The discovery of the fact that man is as he thinks, has originated a number of strange ideas concerning the power of thought. One of the principal of these is the belief that thought is a domineering force to be used in controlling things and in compelling fate to come our way. But that this belief is unscientific in every sense of the term has been demonstrated any number of times.
Those who have accepted this belief, and who have tried to use thought as a compelling force, have seemingly succeeded in the beginning, but later on have utterly failed, and the reason is that the very moment we proceed to apply thought in this manner, we place ourselves out of harmony with everything,. both within ourselves and in our environment. The seeming success that such people have had in the beginning, or for a season, is due to the fact that a strong compelling force can cause the various elements of life to respond for a while, but the force that compels, weakens itself through the very act of compelling, and finally loses its power completely; and then, whatever has been gathered begins to slip away.
This explains why thousands of ardent students of metaphysics have failed to secure the results desired, or have succeeded only in spurts. They have taken the wrong view of the power of thought, and therefore have caused their power to work against them during the greater part of the time. The power of thought is not a compelling force. It is a building force, and it is only when used in the latter sense that desirable results can be produced. The building capacity of thought, however, is practically unlimited. Therefore there is actually no end to what might be accomplished, so long as this power is employed intelligently.
To apply the full building power of thought, we should proceed upon the principle that he can who thinks he can, and we should act in the full conviction that whatever man thinks he can do, he can do, because there is no limit to the power that such thinking can bring forth. The majority among intelligent minds admit that there is some truth in the statement that he can who thinks he can, but they do not, as a rule, believe it to be a very large truth. They admit that we gain more confidence in ourselves when we think that we can do what we have undertaken to do, and also that we become more determined, but aside from that, they see no further value in that particular attitude of mind. They do not realize that he who thinks he can, develops the power that can; but this is the truth, and it is one of the most important of all truths in the vast metaphysical domain.
The law that governs this idea, and its process while in action, is absolutely unlimited in its possibilities, and therefore is in a position to promise almost anything to him who is faithful. When a man begins to think that he can do certain things that he desires to do, his mind will naturally proceed to act on those faculties that are required in the working out of his purpose; and so long as the mind acts upon a certain faculty, more and more life, nourishment and energy will accumulate in that faculty. In consequence, that faculty will steadily develop. It will become larger, stronger and more efficient, until it finally is competent to do what we originally wanted done. Thus we understand how he who thinks he can develops the power that can.
When a man begins to think that he can apply the power of invention, his mind will begin to act upon the faculty of invention. The latent powers of this faculty will be aroused. These powers will accordingly be exercised more and more, and development will be promoted. This, however, is not all. Whenever the mind concentrates its attention upon a certain faculty, additional energy will be drawn into that faculty; thus power will be added to power, much will gather more, and as this may continue indefinitely there need be no end to the capacity and the ability that can be developed in that faculty. In the course of time, be it in a few months or in a few years, that man will actually have developed the power of invention to such a degree that he can invent successfully; and through the application of the same law, he can further develop this same faculty, year after year, until he may finally become an inventive genius. When a man has some inventive power in the beginning, he will secure, through the application of this law, more remarkable results and in less time than if there were originally no indications of that faculty; but even if there were no original indications of individual power, that power can be developed to a high degree through the faithful application of the great law–he can who thinks he can, or to state it differently–he who thinks he can develops the power that can.
There is no faculty that we all do not possess, either in the active or in the latent state. Every faculty that naturally belongs to the human mind is latent in every mind, and it can be awakened and developed, provided the proper laws are faithfully applied. It should be our object, however, to accomplish as much as possible in the present. It is therefore advisable to proceed in the beginning to work through, and develop, those faculties that already indicate considerable power. The mind that has same talent for invention should proceed to think that be can invent. Thus he will accumulate more and more inventive ability or genius. The mind that has some talent for music, should proceed to think that he can master the art of music. He will thereby cause the creative energies of his mentality to accumulate more and more in the faculty of music, until that faculty will be developed to a greater and greater degree. The mind that has some talent for art should apply the same law upon that talent. The mind that has literary ability should proceed to think that he can write what he wants to write, and he will finally secure that literary ability or genius with which he can write what he wants to write. The mind that has ability in any line of business should proceed to think that he can conduct that business in the most successful manner. Should he enter that business and continue to think that he can, combining such thought with good work, enterprise and the full use of his personal ability, his success will continue to grow indefinitely.
Whatever a man may think that he can do, let him proceed to carry out that undertaking, constantly thinking that he can. He will succeed from the beginning, and his advancement will be continuous. However, no mind need be confined to a single purpose. If we have talent for something better than we are doing now, or if we wish to awaken some talent that we long to possess, we may proceed now to think that we can do what we long to do. We shall thus give more and more power to that faculty until it becomes sufficiently strong to be applied in actual practice. In the mean time, we should continue to think that we can do better and better what we are doing now. We shall thereby advance steadily in our present work, and at the same time, prepare ourselves for a greater work in the coming days.
When we think that we can, we must enter into the very soul of that thought and be thoroughly in earnest. It is in this manner that we awaken the finer creative energies of mind, those forces that build talent, ability and genius–those forces that make man great. We must be determined to do what we think we can do. This determination must be invincible, and must be animated with that depth of feeling that arouses all the powers of being into positive and united action. The power that can do what we think we can do will thus be placed at our command, and accordingly we may proceed successfully to do what we thought we could do.
The fact that you have failed to get the lesser proves conclusively that you deserve the greater. So therefore, dry those tears and go in search of the worthier prize.
Count nothing lost; even the day that sees “no worthy action done” may be a day of preparation and accumulation that will add greatly to the achievements of tomorrow. Many a day was made famous because nothing was done the day before.
Know what you want and continue to want it. You will get it if you combine desire with faith. The power of desire when combined with faith becomes invincible.
Some of the principal reasons why so many fail to get what they want is because they do not definitely know what they want, or because they change their wants almost every day.