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.
The three states of mind mentioned in the previous chapter will naturally lead us to a place where results can be secured, but how great these results are to be will depend upon the loftiness of our aim.
Therefore a mental state will be required that will constantly center attention upon the high places of attainment, and such a state we find in aspiration.
But here we must know the difference between aspiration and ambition especially when they act separately. When ambition acts aside from aspiration the aim of the mind will be to promote the personal self by calling into action only those powers that are now active in the personal self.
Such an action, however, tends to separate the personality from the greater powers within which will finally produce a condition of personal inferiority.
We have seen this fact illustrated so frequently that it has become proverbial to say that personal ambition when in full control of the mind invariably leads to personal downfall.
It is a well known fact that no mind that is simply ambitious can ever become great, and the reason is that personal ambition prevents mind and consciousness from ascending into those superior states of thought and power which alone can make greatness possible.
This ascension of mind and consciousness, however, invariably takes place through the attitude of aspiration, and therefore the force of ambition should always be inspired by the spirit of aspiration. Both are necessary and they must combine perfectly in every case if results worth while are to be realized.
The attitude of aspiration causes the mind to think of the marvels that lie beyond present attainment and thereby inspires the creation of great thoughts which is vastly important.
There must be great thoughts before the mind can become great, and the mind must become great before great results can be secured.
Aspiration concentrates attention upon superiority always and therefore elevates all the qualities of the mind into that state. This being true every effort in life should be directed towards those possibilities that lie beyond the present attainment if we wish to cultivate and strengthen the attitude of aspiration.
When we are simply ambitious we proceed as we are and seek to make a mark for ourselves with what power we already possess;
but when we are alive with the spirit of aspiration we seek to make our selves larger, more powerful and far superior to what we are now, knowing that a great light cannot be hid, and that anyone with great power must invariably reach the goal he has in view.
The ambitious mind seeks to make a small light shine far beyond its capacity, and through this effort finally wears itself out. The aspiring mind, however, seeks to make the light larger and larger, knowing that the larger the light becomes the further it will shine, and that no strenuous efforts will be required to push its powerful rays into effectiveness.
But when the attitude of aspiration looks beyond the personal self it does not necessarily look outside of the self. The purpose of aspiration is to enter into the possession of the marvels of the great within because what is found in the within will be expressed in the without.
Therefore, when we constantly rise above the personal self we perpetually enlarge the personal self, thus gaining the capacity to accomplish more and more until we finally accomplish practically everything we have in view.
The attitude of aspiration therefore should never leave the mind for a moment; but we should on the contrary keep the mental eye single upon the boundless possibilities that are within us and deeply desire with heart and soul a greater and a greater realization of those possibilities in practical life.
The attitude of contentment may truthfully be said to be the twin sister of aspiration
and its important function is to prevent aspiration from losing sight of what has already been gained. When contentment is absent the present seems more or less barren, and when aspiration is absent the present seems sufficient. But the present is never barren nor is it ever sufficient.
The present is rich with many things of extreme value if we only train ourselves to see them. These things.
however, are not sufficient to the advancing soul. Greater things are at hand and it is our privilege to press on through the realization of those greater things. We must therefore conclude that the true attitude of mind in this connection is to be content with things as they now are, and at the same time reach out constantly for greater things.
When contentment is absent the present is not fully utilized and we cannot attain the greater things until we have fully employed what has already been received. When aspiration is absent the present is used over and over again like the air in a closed room, and the result must be mental stagnation to be followed by failure and final extinction.
When, we look at this subject from another point of view we find that the mind that is not contented cannot be developed; nor can such a mind make the best use of the powers it may now possess. Every moment therefore should be filled with contentment and perfect satisfaction, but every moment should also be filled with a strong desire for still greater attainments and achievements.
In such a state where contentment and aspiration are combined we shall find life to be a continual feast, each course being more delicious than the one preceding. We shall also find such a life to be the path to perpetual growth and continuous joy.
Thinking For Results By Christian D. Larson Published 1912