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 object 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.
The next question that will naturally arise is that of knowing what to think about our work and the objects we have in view. Every mental state becomes the mother of ideas; every idea can produce a tendency of mind, and every tendency tends to draw mental actions in its own direction.
A false conception will produce false ideas, false ideas will originate false tendencies and false tendencies will lead the mind into mistakes.
To promote any purpose, however, mistakes must be avoided as far as possible. Everything must be done correctly, and whatever is done should be done better and better every time. The way we think therefore of what we are to do or the objects we have in view will directly determine the results that are to be attained.
When you think about your work as being difficult you form a wrong mental conception; for the fact is that no work is more difficult than we make it, and we can relate ourselves to our work in* such a way that we shall always be equal to the occasion. When you think about your work as difficult you will usually approach it in the attitude of doubt and fear, and no mind can do its best while in such states.
Nor can you relate yourself to your work under such conditions because the false mental tendencies that follow such false conceptions will mislead many or all of your faculties. To think of your work as being completely under your personal control is correct because the possibilities within us are unlimited and we can make ourselves equal to any occasion.
From this we are not to infer, however, that we can do now whatever our personal opinions may conclude that we can do now; for such opinions are not always based upon the whole truth in the matter. But the idea is that you can succeed in that work which your best judgment has decided upon, and that you can increase your success in that line more and more for an indefinite period.
To think of your work as trivial, mean or burdensome is wrong because such an attitude of mind will tend to make you inferior,
and there is no success for you while you are on the downgrade towards inferiority. To think of your work as ordinary or trivial is to think ordinary thoughts, and as such thoughts will decrease the power of your mind they will naturally interfere with your work and therefore be directly against you in their actions.
To think of your work as drudgery, or as something disagreeable that is to be gone through with is in like manner a mistake; the reason being that such thinking prevents the mind from being its best and giving expression to its best. You cannot give your heart and soul to that which you despise, and you cannot do your best in any kind of work unless you give it your whole heart and soul.
Thinking For Results By Christian D. Larson Published 1912