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LESSON XIV. THE ART OF CONCENTRATING BY MEANS OF PRACTICAL








Source: The Power of Concentration


All have the ability to concentrate, but will you? You can, but
whether you will or not depends on you. It is one thing to be
able to do something, and another thing to do it. There is far
more ability not used than is used. Why do not more men of
ability make something of themselves? There are comparatively few
successful men but many ambitious ones. Why do not more get
along? Cases may differ, but the fault is usually their own. They
have had chances, perhaps better ones than some others that have
made good.

What would you like to do, that you are not doing? If you think
you should be "getting on" better, why don't you? Study yourself
carefully. Learn your shortcomings. Sometimes only a mere trifle
keeps one from branching out and becoming a success. Discover why
you have not been making good--the cause of your failure. Have
you been expecting someone to lead you, or to make a way for you?
If you have, concentrate on a new line of thought.

There are two things absolutely necessary for success--energy and
the will to succeed. Nothing can take the place of either of
these. Most of us will not have an easy path to follow so don't
expect to find one. The hard knocks develop our courage and moral
stamina. The persons that live in an indolent and slipshod way
never have any. They have never faced conditions and therefore
don't know how. The world is no better for their living.

We must make favorable conditions and not expect them to shape
themselves. It is not the man that says, "It can't be done," but
the man that goes ahead in spite of adverse advice, and shows
that "it can be done" that "gets there" today. "The Lord helps
those that help themselves," is a true saying. We climb the road
to success by overcoming obstacles. Stumbling blocks are but
stepping stones for the man that says, "I can and I Will." When
we see cripples, the deaf and dumb, the blind and those with
other handicaps amounting to something in the world, the
able-bodied man should feel ashamed of himself if he does not
make good.

There is nothing that can resist the force of perseverance. The
way ahead of all of us is not clear sailing, but all hard
passages can be bridged, if you just think they can and
concentrate on how to do it. But if you think the obstacles are
unsurmountable, you will not of course try, and even if you do,
it will be in only a half-hearted way--a way that accomplishes
nothing.

Many men will not begin an undertaking unless they feel sure they
will succeed in it. What a mistake! This would be right, if we
were sure of what we could and could not do. But who knows? There
may be an obstruction there now that might not be there next
week. There may not be an obstruction there now that will be
there next week. The trouble with most persons is that just as
soon as they see their way blocked they lose courage. They forget
that usually there is a way around the difficulty. It's up to you
to find it. If you tackle something with little effort, when the
conditions call for a big effort, you will of course not win.
Tackle everything with a feeling that you will utilize all the
power within you to make it a success. This is the kind of
concentrated effort that succeeds.

Most people are beaten before they start. They think they are
going to encounter obstacles, and they look for them instead of
for means to overcome them. The result is that they increase
their obstacles instead of diminishing them. Have you ever
undertaken something that you thought would be hard, but
afterwards found it to be easy? That is the way a great many
times. The things that look difficult in advance turn out to be
easy of conquest when once encountered. So start out on your
journey with the idea that the road is going to be clear for you,
and that if it is not you will clear the way. All men that have
amounted to anything have cleared their way and they did not have
the assistance that you will have today.

The one great keynote of success is to do whatever you have
decided on. Don't be turned from your path, but resolve that you
are going to accomplish what you set out to do. Don't be
frightened at a few rebuffs, for they cannot stop the man that is
determined--the man that knows in his heart that success is only
bought by tremendous resolution, by concentrated and
whole-hearted effort.

"He who has a firm will," says Goethe, "molds the world to
himself."

"People do not lack strength," says Victor Hugo; "they lack
Will."

It is not so much skill that wins victories as it is activity and
great determination There is no such thing as failure for the man
that does his best. No matter what you may be working at, at the
present time, don't let this make you lose courage. The tides are
continually changing, and tomorrow or some other day they will
turn to your advantage if you are a willing and are an ambitious
worker. There is nothing that develops you and increases your
courage like work. If it were not for work how monotonous life
would at last become!

So I say to the man that wants to advance, "Don't look upon your
present position as your permanent one. Keep your eyes open, and
add those qualities to your makeup that will assist you when your
opportunity comes. Be ever alert and on the watch for
opportunities. Remember, we attract what we set our minds on. If
we look for opportunities, we find them.

If you are the man you should be, some one is looking for you to
fill a responsible position. So when he finds you, don't let your
attention wander. Give it all to him. Show that you can
concentrate your powers, that you have the makeup of a real man.
Show no signs of fear, uncertainty or doubt. The man that is sure
of himself is bound to get to the front. No circumstances can
prevent him.





Next: LESSON XV. CONCENTRATE SO YOU WILL NOT FORGET

Previous: LESSON XIII. YOU CAN CONCENTRATE, BUT WILL YOU?



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