Lesson 12 – Concentration

  • Concentration is the act of focusing the mind upon a given desire until ways and means for its realization have been worked out and successfully put into operation

 

  • The ability to control your attention and focus it on a given problem until you have solved it

 

  • Mastering concentration requires real self-mastery; throwing of the effects of habits you which to discard and building new habits that are more to your liking
    • This requires you to control your thoughts and direct them to a definite end

 

  • Two important laws enter into the act of concentrating the mind on a given desire: auto-suggestion and habit

 

The Power of Habit

  • Habit is the basis of all memory training
    • You repeat something over and over until you memorize it
    • The law of habit highlights the importance of selecting our environment with the greatest of care, because environment is the mental feeding ground out of which the food that goes into our minds is extracted
    • Environment: the sum total of sources through which you are influenced by and through the aid of the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling
    • Habit can be mastered, harnessed and set to work, instead of being allowed to dominate one’s actions and character
    • The best way in which old habits may be removed is to form new habits to counteract and replace the undesirable ones

 

How to Develop Good Habits

  1. At the beginning of the formation of a new habit put force and enthusiasm into your expression. Feel what you think. Remember that you are taking the first steps toward making the new mental path; that it is much harder at first than it will be afterwards. Make the path as clear and as deep as you can, at the beginning, so that you can readily see it the next time you wish to follow it.

 

  1. Keep your attention firmly concentrated on the new path-building, and keep your mind away from the old paths, lest you incline toward them. Forget all about the old paths, and concern yourself only with the new ones that you are building to order.

 

  1. Travel over your newly made paths as often as possible. Make opportunities for doing so, without waiting for them to arise through luck or chance. The oftener you go over the new paths the sooner will they become well worn and easily traveled. Create plans for passing over these new habit-paths, at the very start.

 

    Resist the temptation to travel over the older, easier paths that you have been using in the past. Every time you resist a temptation, the stronger do you become, and the easier will it be for you to do so the next time. But every time you yield to the temptation, the easier does it become to yield again, and the more difficult it becomes to resist the next time. You will have a fight on at the start, and this is the critical time. Prove your determination, persistency and will-power now, at the very beginning.

 

5. Be sure that you have mapped out the right path, as your definite chief aim, and then go ahead without fear and without allowing yourself to doubt. “Place your hand upon the plow, and look not backward.” Select your goal, then make good, deep, wide mental paths leading straight to it.

 

Environment

  • The term “environment” covers a very broad field. It consists of the books we read, the people with whom we associate, the community in which we live, the nature of the work in which we are engaged, the country or nation in which we reside, the clothes we wear, the songs we sing, and, most important of all, the religious and intellectual training we receive prior to the age of fourteen years

 

  • You should select your environment, as far as possible, with the object of supplying the mind with suitable material out of which to carry on its work of attaining our definite chief aim.
    • If your environment is not to your liking, change it!

 

 

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