Every person who reads this chapter has heard the word "Concentration" used frequently; has seen it in print often; and has used it repeatedly in conversation. But how few really know just what it means—or are able to form a mental picture of Concentration. Let us consider the term a moment, for until you are able to form a clear mental picture of it, you will not be able to apply it advantageously.

What is "Concentration''? Well, the dictionaries tell us that the word means the act or process of bringing or directing things toward a common center, and thereby condensing and intensifying the force of the thing. And that is the key-note of the word—that is the mental picture of it—this bringing forces to a common center.

One can best form a mental picture of the idea expressed in the word by thinking of a sun-glass which so concentrates the rays of the sun to a focus, or common center, that their powers are intensified upon the spot so that they easily burn a hole through anything placed on the spot.

We can never expect to win out in anything unless we firmly concentrate our minds upon the thing we seek. We have got to make our mental picture of what we want, and then start in to desire it as hard as we are able to, and by so doing we will concentrate our attention and will upon that thing until "something happens." We must learn to concentrate our powers and will upon the desired object, just as the sunglass concentrates the rays of the sun upon the common focus. We must learn to focus our energies upon the thing we want, and then to keep the focus steady from day to day, never allowing ourselves to be side-tracked or swerved from our main object of desire, interest and will.

The majority of people have little or no concentration, and they resemble the puppy-dog whose attention is attracted by first one thing and then another, and who runs from this thing to that, to and fro, not knowing what he wants long enough to get it, but continually wasting his energy in chasing things that have attracted the attention of the moment.

One should begin by practicing concentration on little things, until he masters them, and then he may move on to the consideration and contemplation of larger things. It is quite an art to be able to do one thing at a time, to the exclusion of distracting thoughts and objects. The best workmen along any line of human effort are those who are able to concentrate on their work, and practically lose themselves in their tasks for the time being.

The first step in acquiring Concentration begins, of course, in the control of the attention. Master the attention and you have acquired the art of Concentration. By holding your attention upon a thing, you direct to it your mental forces, and new ideas, plans and combinations spring into your mind and fly to a common center. Besides this you put into operation the Law of Attraction and direct its forces to that same common center. Without concentrated attention yon scatter and dissipate your mental forces and accomplish nothing at all.

I urge upon all who read this book the importance of beginning to cultivate concentration. Begin by acquiring the habit of attending to one thing at a time, concentrating the attention upon it, and then completing it and passing on to another thing. Avoid the baneful practice of thinking of one thing while doing another. Think of and work upon the thing before you, and hold your attention there until it is completed. The thinking and action should pull together, instead of in opposite directions.

An eminent authority tells us that: "It is a matter of no small importance that we acquire the habit of doing only one thing at a time, by which I mean that while attending to any one object, our thoughts ought not to wander to another." Another authority adds: "A frequent cause of failure in the faculty of attention, is striving to think of more than one thing at a time." Another says: "She did things easily because she attended to them in the doing. When she made bread, she thought of bread, and not of the fashion of her next dress, or of her partner at the last dance." The celebrated Lord Chesterfield said: "There is time enough for everything in the course of a day, if you do but one thing at a time; but there is not time enough in a year if you try to do two things at a time."

If then is any secret of concentration, it is contained in the following sentence: You can concentrate on anything you are intensely interested in, or dearly love. For instance, if you are a young man engaged to a beautiful young lady, the ideal woman to make your life complete, you have no trouble in thinking about her and how happy you will be after the knot is tied. In fact, most of your time—when you are not thinking of your work—is given over to thoughts of that girl, and your future together. Sometimes even her face pops up before you and you think of her when you should be devoting your time and thought to the work you are paid for. If you are the proud father of a new baby girl or boy you have no trouble in thinking about that dear little bit of humanity. If you are a mother whose son is forging to the front in business or one of the professions, your thought goes as naturally to that boy as a duck takes to water. And so we might go down the whole gamut of humanity and find some one thing which each person is interested in or loves, and we would soon see that it is not a hard task for a person to think about or concentrate on that which is most dear to him or her.

Just at the present tune the thing closest to your heart, next, of course, to that which you actually love, is or should be Financial Independence. For with money at your disposal you can give that girl everything she needs to make her happy; you can insure that child's future and make sure that it has the education which it deserves; you can establish that boy in business and give him a chance to express his full ability; you can complete those plans you have had in mind so long and you can do many things which are now impossible.

It certainly ought not to be hard for you to concentrate on Financial Independence when it means so much to you, ought it? Well, go to work now, and when your mind is not occupied with your regular duties, when your thought is roaming around here and there accomplishing nothing, when you find yourself thinking of something foolish or vicious, exert your will, draw back your thought, use your imagination to picture an ideal of what Financial Independence will mean to you, and then concentrate your whole thought on that ideal to bring it into materialization. Now is the time to begin, friend; do not leave it until tomorrow.


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