We have elsewhere spoken of planes of mind which one may occupy. These cover a wide variation, from that of the dullard who scarcely thinks at all, lives like the lower animals, is guided by instinct, knows enough to eat and work, but whose mind never receives a new thought, is never filled with aspiration or an inflow of wisdom, to the clearheaded, forceful, calm, courageous, aspiring mind, which lifts itself above the world and reaches back drawing the world up with it. These may vary to any extent, governed by the degree of courage or confidence, or justice or power in either, and by the manner of thinking, each variation producing a different plane.
The proper mental attitude, then, is the plane where one can think clearly, evenly, slowly (not densely), holding the thought as long as desired, with no interference by intruding thought on other subjects; living in that condition without taking strength by conscious effort, but rather as a natural condition; the attitude that is always going ahead, pushing out strong, vigorous thoughts, never shrinking into itself fearing failure; a developed condition of peace, wisdom, force, justice, etc.
The majority of those who have studied mental attraction understand it to mean that one does nothing but figuratively hold one's breath and await results, while, on the contrary, very vigorous pushing thoughts occupy the mind. In its cultivated calmness, hardheaded, practical business plans are conceived; good judgment gives the power to avoid fatal mistakes; the concentrative strength prevents pernicious activity, which defeats one's object, and confidence in self produces a feeling of security and peace with a happy optimism. This kind of a mind steadily advances towards prosperity.
Every sensible person knows that results are obtained by putting forth effort of some kind. We see a man go into the woods with an axe and cut down a tree; that is physical effort, and the felling of the tree is the result of that same effort, and the greater value of the timber in lumber as compared to its value as a tree marks the gain accruing from his efforts. Again, we see the same man employing a number of men to fell the trees, while his time is devoted to selling the lumber with greater profit to himself.
The first case was an effect of physical effort pure and simple; the second, of building up a business through the condition of mind produced by holding the mental attitude of courage and confidence in self. The resulting action was the natural and logical outcome of that condition of mind. Had he held a slighter degree of courage he would have feared to launch out; feared to incur the liability of paying the wages of his men; feared he would find no market; feared it could not be a success; and would never have undertaken to have a business of his own.
The possessor of the right mental attitude is the kind of man of whom one instinctively says: "He is bound to be a success." The energy others use in worrying is used for work which becomes as necessary as air, and one literally works out his own salvation.
It embraces perfect self-possession, since self is lost in the absorption of the mind by the subject occupying the attention. There is, then, no fear of superiors; in fact, no thought of other people as regards their personalities, and no decision as to their goodness or badness, no judgment of any kind, nor any distraction by the thousand and one petty fears and worries governing ordinary souls; never a tremble or doubt about the proper signing of business contracts or worry regarding their fulfillment. This condition, never excited, never angered, does not allow the excessive use of one's powers; for be it firmly impressed upon you that anger or worry or excitement of any kind produces in the mentality an exhausting rapidity of thinking similar to the effect of turning a full head of steam on an unloaded stationary engine, rapidly racking it to pieces.
Anger, a species of insanity, increases the intensity of thought and seems to drive one's ideas promiscuously around without their touching anything, producing the same result as would be obtained by striking repeated blows at the air with one's clinched fist; the harder the blow, the more damaging the result; the more intense the anger, the more mental power lost. This angry condition of mind produces sickness of the body, taking form as sick headache, indigestion, etc. Some think it a sign of strength, but strength of mind lies in the power to hold an even temper at all times.
The proper mental attitude not only allows the free and best use of one's abilities, but also increases material fortune by attracting the ideas which will push the business or furnish new plans for more acceptable lines, and by bringing one in touch with a more wholesome class of people; first, by one's strong thought going out meeting and mingling with similar thought; next, by bringing those on that plane into personal contact, when they invariably become respectful of the other and usually fast friends. This attitude is not some impossible visionary thing, but is held in some degree by every successful man. If this mental condition be cultivated, the attention being given to its development instead of to some business, the mind lives in a new world, sees everything in a different light.
Opportunities for accumulating money which before escaped notice are evident on every hand, and it is realized that what one does is more important than how much one does. A single stroke of business often makes a fortune, and it is as easy for a strong man to make one hundred dollars as for a weak man to make one dollar, the only difference being that a broad-minded, forceful man goes out with that intention, while the little fellow as earnestly endeavors to make the one dollar by part of a day's labor; simply the difference in the way these men look at money.
When one occupies a high attitude of mind in the seclusion of his home, he is attracting to himself the people who are high minded; but when he goes out into the world, the lower thought of other people meets and mingles with his and he loses his clearness of mind, brings himself down to their level. One should not open his soul to anyone, should not allow other people to dominate him or arrogantly assume the ascendancy. He must, to preserve his health and fortune, wrap the mantle of reserve around him, not by being haughty (an acknowledgment of one's own weakness), but by building up through thinking of himself as a being separate and distinct from all others, as occupying a life of his own, a distinct individuality. Then his friends will have more respect for his opinions and personality.
Sympathy bestowed on others is only wasted strength. They hold all that is given like a leech and crave the more, since it sustains them while it is being given, but destroys their self-reliance and weakens the giver until, if persisted in, it would reduce the one to mental poverty and leave the other high and dry on the shoals of dependence with no one strong enough to lean on for support. It literally amounts to giving one's self, one's force, away and getting no return, and since justice to all includes justice to self, it is a violation of Infinite Law, the punishment being loss of force and the resulting lessening of the ability to care for one's self.
There are, then, two people incapable of caring for themselves, two burdens on society, where there was but one before. This does not imply that one cannot do a kindness or think good will to all; only do not allow anyone to twine himself around you and suck your life blood away by constantly drawing sympathy from you. There is a sort of mental sympathy one can feel that prompts the giving to destitute families, caring for the sick, and generally helping one's less fortunate neighbors, without giving away one's life through extending sympathy to every one that asks.
Helping others destroys their self-reliance and self-respect, and should not be done by outright gifts at any time, since some will ravenously accept anything and everything and dislike the giver for all time. They instinctively feel that he was instrumental in causing them to become less able to take care of themselves, and they feel under obligations to him also, which produces a feeling of inferiority, and the dislike is the natural effect.
But if one does give at all it should be money or property of some kind, and not sympathy. Sympathy is too valuable to give away; is so necessary to enable one to provide for self and family. Constantly giving it away destroys one's chief asset. It is as though one cut off an arm and gave it to some one else, destroying his own ability to earn and doing them no good. There are some who are so sympathetic that their heart goes out to every man, woman and child, dumb beasts as well, that have sorrow or suffering. It is impossible for them to stop at once, but the ability can be cultivated without lessening the amount of good done others. One can protect a horse from brutality without weeping over it or feeling like it.
It is not to be implied that the frame of mind that sends out a constant stream of love and good will should be repressed. On the contrary, that is the particular needful thing to promote health and vigor in one; but the element so created does not reach the class of people who crave sympathy, they are incapable of feeling love (emotion is usually supposed to be love; there is a wide difference), and your thoughts only reach people whose condition of mind is similar to your own, are assimilated, absorbed by them and returned with their added strength to invigorate you. There is a cold, crafty, selfish, soulless frame of mind held by some which results in their being miserly, mean and shriveled; this condition is the result of withholding the outflow of love and good will to all. They are so afraid of poverty that whatever wealth they get is held in a vise-like grip.
If you really desire to help dependent people (unmixed with any love for catering to your own emotion and no desire to secure the approbation of others for your good deeds), instill into those poor weak minds more respect for themselves, inspire them with a desire to be self-supporting; encourage them to make a start in some line of effort, teach them to stand on their own feet, and you have made a man instead of destroying yourself by giving yourself away and leaving the recipient less able than before to be independent.
It is largely a love of self-approbation, a sort of "you are a good man for helping that woman" idea, a standing off and patting one's self on the back for one's goodness, a feeling that sometime we may need sympathy and if we give it we will get it, a thorough lack of faith in the Supreme or of confidence in self that excites one to extend sympathy, rather than a desire to put another on a self-supporting basis.
Inspire people to be self-reliant instead of making paupers, both for your own good and for theirs. A species of weakness and lack of self-reliance produces the idea held by some mothers, and fathers as well, that their children will take care of them in their old age, and it usually results in their being tolerated for past favors rather than loved for what they are; or being unceremoniously turned adrift.
Had they lived their own life and taught their children to do likewise, their attractive power in their old age would have been stronger than ever before; money would have come easier; their children and friends would have loved them for their inherent strength. This life of ours is the only one we know we have, and should be lived in its fullness, not absorbed by children, friends or paupers; putting us upon the shelf as it were in our latter days. The only "trusts" you need bother about is trust in yourself and in your ability to get along smoothly through your own efforts.
There is a state or condition of mind which realizes that success and the acquisition of wealth are possible to the thinker, another that realization is probable, and another that feels success is assured. This latter goes after it and gets it. Opposed to this is the condition which makes a person say, "It is too good to be true," or, "It is not for me," which is an effectual bar to material progress. It is simply building a stone wall before you - an impassable obstacle. Why prevent yourself from prosperity? Why not rather feel and know the irresistible power of the human will, exercise the power within you, develop your latent capabilities, and enjoy life as is your right, which nothing but your own thoughts can prevent?
A great amount of advertising has been done along the line of hypnotic control. It has been advanced that no one could resist the influence of one acquainted with its wonderful mysteries; that if the operator made certain cabalistic passes with the hand, looked the subject in the eye or between the eyes; the victim must give up everything desired. Such teachings are false, idiotic and vicious. Try it sometime, and you will more than likely find yourself shutting the door on the outside, and that quickly, while your intended victim will consider you an unmitigated ass and forget you.
Now, on the other hand, suppose you bring your mind to a state of peace and strength and then go quietly into an office and ask for what you want, expecting to get it. The other fellow feels your thought and is favorably affected by it. Have you ever met a man for whom you were willing to do any reasonable thing he desired? One you liked the first time you met him, who impressed you as being a good fellow? Why do you have such thoughts? Simply because that man feels good will towards you and is strong in his own mentality. He never fears nor hates anyone. He has aspiration and uses others to further his ends, but usually does more for them than they for him. In fact, he seeks their welfare as well as his own. You feel his desire to be of service to you, and that state of mind strikes a responsive chord in your soul and you are possessed with the desire to help him. That is personal magnetism. You like him because he likes you. Such a man never wants for anything. Money, friends, success, happiness are his. In helping others he helped himself.
Any foolish idea of forcing others to do your will by concentrating your mind on them, and by so doing to make them do something against their own interests and to your financial gain, will result in failure as deserved. Every such thought sent from your mind reacts and lowers your mental powers, increases the element of ill will, brings you into contact with scheming, designing people who injure you. For let it be clearly understood that scheming personalities herd together and you will herd with them. Schemes and efforts to defraud another are entirely unnecessary and sure to eventually promote failure.
The writer has watched strong men of shady financial reputations, has made it a point to become well enough acquainted with them to study their inner self. Not one of them enjoyed his life. Some of them thought yachting, golfing, owning thoroughbreds and racing them was the acme of enjoyment; but the inner soul-satisfying joy of life, the bliss of breathing the pure air in mental harmony, the joy of being big enough to love peace and concord with plenty, the joy of working and seeing the results of one's own creation, the very essence of life itself was lost to them, and constant moving, constant change and excitement were necessary to prevent soul sickness and melancholy. They were whited sepulchers.
The fires of the Christian's hell could never burn brighter than the fires within their own souls. This was the condition at the height of their prosperity. Ninety percent of them die in poverty. Why should any man even entertain such an idea? One's own resistless force, relieved of the overpowering load of fear, hate, jealousy, lust and suspicion, directed towards things joyful and successful, will carry him forward to health, wealth and happiness without walking over the prostrate bodies of his fellow men.