SAID Charles Godfrey Leyland, when over seventy years of age, "Man has within him, if he would but know it, tremendous powers or transcendental faculties of which he has never had any conception." These powers are within YOU, and by the use of affirmations and the power of mental imagery, you can arouse these vast potencies, and harness them to your service, for the enrichment of your life and the accomplishment of your ambitions.
Every act of life can be influenced by affirmations, but do not confuse yourself by employing too many at once. Seek to progress by steps, not by huge bounds which may land you anywhere but in the right place. Day by day, and step by step, is the sure road to success. Do not attempt too much, a little at a time well done is better far than a huge and ambitious scheme that may have to be abandoned. If you have a little shop do not attempt to turn it, all at once, into a huge department store. Seek first to make it by far the best small shop in the district. Make yourself very efficient in your small shop, and it will not be very long before the opportunity comes for you to take a large one, or to buy a bigger business.
As you outgrow that, other opportunities for expansion will come your way, and thus will you grow from small beginnings to great things. Suppose you have a small law practice, do not try to blossom out all at once into a high class, lucrative, exclusive practice. Seek first to make yourself so exceedingly efficient in your small practice that you will be prepared for the high class practice when it comes.
Affirm success and keep visualized in your mind the exact kind of success that you desire, and ways and means will in time be provided. But remember to travel step by step, to grow gradually, to develop, like a plant, on natural lines. Remember Nature is never in a hurry; all her vast works are accomplished slowly, methodically, step by step, cell by cell, but whatever she seeks to do is ultimately accomplished. So will it be with you. You have the knowledge by which you can develop your success with mathematical exactitude. All you have to do is to put the Law into action and to advance step by step. Begin with small things; when you have conquered in small things you can pass to greater, and from greater things to boundless power.
Do not expect the maximum of success at once. If you get only partial success at first, be satisfied, knowing that you will keep on improving. Even if you fail utterly you will be stronger and better for having tried. "It is the law of the reflex nerve system that whenever one does, or endeavors to do, any given thing in a certain way, a modicum of power is added whereby it is a trifle easier at the next effort, an added trifle at the next and the next, until that which is difficult and is done only with great effort in the beginning becomes easy of accomplishment—that which we do haltingly and stumblingly at first, by-and-by, so to speak, does itself, with scarcely or even without any conscious effort on our part. This is the law; it is the secret of habit forming, character building, of all attainment."
If you set out on a certain course, to accomplish a certain work, to overcome an evil habit, to repair and strengthen a weak part of your character, or whatever it may be, NEVER LEAVE OFF UNTIL YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED THAT WHICH YOU SET OUT TO DO. To leave off before you have conquered is to play fast and loose with your mental powers and to do them irreparable harm. Never leave off one thing and start another; instead concentrate, concentrate, concentrate upon what you have decided to achieve.
Above all, live your life according to a principle. This will steady the most vacillating character. It is possible for a simple person to estimate with mathematical exactness the result of a right action, but the wisest and cleverest cannot foretell the result of an unprincipled one. The first is according to Law and produces certain results; the second, i.e., an unprincipled action, is against the Law and no one can tell where the evil effect will end.
Live your life to a principle and you will always know how to act in all cases of uncertainty. Set up as your standard the highest aspect of Truth of which you know and bring everything into line with it. When confronted with two or three courses of action and you do not know which to follow, compare each line of action with your principle, and adopt that one which is in harmony with it.
When once you have learned to live your life according to a principle, you will feel a great load lifted from your mind. For the first time there will be certainty and precision in your life and absolute peace of mind. You will have nothing to worry about because you know that your line of action will always be right, and can only bring the highest good into your life.
Never wrong any man, never take advantage of one with less knowledge that yourself, never sacrifice your principles, never give up your ideals. See that you are known for your integrity and absolute honesty, as well as for your cleverness and capacity. It may look, on the face of things, that this course of action is not going to lead to success. You see so many of your competitors making money by sharp practice, and you feel that by adopting an honest line of action you are simply putting yourself up as a target for people of less principle to shoot at.
That is what it looks like, but I can assure you, speaking from experience, that the reverse is the case. It is the man of probity and honor who scores in the long run. When in business I was more successful than anyone in my line had ever been before, and I never found it necessary to be "sharp" or "over-reaching.'' I never practiced "salesmanship" yet I had more business than I wanted; I never went out of my way to get customers, yet they swarmed into my place from morning till night.
I once knew a theater manager who suddenly began to live his life to a principle. Instead of covering up occasional defects in his shows as he had formerly done, he made it a principle to point them out to his customers. Many of his friends said he was a fool and prophesied his ruin and failure, but instead his business grew and flourished His friends were very surprised at his success, but they need not have been.
The theater manager was simply coming into line with eternal law, he was putting into action forces which could not fail to bring him success and prosperity. Do not misunderstand me, it is not enough to be honest or to live one's life to a high principle, but all other things being equal, it will be the man of integrity who will win in the end.
Therefore live your life to a principle, and persevere with the course which you have laid out for yourself. Be constant, be true, be faithful, be strong, be persevering, be fair to yourself, be fair to the wondrous inward powers which are seeking to find expression in your life.
Remember the law of compensation; if you are to receive the highest good in your life, you must give the world your best service.
You cannot cheat life, you must give your very best if you are to receive the best in return. It is useless to potter along and copy other people, or to do as your father did, just because he did it. There is nothing more nauseating than to see a man copying, or trying to copy, another man's success. BE ORIGINAL, BE YOURSELF.
See where other men are lacking and supply what is necessary. It is the man who comes along with a fresh idea, who breaks new ground, who discovers a want which other people have never seen, who inaugurates a better service; in other words, it is the one who gets ahead with his ideas, and is the first in the field, who gets the business and makes a fortune. Therefore be original, do not copy other people. Do not be a feeble reflection of someone else; be yourself. Remember that there is something you can do better than anyone else, that no one can do it as well as you, or in precisely the same way—in other words you have personality. Therefore, develop your personality; let all your work be distinctive; make it different from that of your competitors.
Let your personality be written all over your business; let there be a personal touch about everything that you do. This will distinguish both you and your business from other people and other people's businesses; this will be a reason why the public, or a large portion of it, will come to you, or will buy your goods rather than go elsewhere.
If people are to prefer your business or your professional services to those of others there must be a sufficient reason. They are not going to do this simply because you affirm that they will. The only way to get them is by supplying better goods, more perfect service, higher skill, greater probity and trustworthiness.
Another great factor in winning success is the mental attitude of cheerfulness and brightness. People are attracted to the cheerful, optimistic person, and repelled by one who is gloomy and pessimistic. Be cheerful and bright under all circumstances and this alone will be worth a king's ransom to you. These qualities alone will bring you in more money every year than most people get by hard work, to say nothing of the joy and cheeriness which this attitude of mind will attract to you.
By your brightness, cheerfulness, and optimism, by your appearance and personality, you will create a good impression wherever you go. I mention appearance advisedly, because the face becomes in time an index of the soul. Just as vice becomes deeply marked on the faces of its devotees, so does the face of one whose mind and thoughts are directed into right channels, reflect the calm and peace and courage of the mind within.
As time goes on the face as well as the attitude and carriage of the body alter considerably, and this makes one more attractive; thus do you attract success, because if you attract to yourself people of the right kind they bring potential success with them.
One word of warning and it is this: exercise a wise business prudence. Do not, just because you feel within you the fluttering of a new and wondrous power, rush thoughtlessly into business speculation, which may either ruin you or seriously jeopardize your business. Be prudent, be wise, be not carried away by your enthusiasm; instead, go slowly and feel your way, as it were, step by step. Be sure and steady; do not risk failure for the sake of getting on more quickly.
Keep your expenditure within your income. He is a happy man who spends less than he earns. The troubles of many families are due to their expenditure being in excess of their income. This leads them into endless difficulties and cares.
Success is no success that does not extend to the home. By scientific right thinking, happiness, peace and harmony can be made to reign supreme where formerly there were misunderstandings, friction, bickerings and great unhappiness; while ever increasing health will manifest, instead of intermittent sickness.
Cleanse your own heart and mind by denials, build up your own character by affirmations, calm your own spirit by dwelling in the perfect purity of the transcendental World of Mind, and yon will find, strange though it may seem, that everybody else in your household will get more lovable, and helpful, and restful, in their attitude toward you.
Remember to "reverse" every undesirable thought, suggestion, sight, or impression that comes to you. Deny them each and all in your perfect World of Mind, and affirm their opposite. For instance, two members of your family may be getting angry with one another and the air becomes electric. Immediately raise yourself into your higher World of Mind and say: Perfect man is never angry.
He is a perfect mental creature dwelling in the pure atmosphere of the Infinite Mind and can never get angry"; then affirm: "Man is love, perfect love; he dwells in the atmosphere of the Infinite Love." If by so doing you get a clear concept of that perfect World of Mind, which IS perfect, and IS real, and IS permanent, and a clear realization of the perfect Love of this Perfect World, then the quarreling ones will cease to quarrel, will love one another instead, and ever afterwards will quarrel less.
Remember the three great Laws:
(1) The Law of Love and Attraction. "Give love, and love to YOUR heart will flow, a strength in your utmost need."
(2) The Law of Compensation. "Then give to the World the best you have, and the best will come back to you."
(3) The Law of Absolute Justice. "For with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Therefore the ability to win the highest and truest success, to draw to yourself the greatest happiness, to create in your life the highest good, all depend upon giving. The mistaken idea of the animal mind that, to be happy and successful, one must seize and grab, is entirely false, and leads to bitter disappointment. The voice of Wisdom that is heard in the "Silence" tells us that only as we give do we receive. That if we give of our best—our best thoughts, emotions, service, love—then the best will come back to us in the exact proportion, no more, no less.
Again let me emphasize the necessity for "stickability" and perseverance. Keep at it, never know failure, let this word be expurged from your vocabulary. It is the man with the greatest staying power who wins through hard times.
Again, possess your soul in courage. Remember that if you use your inward mental powers aright, and bring your business and your life and your conduct into harmony with the Law, you can never fail. Great are the possibilities of your life, because great, beyond all human ken, is the Infinite Power within you. You have nothing to be afraid of. Big corporations cannot smash you. You can always beat them by personal service, by individuality and originality. By straight dealing, by integrity, by honesty combined with efficiency, and businesslike procedure, you can make for yourself an enduring reputation.
When faced by problems, difficulties and perplexities, you can at once raise yourself into your perfect World of Mind, and realize that you, your real self, can never be perplexed, because being one with the Universal Mind all wisdom is yours.
You know that in the "Silence," having hushed the loud voices of the surface, material mind, you can hear the still small voice of intuition, of infinite wisdom. For you, having learnt how to raise yourself above the life of the senses, to the perfect World of Mind, there is wisdom, understanding and illumination; there can be no perplexity or worry, only infinite calm and peace.
By being calm and unflurried, by dwelling in an atmosphere of peace, you can preserve your nervous system and your health, tine while your "sharp practice" competitor is tearing his nerves to pieces and breaking down his constitution.
Above all, remember to deny every thought, sight, influence and suggestion that is evil, or pessimistic, or material, or fearing, or selfish, and create in its place its exact opposite. Deny evil constantly, and affirm Infinite Good, deny fear just as frequently and earnestly, and affirm confidence and courage; do this persistently and you will transform your life.
Now that you have finished the lessons do not lay them lightly aside, and forget them. This Course is not for three months merely, it is for your life. You have gone diligently through the Course and probably think that you have mastered it, but it is highly improbable that you have.
If you will now begin again and start with Lesson 1 and work steadily through the Course you will find fresh light and understanding, and many hidden and deeper meanings, unsuspected before, will come to light. Study the lessons and practice their teachings for the rest of your life.
Do not expect immediate results. The effects of thought are slow in manifesting. It is my experience that what we think today becomes manifest in about two year's time. By that I do not mean that by affirming certain qualities I do not immediately begin to develop these qualities, because I do right from the first affirmation.
What I do mean is this, that suppose I want to demonstrate a big business, a large practice, or say a house in the country all bought and paid for, a perfect recovery from life-long ill-health, or a greater advancement in spiritual unfoldment, then if I hold in my mind a sharply defined picture of what I want, and vitalize it by joyful emotion, and confident affirmations, and spend at least a quarter of an hour every night and morning holding this picture in my mind besides calling it up at intervals during the day, then in about two years' time what has been held in the mind will become an actual accomplished fact in my life. I may have many setbacks and disappointments but if I persevere and persist and concentrate, then whatever I desire MUST objectify in my life.
Actually, of course, I have been progressing all the time towards the realization of my desire, but it is in about two years' time that tangible results usually are seen. After that one can never look back, because success attracts success and once one has "demonstrated," one becomes so full of success vibrations that success becomes the habit of one's life.
Therefore, keep on persevering, persisting. Never cease mentally to picture and affirm confidently. It is by this mental activity that you win success, it is not done by striving so much as "thinking" and visualizing. Of course one must work, but it is the mental activity that crowns the work with lasting success.
By bringing into play, as taught in these lessons, the illimitable powers of your subliminal mind, by the use of denials and affirmations, by harmonizing with Immutable Law, and by the art of visualizing, you can accomplish all that you desire. There is no height to which you cannot climb, no success that you cannot achieve, no happiness that you cannot attract into your life. All things are yours.
Everything has been delivered into your hands. You can do whatever you please, you can achieve what you will, you can be all that you desire. Act according to the teachings of this Course, making in future your own denials and affirmations as are required, extemporizing your own meditations, and you will have set your feet in a path that leads ever upward. Where it ends, if it ever does end, no one can say, but this I know, it is a path of joy and blessing and happiness and success; it leads to heights the grandeur of which cannot be described.
If I have helped you to take this road of scientific right-thinking, which leads to your eternal joy and satisfaction, I am rewarded above measure.
I affirm for you Success in its richest and fullest sense, and all the joys of overcoming.