To cultivate the state of contentment we should live in the conviction that all things are working together for good,
and that what is best for us now is coming to us now. The truth is that if we are trying to make all things work together for good, and live in the faith that we can, we actually will so order things in our life that all things will work together for good.
And what comes to us every day will be the very best for us that day. When we live, think and act in this manner we shall soon find that the best is daily coming to us, and that the best of each day is better than that of the day preceding.
The result will be perfect contentment, and the placing of life in that position where it can receive in the great eternal now all that the great eternal now has to give. In brief, when we so live that we permit the present moment to be filled with all the richness that it can hold, then we shall have the contented mind and the ever-growing mind, the mind that is proverbially described as a continuous feast.
The attitude of gratitude is closely related to that of contentment and is one of the greatest of all mental states;
and the reason why is found in the fact that no mind can be, right nor think constructively unless it is filled with the spirit of gratitude. The fact is that new life is coming to us every day and with it new opportunities.
Every moment therefore is richer than the one before; but if this coming of new life and new opportunities does not add to the richness and value of our own personal life there is a lack of gratitude.
And the explanation is that where gratitude is lacking the mind is more or less closed to the many good things that are coming our way. The grateful mind, however, is always an open mind, open to the newer, the higher and the better, and therefore invariably coming into possession of more and more of those things.
The entire race is moving forward with the stream of continuous advancement;
better things therefore are daily coming into the life of each individual.
If he does not receive them the reason is that his mind is more or less closed on account of the lack of gratitude.
For let us remember in this connection that the mind simply must be grateful for everything in order to be open to the reception of new things and better things.
We simply cannot receive better things unless we are truly grateful for that which we already possess.
This is the law in this matter, and it is a law that will bear the most rigid analysis. To give thanks therefore with the whole heart for everything that comes into life, and to express constant and whole souled gratitude to all the world for everything that is good in the world—this is the secret through which we may open the mind to the great cosmic influx; that influx that is bringing into the life of every individual the richness and the power that complete life has in store for every individual.
But in order to be grateful in the best and most perfect manner we must have appreciation.
We must be able to see the real worth of that which comes into life before we can express the fullness and the spirit of the grateful heart. The attitude of appreciation is also valuable in another direction.
When we appreciate worth we always gain a higher consciousness of worth and thereby make our own minds more worthy.
To cultivate the mental state of appreciation we should eliminate all tendency to fault finding, criticism and the like, and we should make a special effort to see the worthy qualities in everything and everybody with which we come in contact.
The result of such a practice will not only be a better appreciation, with a deeper insight into the superior qualities of life, but also the building of a more wholesome mind.
Realizing the value of appreciation we should, whenever we discover a lack of appreciation in ourselves, proceed at once to remove the cause.
We shall not hesitate in doing this when we find that a lack of appreciation also tends to give the mind a false view of things thereby preventing the acquisition of the best that life has in store.
The appreciative mind has a natural tendency to look upon the better side of things, but this tendency becomes complete only when the optimistic attitude is added. To be optimistic, however, does not mean to think that black is white or that everything everywhere is all right.
The true optimist can also see the flaws and the imperfections in life, but he gives direct attention to the good side, the better side and the strong side. And having this larger view he always knows that the strong side is much larger and far superior to the weak side.
He never becomes discouraged therefore because he knows that failure and wrong are only temporary, and that the right finally wins every time. In addition, he knows that he can aid the right to such an extent that the victory can be gained now.
The pessimist lives in the false and does not see things as they are. His conclusions are therefore worthless. For this reason we should never pay any attention to the words of the pessimist as we shall be misled in every instance if we do.
Instead we should listen to the prophecy of the optimist, and then put all our ability and all our faith into the possibilities of that prophecy thereby making it come true, proceeding of course in the conviction that we can.
The value of the optimistic attitude in scientific thinking therefore is very great; because to think correctly on any subject the mind must have the mountain top view, and we must think correctly if we wish to think for results.
Though the optimist may live on the sunny side, still the full value of life’s sunshine cannot be gained until we add the attitude of constant cheerfulness. To be cheerful, bright, happy and joyous is absolutely necessary if we wish to think scientifically, think constructively and think for results.
When we proceed to think for results we think for a purpose.
We employ correctly the constructive mental processes so that we may work ourselves up to the goal in view. Growth and development therefore must take place all along the line of action, but no mental growth can take place without mental sunshine. Accordingly, we should resolve to be happy no matter what may transpire. We cannot afford to be otherwise. Sunshine will
melt the most massive iceberg if the rays are direct and the clouds are kept away; and it is the same in daily life.
No matter how cold, disagreeable and uncongenial your present environment may be, plenty of mental sunshine can change it all It pays to be happy. Cheerfulness is a most profitable investment and there are no riches that are greater than constant joy.
This attitude is not for the few or for occasional moments because all the sunny states of mind can be made permanent in a short time by a very simple process.
Make it a practice to go to sleep every night with cheerfulness on your mind and with a feeling of joy in every atom of your being. Through this practice you will carry the cheerful idea into the subconscious, and gradually the joyous state will become an established state in the subconscious mind.
The result will be that the subconscious will express cheerfulness and wholesomeness at all times, and it will become second nature for you to have a sweet disposition, a sunny frame of mind and an attitude of perpetual joy.
This method may seem to be too simple to be of value, but the simplest methods are usually the best.
And anyone can prove through a few weeks of trial that this method will produce the desired results, and will through more continuous practice actually transform mind and disposition to such an extent that the mind will henceforth live in constant mental sunshine.
And there are few things that are more important than this if we wish to train the mind to act and work in those attitudes that are necessary in order that we may proceed successfully in thinking for results.
The attitude of kindness is one of the greatest among the right states of mind. Therefore to be kind to everybody and to feel kindly towards the whole of creation, this must be the attitude if the right use of mind and thought is to prevail. Kindness enlarges the inner consciousness thus promoting the enlargement and the expression of life.
And it also creates the tendency to give one’s best and there is nothing that brings forth the greater life and power within us so quickly and so completely as the giving of one’s best in all things and at all times.
Both the soul and the mind, with all their powers and possibilities, tend to unfold themselves through the actions of the strong whole souled attitude of kindness.
In fact, no one Can begin to unfold his larger life and receive the greater richness from within until he begins to give, through the attitude of kindness, all that which he already has in his personality.
And the more one gives of the richness of one's own life, ability and power, the more he will receive from the limitless realms of the within. This is a law that no one, not even the most materialistic, can afford to ignore.
But giving is not giving unless it comes from the heart, and it must invariably be an act of expression for some great purpose. Your expressions, either of thought or action, will not open the way for inner unfoldment unless you give richly through a fuller and larger expression, and in all such expressions you must feel kindly.
The attitude of kindness is therefore indispensable to growth, mental unfoldment and constructive thinking.
The attitude of sympathy always acts in close connection with kindness,
and though it is a most important state of mind it is also a much abused state. There are few people who sympathize correctly
and there is possibly nothing that interferes with correct thinking as does misdirected sympathy.
When we sympathize with anyone we enter into a certain unity of that one’s mind
and we almost invariably imitate to a degree the mind that we unite with in this way.
Two minds with but a single thought will imitate each other in nearly everything and will actually grow to look alike. It is therefore very important to know with what we should sympathize.
When you sympathize with a person in distress you will think the thought of distress at the time, and will reproduce in a measure the same state in your own mind, and possibly in your own life and personality.
Many a person has failed in life because he has sympathized too much with the weak side and inferior side of those who have had misfortune.
When you sympathize with a person that is sick your mind will create within itself a similar condition of disease, and this expression will express itself in your own body, a fact to which thousands can testify. We realize again therefore that it will not do to sympathize with anything and everything that may arouse our sympathy.
Thinking For Results By Christian D. Larson Published 1912