dressed poorly. He held his lectures in poor
surroundings. By his actions and beliefs he attracted poverty. He
did not realize that his thoughts and his surroundings exercised
an unfavorable influence. I said: "Thoughts are moving forces;
great powers. Thoughts of wealth attract wealth. Therefore, if
you desire wealth you must attract the forces that will help you
to secure it. Your thoughts attract a similar kind of thoughts.
If you hold thoughts of poverty you attract poverty. If you make
up your mind you are going to be wealthy, you will instil this
thought into all your mental forces, and you will at the same
time use every external condition to help you."
Many persons are of the opinion that if you have money it is easy
to make more money. But this is not necessarily true. Ninety per
cent of the men that start in business fail. Money will not
enable one to accumulate much more, unless he is trained to seek
and use good opportunities for its investment. If he inherits
money the chances are that he will lose it. While, if he has made
it, he not only knows its value, but has developed the power to
use it as well as to make more if he loses it.
Business success today depends on foresight, good judgment, grit,
firm resolution and settled purpose. But never forget that
thought is as real a force as electricity. Let your thoughts be
such, that you will send out as good as you receive; if you do
not, you are not enriching others, and therefore deserve not to
The man that tries to get all he can from others for nothing
becomes so selfish and mean that he does not even enjoy his
acquisitions. We see examples of this every day. What we take
from others, will in turn, be taken from us. All obligations have
to be met fairly and squarely. We cannot reach perfection until
we discharge every obligation of our lives. We all realize this,
so why not willingly give a fair exchange for all that we
Again I repeat that the first as well as the last step in
acquiring wealth is to surround yourself with good
influences--good thought, good health, good home and business
environment and successful business associates. Cultivate, by
every legitimate means, the acquaintance of men of big caliber.
Bring your thought vibrations in regard to business into harmony
with theirs. This will make your society not only agreeable, but
sought after, and, when you have formed intimate friendships with
clean, reputable men of wealth, entrust to them, for investment,
your surplus earnings, however small, until you have developed
the initiative and business acumen to successfully manage your
own investments. By this time you will, through such
associations, have found your place in life which, if you have
rightly concentrated upon and used your opportunities, will not
be among men of small parts. With a competence secured, you will
take pleasure in using a part of it in making the road you
traveled in reaching your position easier for those who follow
There is somewhere in every brain the energy that will get you
out of that rut and put you far up on the mountain of success if
you can only use the energy.
You know that gasoline in the engine of an automobile doesn't
move the car until the spark comes to explode the gasoline.
So it is with the mind of man. We are not speaking now of men of
great genius, but of average, able citizens.
Each one of them has in his brain the capacity to climb over the
word impossible and get into the successful country beyond.
And hope, self-confidence and the determination to do something
supply the spark that makes the energy work.
Next: LESSON XIV. THE ART OF CONCENTRATING BY MEANS OF PRACTICAL
Previous: LESSON XII. CONCENTRATE ON WEALTH