Thinking for Results, Chapter Five
by Christian D. Larson
Every normal person has a definite goal that he expects to reach; some purpose for which he is living, thinking and working; one or more objects that he is trying to gain possession of. But how to realize this ambition is the problem, and though he hopes to find the solution in some way, that way is not always as clear as he should wish it to be. A study of natural laws, however, both physical and metaphysical will readily reveal the secret.
When we study natural laws we find that aimless living is wasteful, deteriorating and detrimental both to the individual and to the race, and the same study reveals the fact that all the laws of nature are constructed for the promotion of progress and growth. Therefore to be natural we must move forward, and to move forward we must have a definite purpose. From this we conclude that the life with a definite purpose is the only natural life. And as it is natural, nature must be able to provide a way by which such a life can be perfected fully and completely. In other words, there must be a solution for every problem, and this being true, he who seeks the solution will certainly find it.
Nature is dual, physical and metaphysical. What we fail to find in the one, therefore, we shall certainly find in the other; and the study of the larger metaphysics gives us the solution for the problem under consideration. This solution is based upon the discovery that thought is the one power that determines the life, the position, the circumstances and the destiny of man, and that to use that power we must learn to think for results.
Whether the individual is to move forward or not depends upon what he thinks. His actions, his intentions, his motives, his plans, his tendencies, his efforts — all of these play their part, but they are all the products of thinking, and therefore are invariably like the process of thinking from which they sprang. Every thought is a power in the life where it is created and will either promote or retard the purpose of that life. Every thought you think is either for you or against you. It will either push you forward or hold you down. When your own thought is against you all your actions, efforts, tendencies, plans, intentions, and everything that is produced by thought or directed by thought will also be against you; and conversely everything that you do with muscle or brain will be for you when your thought is for you. This is a fact the importance of which is certainly great. And since it has been fully demonstrated to be a fact we cannot afford to give it less than our most profound attention.
Since it is natural to have definite aims in life, in fact absolutely necessary in order to be in harmony with the purpose of life, and since it is natural to move forward, it must be natural to have only such thoughts as are for you; thoughts that can push you forward and that will be instrumental in promoting the purpose you have in view. In other words, to comply with the laws of nature, physical and metaphysical, it is necessary to think in such a way that all mental action tends to produce growth, advancement and progress. In this connection we find that nature's laws do not conflict. One law declares that the individual must move forward constantly if he would be in accord with nature, and another law declares that our thoughts will either promote or retard the forward movement. Therefore when our thinking retards our progress we violate natural law and will consequently produce conditions that are detrimental.
To discriminate between right and wrong thinking, between scientific and chaotic thinking, and all thinking is chaotic that is not scientific, becomes very simple when we define the former as being in accord with natural laws, and the latter as being at variance with natural laws. Or to be more explicit, scientific thinking is the formation of all such mental actions, mental states and mental forces as have the power to produce in our efforts what nature has given all things in the human system the power to produce. It is the intention of nature that all things shall work for perpetual advancement of all things. Therefore a thought to be in accord with nature must have the inherent impulse as well as the power to promote advancement in its sphere of action.
To be scientific is to be in accord with nature; to work physically and mentally with nature, and to carry out the fundamental intentions of nature. And since all the actions of man are produced and directed by his thinking, he cannot work with nature unless his thinking is in accord with nature, and is designed and applied with definite results in view. In brief, thinking is scientific and designed when its purpose is to produce advancement, and when it has at the same time both the power and the knowledge to carry out that purpose.
Every intelligent person tries to live in accord with natural laws, but as a rule complies only with those laws that deal with the physical side of life. He therefore cannot be in perfect accord with nature because to obey one group of laws and ignore another group will produce nothing but confusion and ultimate failure. And what is important, it is not possible to comply perfectly with physical laws unless we understand metaphysical laws. Physical actions are both produced and directed by mental action. Not a muscle can move unless the mind moves. Therefore, if the mental action is not fully in accord with natural laws it will not be possible for the consequent physical actions to be in full accord with nature.
It is not difficult to understand therefore why the majority of those who have tried to live in accord with nature, and tried to apply fully the powers and possibilities of nature, have not succeeded in as large a measure as their ambitions might desire. They have tried to bring physical actions into harmony with nature while their mental actions have been more or less at variance with nature. They have tried to make their actions scientific while their thinking remained unscientific. And here we have the cause of practically all the trouble, confusion and failure in the world. The statement that nature's fundamental intention is the perpetual advancement of all things, may be questioned when we take note of the many processes of nature that appear to be destructive, and find that those processes invariably work in harmony with natural law. But when we look beneath the surface we find that the consuming process is necessary to the refining process, and that the decomposing process is indispensable to growth. That which destroys does not tend directly to build up, but the inferior must be removed before the superior can be constructed. The force of destruction, however, can be used in many ways. It can be turned into the gross actions of the sledge that tears down the present structure. Or it can be employed through the channel of transmutation which removes the present structure, not by tearing it down, but by changing it into something better. In the grosser forms of action destruction is usually separated from construction, and may or may not be followed by the latter, but in the higher forms of action destruction and construction are one. The inferior is destroyed by being immediately transmuted into the superior. And here we should remember that everything in nature regardless of its present condition can be transformed into something higher, finer and better because every process in nature can promote advancement, being created for that purpose. Therefore to be in accord with nature man must have the same purpose. He must live, think and work for perpetual advancement, constant growth and eternal progress.
In preceding pages it has been stated that the foundation of scientific thinking consists of thinking only in the attitude of right mental states, and the principal right mental states were enumerated and defined; and in this connection it may be added that the reason why such states of mind constitute the foundation of scientific thinking is based upon the fact that wrong mental states tend to pervert and misdirect the original intention of every process of thinking, while right mental states tend to hold in position, so to speak, or properly direct the original intention of every mental process. To think scientifically and to think for results is to think with a definite object in view; that is, to so think that every thought will aid in the realization of that object. Therefore it cannot be scientific to originate a mental process with a certain object in view and then permit that process to be misdirected, but this is what we continue to do so long as wrong mental states are permitted to act in the mind.
A misdirected mental process always creates thoughts and mental actions that are foreign or adverse to the original intention of that process and are in consequence detrimental. Such thinking therefore does not only waste time and effort, but places serious obstacles in the way of our constructive and properly directed efforts. In the average mind we find mental states that are right as well as mental states that are wrong. The one group assists the forward movement of mind while the other not only retards or misdirects, but usually acts as an obstacle as well. This, however, we cannot afford to permit. The proper course to take therefore in the very beginning is to eliminate absolutely all mental states that are wrong and to shun them completely in the future. Should we be in doubt as to what states are wrong, we need only remember that every mental state is wrong that has no tendency to build, and that every state is right that does have a direct upbuilding tendency. And in eliminating the wrong states of mind the simplest method is to give so much attention to the creation and the strengthening of right mental states that not a single mental action is ever permitted to create or perpetuate wrong states. In other words, there will be no power with which to produce the wrong when all the power of the mind is used in building up the right.
We may proceed, therefore, upon the principle that right mental states constitute the foundation of scientific thinking, and that the very first thing to do in learning how to think for results is to train the mind to create, entertain, and perpetuate only right mental states. When we have established this foundation we may proceed with the first story of the superstructure. To this structure there are several stories, but the first one is to give every thought you think the tendency and the power to promote your own individual purpose in life; that is, every mental action, every mental creative process and every form of thinking should be so constituted that everything that transpires in the mind will work both fully and directly for your welfare and advancement. In other words, train your mind to think only thoughts that will push your work, and every thought you think can push your work if properly constructed. But the opposite is also true. Every thought you think can interfere with your work if not properly constructed. We realize therefore the importance of discriminating between the right and the wrong even in the most insignificant of our mental attitudes, because we want everything that takes place in our system to act to our advantage. Before you can apply scientific thinking in your own life it is necessary to make a definite decision as to what purpose you wish to live, think and work for. And in most minds this purpose will assume a three fold aspect. The first will be to succeed in your vocation; the second will be a continuous development of the leading mental qualities; and the third will be the attainment of higher and higher states of ideal existence. To these three many may wish to add the development of one or more special talents, or the attainment of certain special objects, and these different things can easily be added without interfering with the full promotion of the general purpose. The idea is that you must clearly fix in mind what you wish to think and work for in the great eternal now. In the future, some or all of your plans may be changed, but you may do that when the future comes. While the present remains there must be something definite to work for now, and that something should receive your undivided attention. By doing justice to the present we shall be far better equipped for the opportunities of the future. In fact the very best way to prepare for the future is to be your very best in the present, and if you are your best in the present your future will certainly be better.
Whether you have a few objects or many that you wish to realize, place them properly in your mind giving each a special position before your mental vision, and then hold these objects constantly before you as the great goal for which you desire to live, think and work. Center all attention upon that goal, mentally moving in that direction every moment, and turning on the full current. No force of thought or action must go to the left or to the right. Every force you place in action in your system must aim upon that goal, and must proceed with the definite purpose of helping you reach that goal.
In brief, you must actually live in every sense of the word for the purpose you have in view. That does not mean, however, that you must ignore the interest of others or become oblivious to the many phases of life that exist about you. The mind is complex and consciousness is capable of many grades of action; therefore you can in general be interested in everything that has worth. But all these other interests must be made a channel through which your fundamental purpose can be promoted, or rather an aid to the great plan for which you live, think and work. If you are a business man you need not Ignore music, art or literature. The more you have of these the better for your business provided you employ them as forces of inspiration. Though it is necessary for you to concentrate your life upon your business, still you must constantly enlarge your mind, character and soul in order to insure increased success in your business. Your capacity for work and your power to improve the quality of your work must develop. And everything in life that has worth can be made to promote your own individual growth. In other words, be interested in everything that has quality and worth anywhere in life and use everything you gain through this interest for the making of your own life larger, richer and more successful.
It is not the narrow mind that succeeds. The mind that invariably realizes the greatest success is the mind that is broad, and at the same time has the power to focus the whole of its larger capacity upon the one thing that is being done now. When you constantly focus your mind upon that which you are living for and working for you are giving all your creative powers to those faculties and talents that are required in the realization of your objects in view. It is therefore evident that the larger your mind is, both in its capacity and power, the greater will be the results. It requires ability and power to do things. Therefore the more ability and the more power you can apply in any line of action the more you will accomplish and the more rapidly you will advance in that direction. For this reason we do not wish to throw away ability and power upon those things that cannot promote our present progress. We do not wish to give thought and attention to plans that are of no use to us now. We may need those plans some day, but the plans that we can use now are the only ones that have a right to our present attention.
The idea is to think that you can, to think for results and to give your life in the present to that which can use your life in the present. This is not done, however, when we permit aimless thinking. And the amount of life and ability that is thrown away in this manner is enormous. Aimless thinking has the same effect upon your capacity and ability as punching holes in the boiler has upon the capacity of the engine. But the giving of attention to foreign or temporary plans is just as wasteful. When you decide upon a plan see it through. Give your whole life to it. Turn the full force of your whole mind upon it and keep at it until you are ready for some greater plan. You will thus build yourself up and prepare yourself for a greater plan, and when such a plan arrives, which it positively will, drop everything else and give this new plan the full force of your undivided attention.
Too many minds are constantly wishing they were in some other kind of work, thus diverting their attention every few moments from the work in which they are engaged now. The result is not only poor work, but they place themselves in a position where they can never find opportunity for advancement. If you want something better to do, do your present work so well that it becomes a stepping stone to something better. It is the man who thoroughly fills his present place that is asked to come up and fill a larger place, but no man can fill his present place to full capacity unless all the life and all the power that is in him is applied directly in producing results in that place.
Since thought is a definite power, with great constructive possibilities, the more thought we give to our work the more successful we shall be in that work provided our thought is scientific, designed and constructive. This is simple. On the other hand whenever we encourage aimless thinking or wishing for something else to do we are taking power away from our work thereby decreasing results. One of the first principles in thinking for results therefore is to give your whole attention to your present work; to give all your creative power to the building up of the purpose at hand; and to cause every mental action to act in such a way that it will act with the plans and for the plans you are now seeking to push through.