Select some thought, and see how long you can hold your mind on

it. It is well to have a clock at first and keep track of the

time. If you decide to think about health, you can get a great

deal of good from your thinking besides developing concentration.

Think of health as being the greatest blessing there is, in the

world. Don't let any other thought drift in. Just the moment one

starts to obtrude, make it get out.

Make it a daily habit of concentrating on this thought for, say,

ten minutes. Practice until you can hold it to the exclusion of

everything else. You will find it of the greatest value to

centralize your thoughts on health. Regardless of your present

condition, see yourself as you would like to be and be blind to

everything else. You will find it hard at first to forget your

ailments, if you have any, but after a short while you can shut

out these negative thoughts and see yourself as you want to be.

Each time you concentrate you form a more perfect image of

health, and, as you come into its realization, you become

healthy, strong and wholesome.

I want to impress upon your mind that the habit of forming mental

images is of the greatest value. It has always been used by

successful men of all ages, but few realize its full importance.

Do you know that you are continually acting according to the

images you form? If you allow yourself to mould negative images

you unconsciously build a negative disposition. You will think of

poverty, weakness, disease, fear, etc. Just as surely as you

think of these will your objective life express itself in a like

way. Just what we think, we will manifest in the external world.

In deep concentration you become linked with the great creative

spirit of the universe, and the creative energy then flows

through you, vitalizing your creations into form. In deep

concentration your mind becomes attuned with the infinite and

registers the cosmic intelligence and receives its messages. You

become so full of the cosmic energy that you are literally

flooded with divine power. This is a most desired state. It is

then we realize the advantages of being connected with the

supra-consciousness. The supra-consciousness registers the higher

cosmic vibrations. It is often referred to as the wireless

station, the message recorded coming from the universal mind.

There are very few that reach this stage of concentration. Very

few even know that it is possible. They think concentration means

limitation to one subject, but this deeper concentration that

brings us into harmony with the Infinite is that which produces

and maintains health.

When you have once come in contact with your supra-consciousness

you become the controller of your human thoughts. That which

comes to you is higher than human thoughts. It is often spoken of

as Cosmic Consciousness. Once it is experienced it is never

forgotten. Naturally it requires a good deal of training to reach

this state, but once you do, it becomes easier each time to do,

and in the course of time you can become possessed of power which

was unknown to you before. You are able to direct the expression

of almost Infinite Power while in this deeper state of


Exercises In Concentration. The rays of the sun, when focused

upon an object by means of a sun glass, produce a heat many times

greater than the scattered rays of the same source of light and

heat. This is true of attention. Scatter it and you get but

ordinary results. But center it upon one thing and you secure

much better results. When you focus your attention upon an object

your every action, voluntary and involuntary, is in the direction

of attaining that object. If you will focus your energies upon a

thing to the exclusion of everything else, you generate the force

that can bring you what you want.

When you focus your thought, you increase its strength. The

exercises that follow are tedious and monotonous, but useful. If

you will persist in them you will find they are very valuable, as

they increase your powers of concentration.

Before proceeding with the exercises I will answer a question

that just comes to me. This person says after he works all day he

is too tired to practice any exercise. But this is not true. We

will say he comes home all tired out, eats his supper and sits

down to rest. If his work has been mental, the thought which has

been occupying his mind returns to him and this prevents him from

securing the rest he needs.

It is an admitted fact that certain thoughts call into operation

a certain set of brain cells; the other cells, of course, are not

busy at that time and are rested. Now if you take up something

that is just different from what you have been doing during the

day, you will use the cells that have not done anything and give

those that have had work to do a rest. So you should regulate the

evenings that you have and call forth an entirely different line

of thought so as not to use the cells which you have tired out

during the day. If you will center your attention on a new

thought, you relieve the old cells from vibrating with excitement

and they get their needed rest. The other cells that have been

idle all day want to work, and you will find you can enjoy your

evenings while securing needed rest.

When once you have learned to master your thoughts, you will be

able to change them just as easily as you change your clothes.

Remember, the real requisite of centering is to be able to shut

out outside thoughts--anything foreign to the subject. Now, in

order to control your intention first gain control over the body.

This must be brought under direct control of the mind; the mind

under the control of the will. Your will is strong enough to do

anything you wish, but you must realize that it is. The mind can

be greatly strengthened by being brought under the direct

influence of the will. When the mind is properly strengthened by

the impulse of the will it becomes a more powerful transmitter of

thought, because it has more force.

The Best Time to Concentrate Is after reading something that is

inspiring, as you are then mentally and spiritually exalted in

the desired realm. Then is the time you are ready for deep

concentration. If you are in your room first see that your

windows are up and the air is good. Lie down flat on your bed

without a pillow. See that every muscle is relaxed. Now breathe

slowly, filling the lungs comfortably full of fresh air; hold

this as long as you can without straining yourself; then exhale

slowly. Exhale in an easy, rhythmic way. Breathe this way for

five minutes, letting the Divine Breath flow through you, which

will cleanse and rejuvenate every cell of brain and body.

You are then ready to proceed. Now think how quiet and relaxed

you are. You can become enthusiastic over your condition. Just

think of yourself as getting ready to receive knowledge that is

far greater than you have ever received before. Now relax and let

the spirit work in and through you and assist you to accomplish

what you wish.

Don't let any doubts or fears enter. Just feel that what you wish

is going to manifest. Just feel it already has, in reality it

has, for just the minute you wish a thing to be done it manifests

in the thought world. Whenever you concentrate just believe it is

a success. Keep up this feeling and allow nothing to interfere

and you will soon find you have become the master of

concentration. You will find that this practice will be of

wonderful value to you, and that rapidly you will be learning to

accomplish anything that you undertake.

It will be necessary to first train the body to obey the commands

of the mind. I want you to gain control of your muscular

movements. The following exercise is especially good in assisting

you to acquire perfect control of the muscles.

Exercise 1

Sit in a comfortable chair and see how still you can keep. This

is not as easy as it seems. You will have to center your

attention on sitting still. Watch and see that you are not making

any involuntary muscular movements. By a little practice you will

find you are able to sit still without a movement of the muscles

for fifteen minutes. At first I advise sitting in a relaxed

position for five minutes. After you are able to keep perfectly

still, increase the time to ten minutes and then to fifteen. This

is as long as it is necessary. But never strain yourself to keep

still. You must be relaxed completely. You will find this habit

of relaxing is very good.

Exercise 2

Sit in a chair with your head up and your chin out, shoulders

back. Raise your right arm until it is on the level with your

shoulder, pointing to your right. Look around, with head only,

and fix your gaze on your fingers, and keep the arm perfectly

still for one minute. Do the same exercise with left arm. When

you are able to keep the arm perfectly steady, increase the time

until you are able to do this five minutes with each arm. Turn

the palm of the hand downward when it is outstretched, as this is

the easiest position. If you will keep your eyes fixed on the

tips of the fingers you will be able to tell if you are keeping

your arm perfectly still.

Exercise 3

Fill a small glass full of water, and grasp it by the fingers;

put the arm directly in front of you. Now fix the eyes upon the

glass and try to keep the arm so steady that no movement will be

noticeable. Do this first for one moment and then increase it to

five. Do the exercise with first one arm and then the other.

Exercise 4

Watch yourself during the day and see that your muscles do not

become tense or strained. See how easy and relaxed you can keep

yourself. See how poised you can be at all times. Cultivate a

self-poised manner, instead of a nervous, strained appearance.

This mental feeling will improve your carriage and demeanor. Stop

all useless gestures and movements of the body. These mean that

you have not proper control over your body. After you have

acquired this control, notice how "ill-at-ease" people are that

have not gained this control. I have just been sizing up a

salesman that has just left me. Part of his body kept moving all

the time. I just felt like saying to him, "Do you know how much

better appearance you would make if you would just learn to speak

with your voice instead of trying to express what you say with

your whole body?" Just watch those that interview you and see how

they lack poise.

Get rid of any habit you have of twitching or jerking any part of

your body. You will find you make many involuntary movements. You

can quickly stop any of these by merely centering your attention

on the thought, "I will not."

If you are in the habit of letting noises upset you, just

exercise control; when the door slams, or something falls, etc.,

just think of these as exercises in self-control. You will find

many exercises like this in your daily routine.

The purpose of the above exercises is to gain control over the

involuntary muscular movement, making your actions entirely

voluntary. The following exercises are arranged to bring your

voluntary muscles under the control of the will, so that your

mental forces may control your muscular movements.

Exercise 5

Move your chair up to a table, placing your hands upon it,

clenching the fists, keeping the back of the hand on the table,

the thumb doubled over the fingers. Now fix your gaze upon the

fist for a while, then gradually extend the thumb, keeping your

whole attention fixed upon the act, just as if it was a matter of

great importance. Then gradually extend your first finger, then

your second and so on until you open the rest. Then reverse the

process, closing first the last one opened and then the rest, and

finally you will have the fist again in the original position

with the thumb closed over the finger. Do this exercise with the

left hand. Keep up this exercise first with one hand and then the

other until you have done it five times with each hand. In a few

days you can increase it to ten times.

The chances are that the above exercises will at first make you

"tired," but it is important for you to practice these monotonous

exercises so you can train your attention. It also gives you

control over your muscular movement. The attention, of course,

must be kept closely on each movement of the hand; if it is not,

you of course lose the value of the exercise.

Exercise 6

Put the right hand on knee, both fingers and thumb closed, except

the first finger, which points out in front of you. Then move the

finger slowly from side to side, keeping the attention fixed upon

the end of the finger. You can make up a variety of exercises

like these. It is good training to plan out different ones. The

main point you should keep in mind is that the exercise should be

simple and that the attention should be firmly fixed upon the

moving part of the body. You will find your attention will not

want to be controlled and will try to drift to something more

interesting. This is just where these exercises are of value, and

you must control your attention and see it is held in the right

place and does not wander away.

You may think these exercises very simple and of no value, but I

promise you in a short time you will notice that you have a much

better control over your muscular movements, carriage and

demeanor, and you will find that you have greatly improved your

power of attention, and can center your thoughts on what you do,

which of course will be very valuable.

No matter what you may be doing, imagine that it is your chief

object in life. Imagine you are not interested in anything else

in the world but what you are doing. Do not let your attention

get away from the work you are at. Your attention will no doubt

be rebellious, but control it and do not let it control you. When

once you conquer the rebellious attention you have achieved a

greater victory than you can realize at the time. Many times

afterwards you will be thankful you have learned to concentrate

your closest attention upon the object at hand.

Let no day go by without practicing concentrating on some

familiar object that is uninteresting. Never choose an

interesting object, as it requires less attention. The less

interesting it is the better exercise will it be. After a little

practice you will find you can center your attention on

uninteresting subjects at will.

The person that can concentrate can gain full control over his

body and mind and be the master of his inclinations; not their

slave. When you can control yourself you can control others. You

can develop a Will that will make you a giant compared with the

man that lacks Will Power. Try out your Will Power in different

ways until you have it under such control that just as soon as

you decide to do a thing you go ahead and do it. Never be

satisfied with the "I did fairly well" spirit, but put forward

your best efforts. Be satisfied with nothing else. When you have

gained this you are the man you were intended to be.

Exercise 7

Concentration Increases the Sense of Smell. When you take a walk,

or drive in the country, or pass a flower garden, concentrate on

the odor of flowers and plants. See how many different kinds you

can detect. Then choose one particular kind and try to sense only

this. You will find that this strongly intensifies the sense of

smell. This differentiation requires, however, a peculiarly

attentive attitude. When sense of smell is being developed, you

should not only shut out from the mind every thought but that of

odor, but you should also shut out cognizance of every odor save

that upon which your mind, for the time, is concentrated.

You call find plenty of opportunity for exercises for developing

the sense of smell. When you are out in the air, be on the alert

for the different odors. You will find the air laden with all

kinds, but let your concentration upon the one selected be such

that a scent of its fragrance in after years will vividly recall

the circumstances of this exercise.

The object of these exercises is to develop concentrated

attention, and you will find that you can, through their

practice, control your mind and direct your thoughts just the

same as you can your arm.

Exercise 8

Concentration on the Within. Lie down and thoroughly relax your

muscles. Concentrate on the beating of your heart. Do not pay any

attention to anything else. Think how this great organ is pumping

the blood to every part of the body; try to actually picture the

blood leaving the great reservoir and going in one stream right

down to the toes. Picture another going down the arms to the tips

of the fingers. After a little practice you can actually feel the

blood passing through your system.

If, at any time, you feel weak in any part of the body, will that

an extra supply of blood shall go there. For instance, if your

eyes feel tired, picture the blood coming from the heart, passing

up through the head and out to the eyes. You can wonderfully

increase your strength by this exercise. Men have been able to

gain such control over the heart that they have actually stopped

it from beating for five minutes. This, however, is not without

danger, and is not to be practiced by the novice.

I have found the following a very helpful exercise to take just

before going to bed and on rising in the morning: Say to

yourself, "Every cell in my body thrills with life; every part of

my body is strong and healthy." I have known a number of people

to greatly improve their health in this way. You become what you

picture yourself to be. If your mind thinks of sickness in

connection with self you will be sick. If you imagine yourself in

strong, vigorous health, the image will be realized. You will be


Exercise 9

Concentrating on Sleep. What is known as the water method is,

although very simple, very effective in inducing sleep.

Put a full glass of clear water on a table in your sleeping room.

Sit in a chair beside the table and gaze into the glass of water

and think how calm it is. Then picture yourself , getting into

just as calm a state. In a short time you will find the nerves

becoming quiet and you will be able to go to sleep. Sometimes it

is good to picture yourself becoming drowsy to induce sleep, and,

again, the most persistent insomnia has been overcome by one

thinking of himself as some inanimate object--for instance, a

hollow log in the depths of the cool, quiet forest.

Those who are troubled with insomnia will find these sleep

exercises that quiet the nerves very effective. Just keep the

idea in your mind that there is no difficulty in going to sleep;

banish all fear of insomnia. Practice these exercises and you

will sleep.

By this time you should have awakened to the possibilities of

concentration and have become aware of the important part it

plays in your life.

Exercise 10

Concentration Will Save Energy and Appearance. Watch yourself and

see if you are not in the habit of moving your hands, thumping

something with your fingers or twirling your mustache. Some have

the habit of keeping their feet going, as, for instance, tapping

them on the floor. Practice standing before a mirror and see if

you are in the habit of frowning or causing wrinkles to appear in

the forehead. Watch others and see how they needlessly twist

their faces in talking. Any movement of the face that causes the

skin to wrinkle will eventually cause a permanent wrinkle. As the

face is like a piece of silk, you can make a fold in it a number

of times and it will straighten out of itself, but, if you

continue to make a fold in it, it will in time be impossible to

remove it.

By Concentration You Can Stop the Worry Habit. If you are in the

habit of worrying over the merest trifles, just concentrate on

this a few minutes and see bow needless it is; if you are also in

the habit of becoming irritable or nervous at the least little

thing, check yourself instantly when you feel yourself becoming

so; start to breathe deeply; say, "I will not be so weak; I am

master of myself," and you will quickly overcome your condition.

Exercise 11

By Concentration You Can Control Your Temper. If you are one of

those that flare up at the slightest "provocation" and never try

to control yourself, just think this over a minute. Does it do

you any good? Do you gain anything by it? Doesn't it put you out

of poise for some time? Don't you know that this grows on you and

will eventually make you despised by all that have any dealings

with you? Everyone makes mistakes and, instead of becoming angry

at their perpetrators, just say to them, "Be more careful next

time." This thought will be impressed on them and they will be

more careful. But, if you continually complain about their making

a mistake, the thought of a mistake is impressed on them and they

will be more likely to make mistakes in the future. All lack of

self-control can be conquered if you will but learn to


Many of you that read this may think you are not guilty of either

of these faults, but if you will carefully watch yourself you

will probably find that you are, and, if so, you will be greatly

helped by repeating this affirmation each morning:

"I am going to try today not to make a useless gesture or to

worry over trifles, or become nervous or irritable. I intend to

be calm, and, no difference what may be the circumstances, I will

control myself. Henceforth I resolve to be free from all signs

that show lack of self-control."

At night quickly review your actions during the day and see how

fully you realized your aim. At first you will, of course, have

to plead guilty of violation a few times, but keep on, and you

will soon find that you can live up to your ideal. After you have

once gained self-control, however, don't relinquish it. For some

time it will still be necessary to repeat the affirmation in the

morning and square your conduct with it in the evening. Keep up

the good work until, at last, the habit of self-control is so

firmly fixed that you could not break it even though you tried.

I have had many persons tell me that this affirmation and daily

review made a wonderful difference in their lives. You, too, will

notice the difference if you live up to these instructions.

Exercise 12.

Practice Talking Before a Glass. Make two marks on your mirror on

a level with your eyes, and think of them as two human eyes

looking into yours. Your eyes will probably blink a little at

first. Do not move your head, but stand erect. Concentrate all

your thoughts on keeping your head perfectly still. Do not let

another thought come into your mind. Then, still keeping the

head, eyes and body still, think that you look like a reliable

man or woman should; like a person that anyone would have

confidence in. Do not let your appearance be such as to justify

the remark, "I don't like his appearance. I don't believe he can

be trusted."

While standing before the mirror practice deep breathing. See

that there is plenty of fresh air in the room, and that you are

literally feasting on it. You will find that, as it permeates

every cell, your timidity will disappear. It has been replaced by

a sense of peace and power.

The one that stands up like a man and has control over the

muscles of his face and eyes always commands attention. In his

conversation, he can better impress those with whom he comes in

contact. He acquires a feeling of calmness and strength that

causes opposition to melt away before it.

Three minutes a day is long enough for the practice of this


Look at the clock before you commence the exercise, and if you

find you can prolong the exercise for more than five minutes do

so. The next day sit in a chair and, without looking at the

picture, concentrate on it and see if you cannot think of

additional details concerning it. The chances are you will be

able to think of many more. It might be well for you to write

down all you thought of the first day, and then add to the list

each new discovery. You will find that this is a very excellent

exercise in concentration.

Exercise 13

The Control of Sensations. Think how you would feel if you were

cool; then how you would feel if you were cold; again, how you

would feel if it were freezing. In this state you would be

shivering all over. Now think of just the opposite conditions;

construct such a vivid image of heat that you are able to

experience the sensation of heat even in the coldest atmosphere.

It is possible to train your imagination until you do this, and

it can then be turned to practical account in making undesirable

conditions bearable.

You can think of many very good exercises like this. For

instance, if you feel yourself getting hungry or thirsty and for

any reason you do not wish to eat, do not think of how hungry or

thirsty you are, but just visualize yourself as finishing a

hearty meal. Again, when you experience pain, do not increase it

by thinking about it, but do something to divert your attention,

and the pain will seem to decrease. If you will start practicing

along this line systematically you will soon gain a wonderful

control over the things that affect your physical comfort.

Exercise 14

The Eastern Way of Concentrating. Sit in a chair with a high back

in upright position. Press one finger against the right nostril.

Now take a long, deep breath, drawing the breath in gently as you

count ten; then expel the breath through the right nostril as you

count ten. Repeat this exercise with the opposite nostril. This

exercise should be done at least twenty times at each sitting.

Exercise 15

Controlling Desires. Desire, which is one of the hardest forces

to control, will furnish you with excellent exercises in

concentration. It seems natural to want to tell others what you

know; but, by learning to control these desires, you can

wonderfully strengthen your powers of concentration. Remember,

you have all you can do to attend to your own business. Do not

waste your time in thinking of others or in gossiping about them.

If, from your own observation, you learn something about another

person that is detrimental, keep it to yourself. Your opinion may

afterwards turn out to be wrong anyway, but whether right or

wrong, you have strengthened your will by controlling your desire

to communicate your views.

If you hear good news resist the desire to tell it to the first

person you meet and you will be benefited thereby. It will

require the concentration of all your powers of resistance to

prohibit the desire to tell. After you feel that you have

complete control over your desires you can then tell your news.

But you must be able to suppress the desire to communicate the

news until you are fully ready to tell it. Persons that do not

possess this power of control over desires are apt to tell things

that they should not, thereby often involving both themselves and

others in needless trouble.

If you are in the habit of getting excited when you hear

unpleasant news, just control yourself and receive it without any

exclamation of surprise. Say to yourself, "Nothing is going to

cause me to lose my self-control. You will find from experience

that this self-control will be worth much to you in business. You

will be looked upon as a cool-headed business man, and this in

time becomes a valuable business asset. Of course, circumstances

alter cases. At times it is necessary to become enthused. But be

ever on the lookout for opportunities for the practice of

self-control. "He that ruleth his spirit is greater than he that

ruleth a city."

Exercise 16

When You Read. No one can think without first concentrating his

thoughts on the subject in hand. Every man and woman should train

himself to think clearly. An excellent exercise is to read some

short story and then write just an abridged statement. Read an

article in a newspaper, and see in how few words you can express

it. Reading an article to get only the essentials requires the

closest concentration. If you are unable to write out what you

read, you will know you are weak in concentration. Instead of

writing it out you can express it orally if you wish. Go to your

room and deliver it as if you were talking to some one. You will

find exercises like this of the greatest value in developing

concentration and learning to think.

After you have practiced a number of these simple exercises read

a book for twenty minutes and then write down what you have read.

The chances are that at first you will not remember very many

details, but with a little practice you will be able to write a

very good account of what you have read. The closer the

concentration the more accurate the account will be.

It is a good idea when time is limited to read only a short

sentence and then try to write it down word for word. When you

are able to do this, read two or more sentences and treat

similarly. The practice will produce very good results if you

keep it up until the habit is fixed.

If you will just utilize your spare time in practicing exercises

like those suggested you can gain wonderful powers of

concentration. You will find that in order to remember every word

in a sentence you must keep out every thought but that which you

wish to remember, and this power of inhibition alone will more

than compensate for the trouble of the exercise. Of course,

success in all of the above depends largely upon cultivating,

through the closest concentration, the power to image or picture

what you read; upon the power, as one writer expresses it, of

letting the mountains of which we hear loom before us and the

rivers of which we read roll at our feet.

Exercise 17

Concentration Overcomes Bad Habits. If you have a habit that you

want to get rid of, shut your eyes and imagine that your real

self is standing before you. Now try the power of affirmation;

say to yourself, "You are not a weakling; you can stop this habit

if you want to. This habit is bad and you want to break it." Just

imagine that you are some one else giving this advice. This is

very valuable practice. You, in time, see yourself as others see

you. The habit loses its power over you and you are free.

If you will just form the mental image of controlling yourself as

another person might, you will take a delight in breaking bad

habits. I have known a number of men to break themselves of

drinking in this way.

Exercise 18

Watch Concentration. Sit in a chair and place a clock with a

second hand on the table. Follow the second hand with your eyes

as it goes around. Keep this up for five minutes, thinking of

nothing else but the second hand, This is a very good exercise

when you only have a few minutes to spare, if you are able to

keep every other thought in the stream of consciousness

subordinate to it. As there is little that is particularly

interesting about the second hand, it is hard to do this, but in

the extra effort of will power required to make it successful

lies its value. Always try to keep as still as possible during

these exercises.

In this way you can gain control over nerves and this quieting

effect is very good for them.

Exercise 19

Faith Concentration. A belief in the power to concentrate is of

course very important. I purposely did not put this exercise in

the beginning where it naturally belongs because I wanted you to

know that you could learn to concentrate. If you have practiced

the above exercises you have now developed this concentration

power to a considerable extent and therefore you have faith in

the power of concentration, but you can still become a much

stronger believer in it.

We will say that you have some desire or wish you want fulfilled,

or that you need some special advice. You first clearly picture

what is wanted and then you concentrate on getting it. Have

absolute faith that your desires will be realized. Believe that

it will according to your belief be fulfilled. Never, at this

time, attempt to analyze the belief. You don't care anything

about the whys and wherefores. You want to gain the thing you

desire, and if you concentrate on it in the right way you will

get it.

A Caution. Never think you will not succeed, but picture what is

wanted as already yours, and yours it surely will be.

Self-Distrust. Do you ever feel distrust in yourself? If You do,

just ask yourself, which self do I mistrust? Then say: my higher

self cannot be affected. Then think of the wonderful powers of

the higher self. There is a way to overcome all difficulties, and

it is a delight for the human soul to do so. Instead of wasting

precious thought-force by dreading or fearing a disagreeable

interview or event, instead devote the time and concentrated

thought in how to make the best of the interview or event and you

will find that it will not be as unpleasant as you thought it

would be. Most of our troubles are but imaginary, and it is the

mental habit of so dreading them that really acts as a magnet in

attracting those that really do come. Your evil circumstances are

created or attracted by your own negative, fears and wrong

thoughts, and are a means of teaching you to triumph over all

evils, by discovering that which is inherent within yourself.

You will find it helpful in overcoming self-distrust, to stop and

think, why you are, concentrating your forces, and by so doing

you become more closely attached to the higher self, which never