Thinking For Results
by Christian D. Larson
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Book Description 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.
Chapter 1 - Thinking 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 worthwhile. 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 we promote 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 mind 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 that 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
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.
But 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.
Chapter 2 - The Attitude of Peace
Among the right states of mind the attitude of peace naturally comes first because at the foundation of all true action we find a state of deep calm. No growth is possible in confusion nor can we enjoy the steps already taken while strife and disturbance prevail. But if we find that we are not in a perfectly peaceful attitude the matter cannot be remedied through a strenuous effort to secure peace. Peace of mind comes most quickly when we do not try to be peaceful, but simply permit ourselves to be normal. To relax mind and body at frequent intervals will also aid remarkably, but the most important of all is the attainment of the consciousness of peace.
There is a state within us where all is still, and as nearly all of us have been conscious of this state at different times we know that it actually exists. To cultivate the consciousness of this state is the real secret of attaining a permanent mental state of peace. When we become conscious of that state we enter what may be termed the permanent condition of peace and thereby realize the peace that passeth understanding, and when we are in that state of peace we know why it does pass understanding.
A further proof of this idea is found in the fact that the centre of all action is absolutely still, and that from this centre all action proceeds. In like manner there is an absolutely still centre in your own mind, and you can become conscious of that centre by turning your attention gently and frequently upon the serene within. This should be done several times a day and no matter how peaceful we may feel we should daily seek a still finer realization of this consciousness of peace. The result will be more power because peace conserves energy. The mind will be kept in the necessary attitude for growth and you will avoid all such ills and failures as originate in mental confusion.
According to the law that we always become in the without as we feel in the within you will naturally become more and more conscious of peacefulness in your personality as you become more conscious of the calm that is within you. In other words, the same stillness that you feel within yourself when in the consciousness of peace, will unfold itself through your entire system and you will become peaceful in every part of mind and body.
Closely related to the attitude of peace we have that of poise, and this is an attitude that is simply indispensable. The attainment of peace tends to conserve and accumulate energy while the attainment of poise tends to hold that energy in such a way that not a particle is lost. Peace is a restful attitude while poise is a working attitude. In peace you feel absolutely still. In poise you feel and hold the mighty power within you ready for action.
The well-poised mind is not only charged with enormous energies, but can also retain those energies in any part of the system and can direct them towards any effort desired. The poised mind combines calmness with power. Through the attitude of calmness it retains its touch with the depths within and is thus constantly supplied with added life and power. Through the attitude of strength it relates itself to the world of action and thus becomes able to go forth and do things. The attitude of poise, however, is not well developed in the average person as the art of being peaceful and powerful at the same time is an art that has received but little attention; but it is something that is extremely important and no one who desires to learn to think and act for results can afford to neglect this high art for a moment.
To proceed with the development of poise we should work, act, think and live in the consciousness of peace and in the consciousness of power; that is, we should aim to combine peace and power in everything that we feel or do. Here we should remember two great truths; that is, that unlimited power is latent within us and that at the depths of our being everything is perfectly still. When you realize these great truths you will feel more and more that enormous energies are alive in your being, but you will find that they never force themselves into any particular line of action, and that they never run over on the surface. On the other hand, you will find that you can hold those energies in perfect repose or turn them into your work just as you wish. When you have poise therefore all those energies will also have poise. They will be as you are because they are your creations.
The effect of poise upon thinking is very great because the attitude of poise is the one essential attitude through which constructive work of mind or thought can be promoted. The object of exact scientific thinking is to bring about the results we have in view, but results follow only the true application of power, and power cannot be applied constructively unless it acts through the state of peace. We therefore understand why poise, the action of power in peace, is indispensable to every mode of thinking that aims to produce results.
Another mental state of extreme value is that of harmony; and as there is only a step from peace and poise to harmony we may readily acquire the latter when we have acquired the former. In the attitude of peace the mind finds its true self and its own supreme power. Through the attitude of poise this power is brought forth into action and is held in its true spheres of action, but it is only through harmony that this power can act properly upon things or in connection with things.
Nothing comes from the application of power unless it acts directly upon something, but it cannot act upon anything with the assurance of results unless there is harmony between the power that acts and the thing acted upon. No action should be attempted therefore until harmony is secured between the two factors involved. In this connection we find that thousands of well meant actions lead to confusion, sickness and failure because no attention was given to the attainment of harmony. But the importance of attaining harmony before undertaking anything is realized when we learn that the real purpose of harmony is to bring the two factors concerned into that perfect relationship where they can work together for the promotion of the object in view.
To secure harmony it may be necessary for both factors to change their present positions. They may have to meet each other half way, but there can be no objection to this. Our object in life is not to stand where we are, but to do something; and if we can do something of value by changing our present position, that is the very thing we should do. In fact, we can even return with advantage to positions that we imagine have been outgrown if something of value can be accomplished by such a move. The only thing to consider, however, is the result. Any movement that leads to results is a movement in the right direction.
Harmony is not cultivated by isolation nor exclusiveness. There are many minds that think they are in perfect harmony when they are alone, but they are not. They are simply at rest and the sensation is somewhat similar to certain states of harmony. We are in harmony only when we are properly related to some one else or something else. There must be at least two factors before there can be harmony and those two factors must be properly related.
The best way to cultivate the mental state of harmony is to adapt yourself consciously to everything and everybody that you meet. Never resist or antagonize anything nor hold yourself aloof from anybody. Wherever you are aim to look for the agreeable side of things and try to act with everything while in that attitude. After a while you will find it an easy matter to meet all things and all persons in their world, and when you can do this you can unite with them in securing results that neither side could have secured alone.
To secure results two or more factors must work together, but they cannot work together constructively unless they are in harmony; that is, unless they are perfectly related to each other. To be in harmony, however, does not mean simply to be on good terms. You may be on good terms with everybody and not be in harmony with anybody. We are in harmony with persons and things when the two factors or sides concerned can actually work together for the promotion of some actual purpose.
In the mental world this law is very easily discerned and its operations found to be exact. You may have a fine mind, but if the different parts of your mind do not harmonize and work together you will accomplish but little, and there are thousands of brilliant minds in this very condition. Then we find minds with simply a fair amount of ability who accomplish a great deal, and the reason is that the different parts of such minds are in harmony working together according to the laws of constructive action. And here we should remember that wherever two or more factors actually work together desirable results will positively follow.
To agree with your adversary has the same significance. There is a certain side of every form of adversity to which you can adapt yourself. Look for that side and try to relate yourself harmoniously and constructively to the power of that side. You will avoid much trouble thereby and bring to pass scores of good things that otherwise would not have been realized.
To harmonize with the adverse does not mean that you are to follow or imitate the adverse. At all times we should be ourselves. We should change nothing in our own individuality, but should aim primarily to adapt the actions of our individuality, whether physical or mental, to those things with which we may be associated. Under all adverse circumstances we should remember that vice is virtue gone wrong and that the power in the one is the same as the power in the other the good misdirected, that is all. But you are not to harmonize with the misdirection. You are to harmonize with the power that is back of the action and try to use that power for some valued purpose.
Here we find a subject upon which volumes could be written, but the real secret that underlies it all is simple. Adapt yourself to everything and everybody with a view of securing united action for greater good. You will thus continue in perfect harmony, and you will cause every action that may result from your efforts to work directly for the production of the results you have in view.
"Thinking For Results" by Christian D. Larson
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