Thinking for Results, Chapter One
by Christian D. Larson
That man can change himself, improve himself, recreate himself, control his environment and master his own destiny is the conclusion of every mind who is wide-awake to the power of right thought in constructive action. In fact, it is the conviction of all such minds that man can do practically anything within the possibilities of the human domain when he knows how to think, and that he can secure almost any result desired when he learns how to think for results.
Man is as he thinks he is, and what he does is the result of the sum total of his thought. The average person, however, thinks at random and therefore lives at random and does not know from day to day whether good or evil lies in his path. What he finds in his path is invariably the result of his own thinking, but as he does not know what results different kinds of thought produce he creates both good and evil daily not knowing that he necessarily does either of these. When he knows what each mental state will produce, however, and has gained the power to think as he likes under all sorts of circumstances, then he will have fate, destiny, environment, physical conditions, mental conditions, attainments, achievements and in fact everything in his own hands.
It is a well known fact that we can produce any effect desired when we understand causes, and can master those causes. And as the process of thinking is the one underlying cause in the life of man we naturally become master over all life when we can understand and master the process of thinking. Each process of thinking produces its own results in mind and body and acts indirectly upon all the actions and efforts of mind and body. Therefore, through adverse thinking almost any undesirable condition may be produced while almost any condition of worth and value can be produced through wholesome thinking. Certain processes of thought will lead to sickness, others to poverty, while processes of thought that are entirely different from these will lead to health, power and prosperity. Through chaotic thinking one can bring about years of trouble and misfortune, while through a properly arranged system of thinking one can determine his own future for years and years in advance.
Everything that happens to a man is the result of something that he has done or fails to do. But since both actions and inactions come from corresponding states of mind he can make almost anything happen that he likes when he learns to regulate his thinking. This may seem to be a very strong statement, but the more perfectly we understand the relation of mental action to physical and personal action the more convinced we become that this statement is absolutely true.
When we study the laws of nature we find that certain results invariably follow certain uses of those laws, and that other results follow the misuse of those laws. We find that a misused law can finally carry you to the lowest depths, and that a law that is perfectly understood and properly applied can carry you to the greatest heights. In the use of natural law, however, we are at liberty to change our mind at any time; that is, when we find ourselves going down we can turn about and go the other way; though the fact remains that if we continue the down grade we will finally reach the lowest depths. The same is true when we find ourselves advancing; we may become negligent and fall back, but the law in question can carry us on higher and higher without end if we choose to go. The laws that govern thinking are just as absolute as the well known laws of nature and will serve man just as faithfully after he has begun to apply them with understanding.
When we understand the laws of thought and think accordingly, we have begun what may properly be termed scientific thinking; that is, we have begun designed thinking; thinking with a purpose in view; thinking in accordance with exact scientific system; and thinking for results. When we think in this manner we think according to those laws of thought that are required in order to produce the results we have in view; therefore all the forces of mind will be directed to produce those very results. In this connection we should remember that every mental process produces its own results in the human system, therefore we can secure any result desired when we place in action the necessary mental process.
You never think scientifically unless you think for a purpose; it is therefore purposeless thinking that you must avoid. And all purposeless thinking is wrong. Every process of thought that works at random is wrong because it leads to waste, destruction and retarded growth. For this reason all thoughts that we may create at any time that have no special purpose in view are wrong thoughts and are detrimental to the welfare of the individual. But here we must remember that wrong thought is not simply thought that has base motives; it is also thought that has no motives. A right thought always has a definite motive with some higher goal in view. In fact, to be right a thought must have a motive, and that motive must be constructive; that is, it must aim to build, and to build for something worth while. Wrong thought, however, is scattering and destructive and retards growth. This is the real difference between thought that is wrong and thought that is right. The same is true with other things. Everything in life that retards growth is wrong. Everything that promotes growth is right. If we are in doubt as to whether any particular thing is right or wrong we can readily discover where it belongs if we apply this principle; that is, if it promotes growth it is right, while if it retards growth it is wrong. We shall find that all true systems of ethics or morals will be found to harmonize perfectly with this idea.
The purpose of life is continuous advancement, and all the laws of life are created for the promotion of advancement in all things and at all times. Therefore, to retard growth is to violate the laws of life while to promote growth is to properly employ those laws of life. When we go with the laws of life we move forward, but when we go against those laws we begin a life of retrogression. According to this principle nothing is wrong unless it retards growth and nothing can be right unless it promotes growth, because nothing can be wrong unless it is against the laws of life and nothing can be right unless it is in harmony with the laws of life. And the laws of life demand continuous advancement.
Since our object is advancement and progress in every way, and since thinking is the key to all results, it is evident that all thinking must be established upon the principle of continuous advancement. For this reason all thinking that in any way retards growth in any part of the human system must be discontinued, and all thinking must be so arranged or rearranged that it will tend to promote growth and advancement in every phase of human life. In other words, all thinking must be designed, and designed according to the laws that underlie the purpose we have in view. To apply this principle we should never think unless we have a purpose that we wish to promote through that thinking. Before we begin any process of thought we should determine clearly what we wish to promote at the time, and we should then employ that process of thinking through which the purpose in view may be promoted to the best advantage. In this manner every action of mind will become constructive and will build up something that we wish to have constructed. Neither time nor mental energy will be thrown away by aimlessness, and no chaotic states of mind will exist for a moment. All our mental processes will be arranged according to such a system of action as can promote progress, and all the various forces of mind will work together in the creation of that which we wish to realize and possess.
To think according to the laws of growth and to think for a definite purpose — this is the foundation of scientific thinking. This is the principle upon which to act when thinking for results, and whoever resolves to think in this manner only will soon find remarkable changes for the better taking place in every department of his life.
In training the mind to think according to the exact science of right thought, to think according to system, to think for a definite purpose and to think for results, there are four essentials that will be required and we shall proceed to give these essentials our best attention in their proper order. The first essential is to provide what may be termed the mental attitude of normal states of consciousness for all our thinking; that is, to promote only right states of mind whatever the process of thought may be, because such states are always wholesome and are invariably conducive to mental development. In addition, such states tend to hold the various energies of the mind in a working attitude which is highly important when our purpose is to work for results.
To train the mind to think only in the right states of mind we must learn to distinguish between right and wrong mental states, though this is a matter that becomes very simple when we understand that the difference between right and wrong states of mind is found in this, that the former tends to relate the mind properly to the laws, the principles and the powers of life, while the latter tends to prevent that relationship.
When we are at variance with our sphere of existence or out of harmony with the world in which we think and live, we can accomplish nothing, but when we are in harmony with that world we place ourselves in a position where we can accomplish practically anything if we learn the full use of all the powers we possess. Therefore, if we wish to accomplish what we have in view we must work with those laws and principles of life that govern the sphere in which our work is to be done.
Wrong mental states will prevent us from working with the laws of life while right mental states have a tendency to bring us more perfectly into harmony with those laws. Wrong mental states are wrong simply because they prevent this necessary relationship, and they are wrong for no other reason.
The first problem before us therefore is to distinguish between the two states of mind, to eliminate the wrong and to cultivate the right. But to distinguish between the two is not difficult when we know that right states of mind always produce harmony between ourselves and those powers in life that we must use in order to realize our purpose in life, and that wrong states of mind always take us away from everything that has quality, superiority and worth, or that can serve us in realizing the greater and the better. However, that we may all understand what mental states to cultivate in order to make our thinking more scientific, more exact, more effective and more conducive to the production of the results we desire, we shall proceed to give a brief description of the most important of these states, or what may be termed the normal and the true state of consciousness.