Man from a psychological standpoint of development is not what he

should be. He does not possess the self-mastery, the

self-directing power of concentration that is his by right.

He has not trained himself in a way to promote his self-mastery.

Every balanced mind possesses the faculties whose chief duties

are to engineer, direct and concentrate the operations of the

mind, both in a mental and physical sense. Man must learn to

control not only his mind but his bodily movements.

When the controlling faculties (autonomic) are in an untrained

condition, the impulses, passions, emotions, thoughts, actions

and habits of the person suffer from lack of regulation, and the

procedure of mental concentration is not good, not because the

mind is necessarily weak in the autonomic department of the

faculties, but because the mind is not properly trained.

When the self-regulating faculties are not developed the

impulses, appetites, emotions and passions have full swing to do

as they please and the mind becomes impulsive, restless,

emotional and irregular in its action. This is what makes mental

concentration poor.

When the self-guiding faculties are weak in development, the

person always lacks the power of mental concentration. Therefore

you cannot learn to concentrate until you develop those very

powers that qualify you to be able to concentrate. So if you

cannot concentrate one of the following is the cause:

1. "Deficiency of the motor centers."

2. "An impulsive and emotional mind."

3. "An untrained mind."

The last fault can soon be removed by systematic practice. It is

easiest to correct.

The impulsive and emotional state of mind can best be corrected

by restraining anger, passion and excitement, hatred, strong

impulses, intense emotions, fretfulness, etc. It is impossible to

concentrate when you are in any of these excited states.

These can be naturally decreased by avoiding such food and drinks

as have nerve weakening or stimulating influences, or a tendency

to stir up the passions, the impulses and the emotions; it is a

very good practice to watch and associate with those persons that

are steady, calm, controlled and conservative.

Correcting the deficiency of the motor centers is harder because

as the person's brain is undeveloped he lacks will power.

To cure this takes some time. Persons so afflicted may benefit by

reading and studying my course, "The Master Mind."[*]

[*] To be published by Advanced Thought Publishing Co., Chicago,


Many have the idea that when they get into a negative state they

are concentrating, but this is not so. They may be meditating,

though not concentrating. Those that are in a negative state a

good deal of the time cannot, as a rule, concentrate very well;

they develop instead abstraction of the mind, or absence of mind.

Their power of concentration becomes weaker and they find it

difficult to concentrate on anything. They very often injure the

brain, if they keep up this state. To be able to concentrate you

must possess strength of mind. The person that is feeble-minded

cannot concentrate his mind, because of lack of will. The mind

that cannot center itself on a special subject, or thought, is

weak; also the mind that cannot draw itself from a subject or

thought is weak. But the person that can center his mind on any

problem, no matter what it is, and remove any unharmonious

impressions has strength of mind. Concentration, first, last and

all the time, means strength of mind.

Through concentration a person is able to collect and hold his

mental and physical energies at work. A concentrated mind pays

attention to thoughts, words, acts and plans. The person who

allows his mind to roam at will will never accomplish a great

deal in the world. He wastes his energies. If you work, think,

talk and act aimlessly, and allow your brain to wander from your

subject to foreign fields, you will not be able to concentrate.

You concentrate at the moment when you say, "I want to, I can, I


Some Mistakes Some People Make. If you waste your time reading

sensational stories or worthless newspaper items, you excite the

impulsive and the emotional faculties, and this means you are

weakening your power of concentration. You will not be a free

engineer, able to pilot yourself to success.

Concentration of the mind can only be developed by watching

yourself closely. All kinds of development commence with close

attention. You should regulate your every thought and feeling.

When you commence to watch yourself and your own acts and also

the acts of other people, you use the faculties of autonomy, and,

as you continue to do so, you improve your faculties, until in

time you can engineer your every thought, wish and plan. To be

able to focalize the mind on the object at hand in a conscious

manner leads to concentration. Only the trained mind can

focalize. To hold a thought before it until all the faculties

shall have had time to consider that thought is concentration.

The person that cannot direct his thoughts, wishes, plans,

resolutions and studies cannot possibly succeed to the fullest

extent. The person that is impulsive one moment and calm the next

has not the proper control over himself. He is not a master of

his mind, nor of his thoughts, feelings and wishes. Such a person

cannot be a success. When he becomes irritated, he irritates

others and spoils all chances of any concerned doing their best.

But the person that can direct his energies and hold them at work

in a concentrated manner controls his every work and act, and

thereby gains power to control others. He can make his every move

serve a useful end and every thought a noble purpose.

In this day the man that gets excited and irritable should be

looked upon as an undesirable person. The person of good breeding

now speaks with slowness and deliberation. He is cultivating more

and more of a reposeful attitude. He is consciously attentive and

holds his mind to one thing at a time. He shuts out everything

else. When you are talking to anyone give him your sole and

undivided attention. Do not let your attention wander or be

diverted. Give no heed to anything else, but make your will and

intellect act in unison.

Start out in the morning and see how self-poised you can remain

all day. At times take an inventory of your actions during the

day and see if you have kept your determination. If not, see that

you do tomorrow. The more self-poised you are the better will

your concentration be. Never be in too much of a hurry; and,

remember, the more you improve your concentration, the greater

are your possibilities. Concentration means success, because you

are better able to govern yourself and centralize your mind; you

become more in earnest in what you do and this almost invariably

improves your chances for success.

When you are talking to a person have your own plans in mind.

Concentrate your strength upon the purpose you are talking about.

Watch his every move, but keep your own plans before you. Unless

you do, you will waste your energy and not accomplish as much as

you should.

I want you to watch the next person you see that has the

reputation of being a strong character, a man of force. Watch and

see what a perfect control he has over his body. Then I want you

to watch just an ordinary person. Notice how he moves his eyes,

arms, fingers; notice the useless expenditure of energy. These

movements all break down the vital cells and lessen the person's

power in vital and nerve directions. It is just as important for

you to conserve your nervous forces as it is the vital forces. As

an example we see an engine going along the track very smoothly.

Some one opens all the valves and the train stops. It is the same

with you. If you want to use your full amount of steam, you must

close your valves and direct your power of generating mental

steam toward one end. Center your mind on one purpose, one plan,

one transaction.

There is nothing that uses up nerve force so quickly as

excitement. This is why an irritable person is never magnetic; he

is never admired or loved; he does not develop those finer

qualities that a real gentleman possesses. Anger, sarcasm and

excitement weaken a person in this direction. The person that

allows himself to get excited will become nervous in time,

because he uses up his nerve forces and his vital energies. The

person that cannot control himself and keep from becoming excited

cannot concentrate.

When the mind can properly concentrate, all the energy of every

microscopic cell is directed into one channel and then there is a

powerful personal influence generated. Everyone possesses many

millions of little trembling cells, and each one of these has a

center where life and energy are stored up and generated. If this

energy is not wasted but conserved and controlled, this person is

influential, but when it is the opposite, he is not influential

or successful.

Just as it is impossible for a steam engine to run with all its

valves open, so is it impossible for you to waste your energy and

run at your top speed. Each neuron in the gray layers of the

brain is a psychic center of thought and action, each one is

pulsating an intelligent force of some kind, and when this force,

your thoughts and motions, are kept in cheek by a conservative,

systematic and concentrated mind, the result will be magnetism,

vitality and health. The muscles, bones, ligaments, feet, hands

and nerves, etc., are agents for carrying out the mandates of the

mind. The sole purpose of the volitional faculties is to move the

physical mechanism as the energy travels along the wires of

nerves and muscles. Just for that reason, if you throw a

voluntary control over these messages, impulses, thoughts,

emotions, physical movements and over these physical instruments

you develop your faculties of self-mastery and to the extent you

succeed here in proportion will you develop the power of


Any exercise or work that excites the mind, stimulates the

senses, calls the emotions and appetites into action, confuses,

terrifies or emotionalizes, weakens the power of concentration.

This is why all kind of excitement is bad. This is the reason why

persons who drink strong drinks, who allow themselves to get into

fits of temper, who fight, who eat stimulating food, who sing and

dance and thus develop their emotions, who are sudden, vehement

and emotional, lack the power to concentrate. But those whose

actions are slower and directed by their intelligence develop

concentration. Sometimes dogmatic, wilful, excitable persons can

concentrate, but it is spasmodic, erratic concentration instead

of controlled and uniform concentration. Their energy works by

spells; sometimes they have plenty, other times very little; it

is easily excited; easily wasted. The best way to understand it

is to compare it with the discharge of a gun. If the gun goes off

when you want it to, it accomplishes the purpose, but if it goes

off before you are ready for it, you will not only waste

ammunition, but it is also likely to do some damage. That is just

what most persons do. They allow their energy to explode, thus

not only wasting it but endangering others. They waste their

power, their magnetism and so injure their chance of success.

Such persons are never well liked and never will be until they

gain control over themselves.

It will be necessary for them to practice many different kinds of

concentration exercises, and to keep them up for some time. They

must completely overcome their sudden, erratic thoughts, and

regulate their emotions and movements. They must from morning to

night train the mind to be steady, and direct and keep the

energies at work.

The lower area of the brain is the store house of the energy.

Most all persons have all the dynamic energy they need if they

would concentrate it. They have the machine, but they must also

have the engineer, or they will not go very far. The engineer is

the self-regulating, directing power. The person that does not

develop his engineering qualities will not accomplish much in

life. The good engineer controls his every act. All work assists

in development. By what you do you either advance or degenerate.

This is a good idea to keep always in mind. When you are

uncertain whether you should do something or not, just think

whether by doing it you will grow or deteriorate, and act


I am a firm believer in "work when you work, and play when you

play." When you give yourself up to pleasure you can develop

concentration by thinking of nothing else but pleasure; when your

mind dwells on love, think of nothing but this and you will find

you can develop a more intense love than you ever had before.

When you concentrate your mind on the "you" or real self, and its

wonderful possibilities, you develop concentration and a higher

opinion of yourself. By doing this systematically, you develop

much power, because you cannot be systematic without

concentrating on what you are doing. When you walk out into the

country and inhale the fresh air, studying vegetation, trees,

etc., you are concentrating. When you see that you are at your

place of business at a certain time each morning you are

developing steadiness of habit and becoming systematic. If you

form the habit of being on time one morning, a little late the

next, and still later the following one, you are not developing

concentration, but whenever you fix your mind on a certain

thought and hold your mind on it at successive intervals, you

develop concentration.

If you hold your mind on some chosen object, you centralize your

attention, just like the lens of the camera centralizes on a

certain landscape. Therefore always hold your mind on what you

are doing, no matter what it is. Keep a careful watch over

yourself, for unless you do your improvement will be very slow.

Practice inhaling long, deep breaths, not simply for the

improvement of health, although that is no small matter, but also

for the purpose of developing more power, more love, more life.

All work assists in development.

You may think it foolish to try to develop concentration by

taking muscular exercises, but you must not forget that the mind

is associated with muscle and nerve. When you steady your nerves

and muscles, you steady your mind, but let your nerves get out of

order and your mind will become erratic and you will not possess

the power of direction, which, in other words, is concentration.

Therefore you understand how important exercises that steady the

nerves and muscles are in developing concentration.

Everyone is continually receiving impulses that must be directed

and controlled if one is to lead a successful life. That is the

reason why a person must control the movements of his eyes, feet,

fingers, etc.; this is another reason why it is important to

control his breathing. The slow, deep, prolonged exhalations are

of wonderful value. They steady the circulation, the heart

action, muscles and nerves of the mind. If the heart flutters,

the circulation is not regular, and when the lung action is

uneven, the mind becomes unsteady and not fit for concentration.

This is why controlled breathing is very important as a

foundation for physical health.

You must not only concentrate your mind, but also the action of

the eyes, ears and fingers. Each of these contain miniature minds

that are controlled by the master engineer. You will develop much

quicker if you thoroughly realize this.

If you have ever associated with big men, or read their

biographies, you will find that they usually let the others do

the talking. It is much easier to talk than it is to listen.

There is no better exercise for concentration than to pay close

attention when some one is talking. Besides learning from what

they have to say, you may develop both mental and physical


When you shake hands with some one just think of your hand as

containing hundreds of individual minds, each having an

intelligence of its own. When you put this feeling into your hand

shake it shows personality. When you shake hands in a listless

way, it denotes timidity, lack of force and power of personality.

When the hand grip is very weak and stiff, the person has little

love in his nature, no passion and no magnetism. When the hand

shake is just the opposite, you will find that the nature is

also. The loveless person is non-magnetic and he shows that he is

by his non-magnetic hand shake. When two developed souls shake

hands, their clasps are never light. There is a thrill that goes

through both when the two currents meet. Love arouses the

opposite currents of the positive and negative natures. When

there is no love, life loses its charm. The hand quickly shows

when love is being aroused. This is why you should study the art

of hand shaking and develop your social affections. A person that

loves his kind reflects love, but a person that hates reflects

hate. The person with a bad nature, a hateful disposition, evil

thoughts and feeling is erratic, freakish and fitful. When you

allow yourself to become irritable, watch how you breathe and you

will learn a valuable lesson. Watch how you breathe when you are

happy. Watch your breathing when you harbor hate. Watch how you

breathe when you feel in love with the whole world and noble

emotions thrill you. When filled with good thoughts, you breathe

a plentiful supply of oxygen into your lungs and love fills your

soul. Love develops a person, physically, mentally and socially.

Breathe deeply when you are happy and you will gain life and

strength; you will steady your mind and you will develop your

power of concentration and become magnetic and powerful.

If you want to get more out of life you must think more of love.

Unless you have real affection for something, you have no

sentiment, no sweetness, no magnetism. So arouse your love

affections by your will and enter into a fuller life.

The hand of love always magnetizes, but it must be steady and

controlled. Love can be concentrated in your hand shake, and this

is one of the best ways to influence another.

The next time you feel yourself becoming irritable, use your will

and be patient. This is a very good exercise in self-control. It

will help you to keep patient if you will breathe slowly and

deeply. If you find you are commencing to speak fast, just

control yourself and speak slowly and clearly. Keep from either

raising or lowering your voice and concentrate on the fact that

you are determined to keep your poise, and you will improve your

power of concentration.

When you meet people of some consequence, assume a reposeful

attitude before them. Do this at all times. Watch both them and

yourself. Static exercises develop the motor faculties and

increase the power of concentration. If you feel yourself getting

irritable, nervous or weak, stand squarely on your feet with your

chest up and inhale deeply and you will see that your

irritability will disappear and a silent calm will pass over you.

If you are in the habit of associating with nervous, irritable

people, quit it until you grow strong in the power of

concentration, because irritable, angry, fretful, dogmatic and

disagreeable people will weaken what powers of resistance you


Any exercises that give you better control of the ears, fingers,

eyes, feet, help you to steady your mind; when your eye is

steady, your mind is steady. One of the best ways to study a

person is to watch his physical movements, for, when we study his

actions, we are studying his mind. Because actions are the

expressions of the mind. As the mind is, so is the action. If it

is uneasy, restless, erratic, unsteady, its actions are the same.

When it is composed, the mind is composed. Concentration means

control of the mind and body. You cannot secure control over one

without the other.

Many people who seem to lack ambition have sluggish minds. They

are steady, patient and seemingly have good control, but this

does not say they are able to concentrate. These people are

indolent, inactive, slow and listless, because they lack energy;

they do not lose control because they have little force to

control. They have no temper and it therefore cannot disturb

them. Their actions are steady because they possess little

energy. The natural person is internally strong, energetic and

forceful, but his energy, force and strength, thoughts and

physical movements are well under his control.

If a person does not have energy, both mental and physical, he

must develop it. If he has energy which he cannot direct and hold

to a point he must learn to do so. A man may be very capable,

but, unless he Wills to control his abilities, they will not do

him any good.

We hear so much talk about the benefit of physical culture, but

the real benefit of this is really lost sight of. There is

nothing that holds the faculties at work in a sustained and

continuous manner as static exercises do. For, as stated before,

when you learn to control the body, you are gaining control over

the mind.