Thoughtor ‘The in the Thought World’ (1906)
Here are my notes from the “New Thought Library” version, Source:
New Thought Library
THE first thing to do is to begin to “cut out” Fear and Worry. Fear-thought is the cause of much unhappiness and many failures. You have been told this thing over and over again, but it will bear repeating. Fear is a habit of mind which has been fastened upon us by negative race-thought, but from which we may free ourselves by individual effort and perseverance.
Strong expectancy is a powerful magnet. He of the strong, confident desire attracts to him the things best calculated to aid him – persons, things circumstances, surroundings; if he desires them hopefully, trustfully, confidently, calmly. And, equally true, he who Fears a thing generally manages to start into operation forces which will cause the thing he feared to come upon him. Don’t you see, the man who Fears really expects the feared thing, and the eyes of the Law is the same as if he really had wished for or desired it? The Law is operative in both cases – the principle is the same.
The best way to overcome the habit of Fear is to assume the mental attitude of Courage, just as the best way to get rid of darkness is to let in the light. It is a waste of time to fight a negative thought-habit by recognizing its force and trying to deny it out of existence by mighty efforts. The best, surest, easiest and quickest method is to assume the existence of the positive thought desired in its place; and by constantly dwelling upon the positive thought,it into objective reality.
Therefore, instead of repeating, “I’m not afraid,” say boldly, “I am full of Courage,” “I am Courageous.” You must assert, “There’s nothing to fear,” which, although in the nature of a denial, simply denies the reality of the object causing fear rather than admitting the fear itself and then denying it.
To overcome fear, one should hold firmly to the mental attitude of Courage. He should think Courage, say Courage, act Courage. He should keep the mental picture of Courage before him all the time, until it becomes his normal mental attitude. Hold the ideal firmly before you and you will gradually grow to its– the ideal will become manifest.
Let the word “Courage” sink deeply into your mind, and then hold it firmly there until the mind fastens it in place. Think of yourself as being Courageous – see yourself as acting with Courage in trying situations. Realize that there is nothing to Fear – that Worry and Fear never helped anyone, and never will. Realize that Fear paralyzes effort, and that Courage promotes activity.
The confident, fearless, expectant, “I Can and I Will” man is a mighty magnet. He attracts to himself just what is needed for his success. Things seem to come his way, and people say he is “lucky.” Nonsense! “Luck” has nothing to do with it. It’s all in the Mental Attitude. And the Mental Attitude of the “I Can’t” or the “I’m Afraid” man also determines his measure of success. There’s no mystery whatsoever about it. You have but to look about you to realize the truth of what I have said. Did you ever know a successful man who did not have the “I Can and I will” thought strong within him? Why, he will walk all around the “I Can’t” man, who has perhaps even more ability. The first mental attitude brought to the surface latent qualities, as well as attracted help from outside; whilst the second mental attitude not only attracted “I Can’t” people and things, but also kept the man’s own powers from manifesting themselves. I have demonstrated the correctness of these views, and so have many others, and the number of people who know these things is growing every day.
Don’t waste your Thought-Force, but use it to advantage. Stop attracting to yourself failure, unhappiness, inharmony, sorrow – begin now and send out a current ot bright, positive, happy thought. Let your prevailing thought be “I Can and I Will;” think “I Can and I Will;” dream “I Can and I Will;” say “I Can and I Will;” and act “I Can and I Will”. Live on the “I Can and I and Will” plane, and before you are aware of it, you will feel the new vibrations manifesting themselves in action; will see them bring results; will be conscious of the new point of view; will realize that your own is coming to you. You will feel better, act better, see better, BE better in every way, after you join the “I Can and I Will” brigade.
Fear is the parent of Worry, Hate, Jealousy, Malice, Anger, Discontent, Failure and all the rest. The men who rids himself of Fear will find that the rest of the brood have disappeared. The only way to be Free is to get rid of Fear. The conquest of Fear is the first important step to be taken by those who wish to master the application of Thought Force. So long as Fear masters you, you are in no condition to make progress in the realm of Thought, and I must insist that you start to work at once to get rid of this obstruction. You CAN do it – if you only go about it in earnest. And when you have ridded yourself of the vile thing, life will seem entirely different to you – you will feel happier, freer, stronger, more positive, and will be more successful in every undertaking of Life.
Start it today, make up your mind that this intruder must GO – do not compromise matters with him, but insist upon an absolute surrender on his part. You will find the task difficult at first, but each time you oppose him he will grow weaker, and you will be stronger. Shut off his nourishment – starve him to death – he cannot live in a thought atmosphere of Fearlessness. So, start to fill your mind with good, strong, Fearless thoughts – keep yourself busy thinking Fearlessness, and Fear will die of his own accord. Fearlessness is positive – Fear is negative, and you may be sure that the positive will prevail.
So long as Fear is around with his “but,” “if,” “suppose,” “I’m afraid,” “I can’t,” “what if,” and all the rest of his cowardly suggestions, you will not be able to use your Thought Force to the best advantage. Once get him out of the way, you will have clear sailing.
I advise that you start in to do some of the things which you feel you could do if you were not afraid to try. Start to work to do these things, affirming Courage all the way through, and you will be surprised to see how the changed mental attitude will clear away obstacles from your path, and will make things very much easier than you had anticipated. Exercises of this kind will develop you wonderfully, and you will be much gratified at the result of a little practice along these lines.
The best way to vanquish Fear is to assert “Courage” and stop thinking of Fear. By this plan you will train the mind into new habits of thought, thus eradicating the old negative thoughts which have been pulling you down, and holding you back. Take the word “Courage” with you as your watchword and manifest it in action.
Remember, the only thing to fear is Fear, and – well, don’t even fear Fear, for he’s a cowardly chap at the best, who will run if you show a brave front.
WORRY is the child of Fear – if you kill out Fear, Worry will die for want of nourishment. This advice is very old, and yet it is always worthy of repetition, for it is a lesson of which we are greatly in need. Some people think that if we kill out Fear and Worry we will never be able to accomplish anything. Worry never helped one to accomplish anything; on the contrary, it stands in the way of accomplishment and attainment.
The motive underlying action and “doing things” is Desire and Interest. If one earnestly desires a thing, he naturally becomes very much interested in its accomplishment, and is quick to seize upon anything likely to help him to gain the thing he wants. More than that, his mind starts up a work on the subconscious plane that brings into the field of consciousness many ideas of value and importance. Desire and Interest are the causes that result in success. Worry is not Desire. It is true that if one’s surroundings and environments become intolerable, he is driven in desperation to some efforts that will result in throwing off the undesirable conditions and in the acquiring of those more in harmony with his desire. But this is only another form of Desire – the man desires something different from what he has; and when his desire becomes strong enough his entire interest is given to the task, he makes a mighty effort, and the change is accomplished. But it wasn’t Worry that caused the effort.
Desire acts differently. It grows stronger as the man’s conditions become intolerable, and finally when he feels the hurt so strongly that he can’t stand it any longer, he says, “I won’t stand this any longer – l will make a change,” and lo! Then Desire springs into action. The man keeps on “wanting” a change the worst way (which is the best way) and his Interest and Attention being given to the task of deliverance, he begins to make things move. Worry never accomplished anything. Worry is negative and death producing. Desire and Ambition are positive and life producing. A man may worry himself to death and yet nothing will be accomplished, but let that manhis worry and discontent into Desire and Interest, coupled with a belief that he is able to make the change – the “I Can and I Will” idea – then something happens.
Thoughts will come to you from the great reserve stock in your mind and you will start to manifest them in action. Moreover you will be placing yourself in harmony with similar thoughts of others, and will draw to you aid and assistance from the great volume of thought waves with which the world is filled. One draws to himself thought waves corresponding in character with the nature of the prevailing thoughts in his won mind – his mental attitude. Then again he begins to set into motion the great Law of Attraction, whereby he draws to him others likely to help him, and is, in turn, attracted to others who can aid him. This Law of Attraction is no joke, no metaphysical absurdity, but is a great live working principle of Nature, as anyone may learn by experimenting and observing.
To succeed in anything you must want it very much – Desire must be in evidence in order to attract. The man of ‘weak desires’ attracts very little to himself. The stronger the Desire the greater the force set into motion. You must want a thing hard enough before you can get it. You must want it more than you do the things around you, and you must be prepared to pay the price for it. The price is the throwing overboard of certain lesser desires that stand in the way of the accomplishment of the greater one. Comfort, ease, leisure, amusements, and many other things may have to go (not always, though). It all depends on what you want. As a rule, the greater the thing desired, the greater the price to be paid for it. Nature believes in adequate compensation. But if you really Desire a thing in earnest, you will pay the price without question; for the Desire will dwarf the importance of the other things.
You say that you want a thing very much, and are doing everything possible toward its attainment? Pshaw! You are only playing Desire. Do you want the thing as much as a prisoner wants freedom – as much as a dying man wants life? Look at the almost miraculous things accomplished by prisoners desiring freedom. Look how they work through steel plates and stone walls with a bit of stone. Is your desire as strong as that? Do you work for the desired thing as if your life depended upon it? Nonsense! You don’t know what Desire is. I tell you if a man wants a thing as much as the prisoner wants freedom, or as much as a strongly vital man wants life, then that man will be able to sweep away obstacles and impediments apparently immovable. The key to attainment is Desire, Confidence, and Will. This key will open many doors.
Fear paralyzes Desire – it scares the life out of it. You must get rid of Fear. There have been times in my life when Fear would get hold of me and take a good, firm grip on my vitals, and I would lose all hope; all interest; all ambition; all desire. But, thank the Lord, I have always managed to throw off the grip of the monster and face my difficulty like a man; and lo! Things would seem to be straightened out for me somehow. Either the difficulty would melt away or I would be given means to overcome, or get around, or under or over it. It is strange how this works. No matter how great is the difficulty, when we finally face it with courage and confidence in ourselves, we seem to pull through somehow, and then we begin to wonder what we were scared about. This is not a mere fancy, it is the working of a mighty law, which we do not as yet fully understand, but which we may prove at any time.
People often ask: “it’s all very well for you New Thought people to say ‘Don’t worry,’ but what’s a person to do when he thinks of all the possible things ahead of him, which might upset him and his plans? Well, all that I can say is that the man is foolish to bother about thinking of troubles to come at some time in the future. It has been well said that nine-tenths of the worries are over things which never comes to pass, and that the other tenth is over things of little or no account. So what’s the use in using up all your reserve force in fretting over future troubles, if this be so? Better wait until your troubles really come before you worry. You will find that by this storing up of energy you will be able to meet about any sort of trouble that comes your way.
You do not need fight Worry – that isn’t the way to overcome the habit. Just practice concentration, and then learn to concentrate upon something right before you, and you will find that the worry thought has vanished. The mind can think of but one thing at a time, and if you concentrate upon a bright thing, the other thing will fade away. There are better ways of overcoming objectionable thoughts than by fighting them. Learn to concentrate upon thoughts of an opposite character, and you will have solved the problem.
When the mind is full of worry thoughts, it cannot find time to work out plans to benefit you. But when you have concentrated upon bright, helpful thoughts, you will discover that it will start to work subconsciously; and when the time comes you will find all sorts of plans and methods by which you will be able to meet the demands upon you. Keep your mental attitude right, and all things will be added unto you.
There’s no sense in worrying; nothing has ever been gained by it, and nothing ever will be. Bright, cheerful and happy thoughts attract bright, cheerful and happy things to us – worry drives them away. Cultivate the right mental attitude.
YOUR thoughts are either faithful servants or tyrannical masters – just as you allow them to be. You have the say about it; take your choice. They will either go about your work under direction of the firm will, doing it the best they know how, not only in your waking hours, but when you are asleep – some of our best mental work being performed for us when our conscious mentality is at rest, as is evidenced by the fact that when the morning comes we find troublesome problems have been worked out for us during the night, after we had dismissed them from our minds – apparently; or they will ride all over us and make us their slaves if we are foolish enough to allow them to do so. More than half the people of the world are slaves of every vagrant thought which may see fit to torment them.
Your mind is given you for your good and for your own use – not to use you. There are very few people who seem to realize this and who understand the art of managing the mind. The key to the mystery is Concentration. When you have some mental work to do: concentrate upon it to the exclusion of everything else, and you will find that the mind will get right down to business and matters will be cleared up in no time.
To those who are acquainted with the laws of mental control it seems absurd for one to lie awake at night fretting about the problems of the day, or more often, of the morrow. The best way to do it is to think of something else – as far different from the obtruding thought as possible. The more you keep on saying, “I won’t think of this thing!” the more it keeps on coming into your mind, for you are holding it there for the purpose of hitting it. Let it go; don’t give it another thought; fix the mind on something entirely different, and keep the attention there by an effort of the will. A little practice will do much for you in this direction. There is only room for one thing at a time in the focus of attention; so put all your attention upon one thought, and the others will sneak off. Try it for yourself.
I have spoken to you of the advantage of getting rid of Fear. Now I wish to put LIFE into you. Many of you have been going along as if you were dead – no ambition – no energy – no vitality – no interest – no life. This will never do. You are stagnating. Wake up! This is not the place in which you can stalk around like a living corpse – this is the place for wide-awake, active, live people.
We must let Life flow through us, and allow it to express itself naturally. Do not let the little worries of life, or the big ones either, depress you and cause you to lose your vitality. Assert the Life Force within you, and manifest it in every thought, act and deed, and before long you will be exhilarated and fairly bubbling over with vitality and energy.
Put a little life into your work – into your pleasures – into yourself. Stop doing things in a half-headed way, and begin to take an interest in what you are doing, saying and thinking. It is astonishing how much interest we may find in the ordinary things of life if we will only wake up. There are interesting things all around us – interesting events occurring every moment – but we will not be aware of them unless we assert our life force and begin to actually live instead of merely existing.
No man or woman ever amounted to anything unless he or she put life into the tasks of everyday life – the acts – the thoughts. What the world needs is live men and women. Just look into the eyes of the people whom you meet, and see how few of them are really alive. The most of them lack that expression of conscious life which distinguishes the man who lives from the one who simply exists.
I want you to acquire this sense of conscious life so that you may manifest it in your life and show what Mental Science has done for you. I want you to get to work today and begin to make yourselves over according to the latest pattern. You can do this if you will only take the proper interest in the task.
Fix in your mind the thought that the “I” within you is very much alive and that you are manifesting life fully, mentally and physically. And keep this though there, aiding yourself with constant repetitions. Don’t let the thought escape you, but keep pushing it back into the mind. Keep it before the mental vision as much as possible. Repeat it when you awaken in the morning – say it when you retire at night. And say it at meal times, and whenever else you can during the day – at least once an hour. Form the mental picture of yourself as filled with Life and Energy. Live up to it as far as possible. When you start in to perform a task say “I AM Alive” and mix up as much life as possible in the task. If you find yourself feeling depressed, say “I AM Alive,” and then take a few deep breaths, and with each inhalation let the mind hold the thought that you are breathing in Strength and Life, and as you exhale, hold the thought that you are breathing out all the old, dead, negative conditions and are glad to get rid of them. Then finish up with an earnest, vigorous affirmation: “I AM Alive,” and mean it when you say it too.
And let your thoughts take form in action. Don’t rest content with merely saying that you are alive, but prove it with your acts. Take an interest in doing things, and don’t go around day-dreaming. Get down to business, and LIVE.
PROFESSOR William James, the well-known teacher of, and writer upon Psychology very truly says: “The great thing in all education is to make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy. For this we must make automatic and habitual, as early as possible, as many useful actions as we can and as carefully guard against growing into ways that are likely to be disadvantageous. In the acquisition of a new habit, or the leaving off of an old one we must take care to launch ourselves with as strong and decided initiative as possible. Never suffer an exception to occur until the new habit is securely rooted in your life. Seize the very first possible opportunity to act on every resolution you make and on ever emotional prompting you may experience, in the direction of the habits you aspire to gain.”
This advice is along the lines familiar to all students of Mental Science, but it states the matter more plainly than the majority of us have done. It impresses upon us the importance of passing on to the subconscious mind the proper impulses, so that they will become automatic and “second nature.” Our subconscious mentality is a great storehouse for all sorts of suggestions from ourselves and others and, as it is the “habit-mind,” we must be careful to send it the proper material from which it may make habits. If we get into the habit of doing certain things, we may be sure that the subconscious mentality will make it easier for us to do just the same thing over and over again, easier each time, until finally we are firmly bound with the ropes and chains of the habit, and find it more or less difficult, sometimes almost impossible, to free ourselves from the hateful thing.
We should cultivate good habits against the hour of need. The time will come when we will be required to put forth our best efforts, and it rests with us today whether that hour of need shall find us doing the proper thing automatically and almost without thought, or struggling to do it bound down and hindered with the chains of things opposed to that which we desire at that moment.
We must be on guard at all times to prevent the forming of undesirable habits. There may be no special harm in doing a certain thing today, or perhaps again tomorrow, but there may be much harm in setting up the habit of of doing that particular thing. If you are confronted with the question: “Which of these two things should I do?” the best answer is: “I will do that which I would like to become a habit with me.
In forming a new habit, or in breaking an old one, we should throw ourselves into the task with as much enthusiasm as possible, in order to gain the most ground before the energy expends itself when it meets with friction from the opposing habits already formed. We should start in by making as strong an impression as possible upon the subconscious mentality. Then we should be constantly on guard against temptations to break the new resolution “just this once.” This “just once” idea kills off more good resolutions than any other one cause. The moment you yield “just this once, you introduce the thin edge of the wedge that will, in the end, split your resolution into pieces.
Equally important is the fact that each time you resist temptation the stronger does your resolution become. Act upon your resolution as early and as often as possible, as with everyof thought in action, the stronger does it become. You are adding to the strength of your original resolution every time you back it up with action.
The mind has been likened to a piece of paper that has been folded. Ever afterwards it has a tendency to fold in the same crease – unless we make a new crease or fold, when it will follow the last lines. And the creases are habits – every time we make one it is so much easier for the mind to fold along the same crease afterward. Let us make our mental creases in the right direction.
‘The Law of Attraction in the Thought World’, Atkinson, William, Public Domain, 1906
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