Thinking for Results, Chapter Eight
by Christian D. Larson
To make the right use of thought we must make it a practice to think that which is inherently true. Therefore whatever we think about we must formulate our thoughts according to the truth which we know to exist within that of which we think. When we think about life we must think of life as it is in itself and not as it appears to be in the personal existence of some one who does not know how to use life. There are people who make life a burden, but life in itself is anything but a burden. On the contrary it is a rare privilege. Therefore, to think of life as a burden is to take the wrong view of life. It is to think the untruth about life. It is to view life from the standpoint of one who has misapplied life. Accordingly what we judge is not life, but a mistaken opinion about life. Our thought in the matter will thus be foreign to life and will naturally mislead us when we try to apply it in connection with real living.
When we think about life we must think about real life and not about some illusion that we might have of life. The average person's thought about life, however, is simply an opinion about his misunderstanding about life and therefore his thinking is never designed, constructive nor scientific. Life itself is a joy, a rich blessing and it means so much that an eternity of mental growth will be required to comprehend its entire meaning. Life is not something that comes and goes; it is something that always is. Neither is life something that can be produced or destroyed. Life is inexhaustible and indestructible and contains within itself a definite and eternal purpose. We should therefore view life according to this idea. And when we gain this right idea of life we can become more deeply conscious of real life and thus gain possession of more life. This is extremely important because it is only as we gain added life that we can gain added ability and power. When we gain a correct conception of life we also enter into harmony with the purpose of life which means to enter the path of continuous advancement along all lines, the result of which will be perpetually increased in all things.
When you think about yourself view yourself as you are at your best and not as you appear when in the midst of failure. You never fail when you are at your best and you are true to yourself only when you are at your best. Therefore if you wish to think the truth about yourself think about yourself as you are when you are true to yourself and not as you appear to be when you are false to yourself. Scientific thinking does not recognize weakness of mind or body because you yourself are not weak, and you would never feel weak if you were always true to yourself. Thoughts should never be formed in the likeness of a weak condition because such thinking will perpetuate the condition of weakness. When weakness is felt think the truth about yourself; that is, that you are inherently strong and the weakness will disappear. Form your thought in the likeness of yourself as you are in your real and larger self; that is, as you are when you are true to your whole self—full of life, strength and vigor. And your thought will become the thought of strength conveying strength to every part of your system.
In the right use of thought we never permit ourselves to say that we cannot. On the contrary we continue to believe and say, "I can do whatever I undertake to do and I am equal to every occasion." This is our firm conviction when we have come to that place where we really know what is in us, and it is a conviction that is based upon actual scientific fact. Unlimited possibilities are latent in every mind; therefore man is inherently equal to every occasion and he should claim his whole power at all times. If he does not make himself equal to every occasion the cause is that he fails to express all that is in him. But the greater capacity that is within anyone cannot fully express itself so long as thought is created in the likeness of weakness, doubt and limitations. Therefore the right and scientific use of thought becomes the direct channel through which the greatness that is within man may come forth and act in real life.
Man is not naturally in the hands of fate for the truth is that fate is in the hands of man. Man may appear to be controlled by a destiny that seems distinct from himself, but the real truth is that he himself has created the very life and the very tendency of that destiny. The destiny of every man in his own creation, be it good or otherwise, but so long as he thinks he is in the hands of this destiny he will fail to intelligently employ his own creations, and will accordingly originate adverse circumstances. Many have speculated as to the real cause of adverse circumstances, bad luck and the like, but the cause is simply this, that when man finds himself in adversity he has neglected to direct, consciously and intelligently, the forces which he himself has placed in action; and this neglect can invariably be traced to the belief that we are all controlled more or less by what we call fate. For this reason the sooner we eliminate that belief absolutely the better.
No man will attempt to control the forces of life so long as he thinks he is unavoidably controlled by those forces; but if those forces are not intelligently controlled, their action will be aimless and we shall have that confusion which is otherwise termed adversity. Every word, every thought and every action gives expression to certain life forces, and what those forces will do depends first upon their original nature and second upon how they are directed in their courses. The sum total of all the words, thoughts and actions expressed by man will constitute the forces of his destiny, and the result of those forces will constitute his fate. What those forces are in the beginning depends upon what man created them to be, and what those forces will unitedly produce will depend upon whether they are directed by man himself or left to act aimlessly.
But man can make his words, thoughts and actions what he wishes them to be. He can direct them intelligently into channels of constructive and perpetual growth. It is therefore simply understood how man is unconsciously the cause of his fate, and how he can consciously and intelligently create his own fate. To create his own fate, however, he must make the right use of thought; that is, he must think for results. To think scientifically about the people we meet it is necessary to apply the same principle which we apply to our true thought about life. We must think of people as they are in themselves and not as they appear to be while out of harmony with existence.
When we are judging a man we should judge the real man and not his mistakes. The mistakes of the man do not constitute the man any more than the absence of light constitutes light. The usual way, however, of judging man is to look at his weak points and then after comparing these with his strong points call the result the man himself. But this is as unscientific as to combine black with white and speak of the result as pure white. The weaknesses that we find in man may disappear in a day. They frequently do, while his virtues and superior qualities may double in power at any time. Then we have another man, and we say he has changed, which is not strictly true. The real man has not changed. The real man is already unbounded in life and power and does not have to change. The change that we see is simply this, that more of the true worth of his real being has been expressed.
Our thoughts about other people are more or less deeply impressed upon our own minds; therefore we cannot afford to think anything wrong about anybody. The better we understand life the more convinced we become that the average person is doing the best he knows how. For this reason we shall be training our minds to think the whole truth about the human race when we take this view, and what is highly important, such a view will tend to keep our own minds wholesome and clean. Then when we add to this the larger view of man himself, in his true glory and power, our thought about man will become as we wish it to be, strictly scientific.
In thinking for results, all circumstances should be viewed as opportunities because that is what they are in reality. And to think correctly we must think of things according to what there really is in them. No circumstance is actually against us though we may go against a circumstance and thus produce a clash. A circumstance is usually similar to an electrical force. It may destroy or it may serve depending upon how it is approached. The power, however, is there and we are the ones to determine what that power is to do. Our relation to anything in the external depends upon how we view the circumstances involved. When we think of circumstances as adverse we become antagonistic to those circumstances and in consequence produce discord, trouble and misfortune. But when we think of circumstances as opportunities to take advantage of and control, we relate ourselves harmoniously to the power that is contained in those circumstances. Thus by entering into harmony with that power we will perpetuate more and more of it until we have made it our own altogether.
When disappointments appear it is not scientific to feel depressed nor to view the experience as a misfortune. To the advancing mind a disappointment is always an open door to something better. When you fail to get what you want there is something better at hand for you; that is, if you are moving forward. Therefore to every advancing mind so called disappointments may be viewed as prophecies of better things. If you are not moving forward a disappointment indicates that you have not made yourself equal to your ideal. But the fact that you have felt disappointment proves that you have seen the ideal, and to see an ideal indicates that that ideal is within your reach ready for you to possess if you will press forward steadily and surely until the goal is reached. Therefore no matter what your condition may be in life a disappointment indicates that there is something better at hand for you if you will go and work for it. For this reason, instead of feeling depressed you should rejoice, and then press on with more faith and enthusiasm than ever that you may meet your own at the earliest possible moment.
These thoughts are not presented simply to give encouragement or cheer. The fact is they are thoroughly scientific and based upon two well established laws in metaphysics. The first law is that no person can feel disappointed unless he has had a perception of something better. And the second law is that whoever is far enough advanced to perceive the better has the capacity to acquire that something better, though he must make full use of the power at hand. Too many minds that see the ideal simply dream about it and feel depressed because the ideal has not been reached, while in the meantime they do nothing to work themselves up to that ideal. Instead such minds should take a scientific view of the entire subject and then press on towards the goal before them. They positively will succeed.
When we look upon a disappointment as a misfortune the depressed thought that follows will take us down and away from the open door of the better things, and will in consequence prevent us from realizing the greater good which was in store. We shall then have to give much time and effort to the bringing of ourselves back again to the gates of the ideal we had in view. But such tactics we cannot afford to employ if our object is to work and think for results. We conclude therefore that whatever comes or does not come the best way is always to smile and press on.
It is scientific to recognize only the sunny side of everything and to expect only the best results from every effort, because the sunny side is the real side and the substantial side, and our thinking should be concerned only with the substantial, or with that which has real or possible worth. Failure is an empty place, so to speak, or a condition involving a group of misdirected actions. To think of failure therefore is to produce a mental tendency towards misdirected or abortive actions, and at the same time create thoughts that waste energy. To dwell mentally on the sunny side, however, is to turn all the actions of the mind towards the construction of greater worth in the mind; and accordingly the habit of dwelling upon the sunny side will invariably tend to develop brilliancy of mind, clearness of thought and greater intellectual capacity. The principal reason for this is found in the fact that such a mind deals almost entirely with the larger, the greater and the limitless of the potential. Mind therefore naturally expands and develops and steadily gains in power, comprehension and lucidity along all lines. To act in harmony with this principle we should expect the best results from every effort because the best results do exist potentially in every effort; and to be scientific we must think of things as they really are in themselves and not as they appear while in the hands of the incompetent. It is not our purpose to dwell mentally upon the absence of results, but to give all our thought and attention to the right use of those powers within us that actually can produce results.
To think scientifically about the health and the wholeness of mind and body is one of the most important essentials of all because health is indispensable to the highest attainments and the greatest achievements. The principle, however, is that the real man is well, and that you yourself are the real man. When you are thinking about yourself as you really are and since you, the real YOU, the individuality, are always well, your thought of yourself is not right and constructive unless you think of yourself as absolutely and permanently well. Every condition in the personal man is the result of habits of thought. Therefore when you think of yourself as being absolutely and permanently well you will through that mode of thinking give absolute and permanent health to the entire system. This is a law that is as strong as life itself. And we are not making extravagant statements when we declare that if this law were universally employed disease would be practically banished from off the face of the earth. This law is the absolute truth and every student of modern metaphysics knows that it is the truth. That its power is invincible no one can deny. Therefore the wise course to pursue is to apply this law thoroughly under all sorts of circumstances and never lose faith in its effectiveness for a moment.
In training ourselves to think for results we must constantly bear in mind the great fact that man invariably grows into the likeness of that which he thinks of the most. Therefore, think constantly of what you want to become and your life will daily grow in that direction. Think constantly of health, power, ability, capacity, worth and superiority and the powers of your being will gradually and steadily produce all those qualities in your own system. But all such thinking must be deep, persistent and of the heart. It is that thinking which is in touch with the under currents of life that shapes human destiny; therefore all such thinking should always be as we wish to become. No thoughts should ever enter the mind that do not contain in the ideal the very things that we wish to attain or accomplish in the real. But to train ourselves in this mode of thinking is not difficult. It is only a matter of deciding what we want in life; then to think the most of those things and make such thinking deep, persistent, positive and strong.