Skip to main content


If you made a botch of last year, if you feel that it was a failure, that you floundered and blundered and did a lot of foolish things; if you were gullible, made imprudent investments, wasted your time and money, don't drag these ghosts along with you to handicap you and destroy your happiness all through the future. Haven't you wasted enough energy worrying over what can not be helped? Don't let these things sap any more of your vitality, waste any more of your time or destroy any more of your happiness.

There is only one thing to do with bitter experiences, blunders and unfortunate mistakes, or with memories that worry us and which kill our efficiency, and that is to forget them, bury them!

Today is a good time to "leave the low-vaulted past," to drop the yesterdays, to forget bitter memories. Resolve that you will close the door on everything in the past that pains and can not help you. Free yourself from everything which handicaps you, keeps you back and makes you unhappy. Throw away all useless baggage, drop everything that is a drag, that hinders your progress.

Enter upon tomorrow with a clean slate and a free mind. Don't be mortgaged to the past, and never look back. There is no use in castigating yourself for not having done better.

Form a habit of expelling from your mind thoughts or suggestions which call up unpleasant subjects or bitter memories, and which have a bad influence upon you.

Every one ought to make it a life-rule to wipe out from his memory everything that has been unpleasant, unfortunate. We ought to-forget everything that has kept us back, has made us suffer, has been disagreeable, and never allow the hideous pictures of distressing conditions to enter our minds again. There is only one thing to do with a disagreeable, harmful experience, and that is - forget it!

There are many times in the life of a person who does things that are worth while when he gets terribly discouraged and thinks it easier to go back than to push on. But there is no victory in retreating. We should never leave any bridges unburned behind us, any way open for retreat to tempt our weakness, indecision or discouragement. If there is anything we ever feel grateful for, it is that we have had courage and pluck enough to push on, to keep going when things looked dark and when seemingly insurmountable obstacles confronted us.

Most people are their own worst enemies. We are all the time " queering " our life game by our vicious, tearing-down thoughts and unfortunate moods. Everything depends upon our courage, our faith in ourselves, in our holding a hopeful, optimistic outlook; and yet, whenever things go wrong with us, whenever we have a discouraging day or an unfortunate experience, a loss or any misfortune, we let the tearing down thought, doubt, fear, despondency, like a bull in a china shop, tear through our mentalities, perhaps breaking up and destroying the work of years of building up, and we have to start all over again. We work and live like the frog in the well; we climb up only to fall back, and often lose all we gain.

One of the worst things that can ever happen to a person is to get it into his head that he was born unlucky and that the Fates are against him.

There are no Fates, outside of our own mentality. We are our own Fates. We control our own destiny. There is no fate or destiny which puts one man down and another up. " It is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." He only is beaten who admits it. The man is inferior who admits that he is inferior, who voluntarily takes an inferior position because he thinks the best things were intended for somebody else.

You will find that just in proportion as you increase your confidence in yourself by the affirmation of what you wish to be and to do, your ability will increase. No matter what other people may think about your ability, never allow yourself to doubt that you can do or become what you long to. Increase your self-confidence in every possible way, and you can do this to a remarkable degree by the power of self-suggestion. This form of suggestion-talking to oneself vigorously, earnestly-seems to arouse the sleeping forces in the subconscious self more effectually than thinking the same thing.

There is a force in words spoken aloud which is not stirred by going over the same words mentally. They sometimes arouse slumbering energies within us which thinking does not stir up-especially if we have not been trained to think deeply, to focus the mind closely. They make a more lasting impression upon the mind. just as words which pass through the eye from the printed page make a greater impression on the brain than we get by thinking the same words; as seeing objects of nature makes a more lasting impression upon the mind than thinking about them. A vividness, a certain force, accompanies the spoken word-especially if earnestly, vehemently uttered-which is not apparent to many in merely thinking about what the words express.

If you repeat a firm resolve to yourself aloud, vigorously, even vehemently, you are more likely to carry it to reality than if you merely resolve in silence. We become so accustomed to our silent thoughts that the voicing of them, the giving audible expression to our yearnings, makes a much deeper impression upon us. The audible self-encouragement treatment may be used with marvelous results in correcting our weaknesses; overcoming our deficiencies.

Never allow yourself to think meanly, narrowly, poorly of yourself. Never regard yourself as weak, inefficient, diseased, but as perfect, complete, capable. Never even think of the possibility of going through life a failure or a partial failure. Failure and misery are not for the man who has seen the God-side of himself, who has been in touch with divinity. They are for those who have never discovered themselves and their God-like qualities.

Stoutly assert that there is a place for you in the world, and that you are going to fill it like a man. Train yourself to expect great things of yourself. Never admit, even by your manner, that you think you are destined to do little things all your life. It is marvelous what mental strength can be developed by the perpetual affirmation of vigorous fitness, strength, power, efficiency; these are thoughts and ideals that make a strong man.

The way to get the best out of yourself is to put things right up to yourself, handle yourself without gloves, and talk to yourself as you would to a son of yours who has great ability but who is not using half of it. When you go into an undertaking just say to yourself, " Now, this thing is right up to me. I've got to make good, to show the man in me or the coward. There is no backing out."

You will be surprised to see how quickly this sort of self-suggestion will brace you up and put new spirit in you. I have a friend who has helped himself wonderfully by talking to himself about his conduct. When he feels that he is not doing all that he ought to, that he has made some foolish mistake or has failed to use good sense and good judgment in any transaction, when he feels that his stamina and ambition are deteriorating, he goes off alone to the country, to the woods if possible, and has a good heart-to-heart talk with himself something after this fashion

" Now young man, you need a good talking to, a bracing-up all along the line. You are going stale, your standards are dropping, your ideals are getting dull, and the worst of it all is that when you do a poor job, or are careless about your dress and indifferent in your manner, you do not feel as troubled as you used to. You are not making good. This lethargy, this inertia, this indifference will seriously cripple your career if you're not very careful. You are letting a lot of good chances slip by you, because you are not as progressive and up-to-date as you ought to be.

" In short, you are becoming lazy. You like to take things easy. Nobody ever amounts to much who lets his energies flag, his standards droop and his ambition ooze out. Now, I am going to keep right after you, young man, until you are doing yourself justice. This take-it-easy sort of policy will never land you at the goal you started for. You will have to watch yourself very closely or you will be left behind.

" You are capable of something much better than what you are doing. You must start out today with a firm resolution to make the returns from your work greater tonight than ever before. You must make this a red-letter day. Bestir yourself; get the cobwebs out of your head; brush off the brain ash.

Please Share This E-Book


Volume II Copyright 1911


Think, think, think to some purpose! Do not mull and mope like this. You are only half-alive, man; get a move on you!"

This young man says that every morning when he finds his standards are down and he feels lazy and indifferent he "hauls himself over the coals," as he calls it, in order to force himself up to a higher standard and' put himself in tune for the day. It is the very first thing he attends to. He forces himself to do the most disagreeable tasks first, and does not allow himself to skip hard problems. " Now, don't be a coward," he says to himself. " If others have done this, you can do it."

By years of stern discipline of this kind he has done wonders with himself. He began as a poor boy living in the slums of New York with no one to take an interest in him, encourage or push him. Though he had little opportunity for schooling when he was a small boy, he has given himself a splendid education, mainly since he was twenty-one. I have never known any one else who carried on such a vigorous campaign in self-victory, self-development, self-training, self-culture as this young man has.

At first it may seem silly to you to be talking to yourself, but you will derive so much benefit from it that you will have recourse to it in remedying all your defects. There is no fault, however great or small, which will not succumb to persistent audible suggestion. For example, you may be naturally timid and shrink from meeting people; and you may distrust your own ability. If so, you will be greatly helped by assuring yourself in your daily self-talks that you are not timid; that, on the contrary, you are the embodiment of courage and bravery. Assure yourself that there is no reason why you should be timid, because there is nothing inferior or peculiar about you; that you are attractive and that you know how to act in the presence of others.

Say to yourself that you are never again going to allow yourself to harbor any thoughts of self-depreciation or timidity or inferiority; that you are going to hold your head up and go about as though you were a king, a conqueror, instead of crawling about like a whipped cur; you are going to assert your manhood, your individuality.

If you lack initiative, stoutly affirm your ability to begin things, and to push them to a finish. And always put your resolve into action at the first opportunity. You will be surprised to see how you can increase your courage, your confidence, and your ability, if you will be sincere with yourself and strong and persistent in your affirmations.

I know of nothing so helpful for the timid, those who lack faith in themselves, as the habit of constantly affirming their own importance, their own power, their own divinity. The trouble is that we do not think half enough of ourselves; do not accurately measure our ability; do not put the right estimate upon our possibilities. We berate ourselves, belittle, efface ourselves, because we do not see the larger, diviner man in us.

Try this experiment the very next time you get discouraged or think that you are a failure, that your work does not amount to much - turn about face. Resolve that you will go no further in that direction. Stop and face the other way, and go the other way. Every time you think you are a failure, it helps you to become one, for your thought is your life pattern and you can not get away from it. You can not get away from your ideals, the standard which you hold for yourself, and if you acknowledge in your thought that you are a failure, that you can't do anything worth while, that luck is against you, that you don't have the same opportunity that other people have - your convictions will control the result.

There are thousands of people who have lost everything they valued in the world, all the material results of their lives' endeavor, and yet, because they possess stout hearts, unconquerable spirits, a determination to push ahead which knows no retreat, they are just as far from real failure as before their loss; and with such wealth they can never be poor.

A great many people fail to reach a success which matches their ability because they are victims of their moods, which repel people and repel business. We avoid morose, gloomy people just as we avoid a picture which makes a disagreeable impression upon us. Everywhere we see people with great ambitions doing very ordinary things, simply because there are so many days when they do not " feel like it " or when they are discouraged or " blue."

A man who is at the mercy of a capricious disposition can never be a leader, a power among men. It is perfectly possible for a well-trained mind to completely rout the worst case of the "blues" in a few minutes; but the trouble with most of us is that instead of flinging open the mental blinds and letting in the sun of cheerfulness, hope, and optimism, we keep them closed and try to eject the darkness by main force.

The art of arts is learning how to clear the mind of its enemies - enemies of our comfort, happiness, and success. It is a great thing to learn to focus the mind upon the beautiful instead of the ugly, the true instead of the false, upon harmony instead of discord, life instead of death, health instead of disease. This is not always easy, but it is possible to everybody. It requires only skilful thinking, the forming of the right thought habits.

The best way to keep out darkness is to keep the life filled with light; to keep out discord, keep it filled with harmony; to shut out error, keep the mind filled with truth; to shut out ugliness, contemplate beauty and loveliness; to get rid of all that is sour and unwholesome, contemplate all that is sweet and wholesome. Opposite thoughts can not occupy the mind at the same time.

No matter whether you feel like it or not, just affirm that you must feel like it, that you will feel like it, that you do feel like it, that you are normal and that you are in a position to do your best. Say it deliberately, affirm it vigorously and it will come true.

The next time you get into trouble, or are discouraged and think you are a failure, just try the experiment of affirming vigorously, persistently, that all that is real must be good, for God made all that is, and whatever doesn't seem to be good is not like its creator and therefore can not be real. Persist in this affirmation. You will be surprised to see how unfortunate suggestions and adverse conditions will melt away before it.

The next time you feel the " blues " or a fit of de pression coming on, just get by yourself-if possible after taking a good bath and dressing yourself becomingly - and give yourself a good talking - to. Talk to yourself in the same dead-in-earnest way that you would talk to your own child or a dear friend who was deep in the mire of despondency, suffering tortures from melancholy. Drive out the black, hideous pictures which haunt your mind. Sweep away all depressing thoughts, suggestions, all the rubbish that is troubling you. Let go of everything that is unpleasant; all the mistakes, all the disagreeable past; just rise up in arms against the enemies of your peace and happiness; summon all the force you can muster and drive them out.

Resolve that no matter what happens you are going to be happy; that you are going to enjoy yourself.

When you look at it squarely, it is very foolish - almost criminal - to go about this beautiful world, crowded with splendid opportunities, and things to delight and cheer us, with a sad, dejected face, as though life had been a disappointment instead of a priceless boon. Just say to yourself, " I am a man and I am going to do the work of a man. It's right up to me and I am going to face the situation."

Do not let anybody or anything shake your faith that you can conquer all the enemies of your peace and happiness, and that you inherit an abundance of all that is good. We should early form the habit of erasing from the mind all disagreeable, unhealthy, death-dealing thoughts. We should start out every morning with a clean slate. We should blot out from our mental gallery all discordant pictures and replace them with the harmonious, uplifting, life-giving ones.

The next time you feel jaded, discouraged, completely played out and " blue," you will probably find, if you look for the reason, that your condition is largely due to exhausted vitality, either from overwork, overeating, or violating in some way the laws of digestion, or from vicious habits of some kind.

The " blues " are often caused by exhausted nerve cells, due to overstraining work, long-continued excitement, or over stimulated nerves from dissipation. This condition is caused by the clamoring of exhausted nerve cells for nourishment, rest, or recreation. Multitudes of people suffer from despondency and melancholy, as a result of a run-down condition physically, due to their irregular, vicious habits and a lack of refreshing sleep.

When you are feeling " blue " or discouraged, get as complete a change of environment as possible.

Whatever you do, do not brood over your troubles or dwell upon the things which happen to annoy you at the time. Think the pleasantest, happiest things possible. Hold the most charitable, loving thoughts toward others. Make a strenuous effort to radiate joy and gladness to everybody about you. Say the kindest, pleasantest things. You will soon begin to feel a wonderful uplift; the shadows which darkened your mind will flee away, and the sun of joy will light up your whole being.

Stoutly, constantly, everlastingly affirm that you will become what your ambitions indicate as fitting and possible. Do not say, " I shall be a success sometime "; say, " I am a success. Success is my birthright." Do not say that you are going to be happy in the future. Say to yourself, " I was intended for happiness, made for it, and I am happy now."

If, however, you affirm, " I am health; I am prosperity; I am this or that," but do not believe it, you will not be helped by affirmation. You must believe what you affirm and try to realize it.

Assert your actual possession of the things you need; of the qualities you long to have. Force your mind toward your goal; hold it there steadily, persistently, for this is the mental state that creates. The negative mind, which doubts and wavers, creates nothing.

" I, myself, am good fortune," says Walt Whitman. If we could only realize that the very attitude of assuming that we are the real embodiment of the thing we long to be or to attain, that we possess the good things we long for, not that we possess all the qualities of good, but that we are these qualities - with the constant affirming, " I myself am good luck, good fortune; I am myself a part of the great creative, sustaining principle of the universe, because my real, divine self and my Father are one " - what a revolution would come to earth's toilers!

The greatest thing that can be said of a man, no matter how much he has achieved, is that he has kept his record clean.

Why is it that, in spite of the ravages of time, the reputation of Lincoln grows larger and his character means more to the world every year? It is because he kept his record clean, and never prostituted his ability nor gambled with his reputation.

Where, in all history, is there an example of a man who was merely rich, no matter how great his wealth, who exerted such a power for good, who was such a living force in civilization, as was this poor backwoods boy? What a powerful illustration of the fact that character is the greatest force in the world

A man assumes importance and becomes a power in the world just as soon as it is found that he stands for something; that he is not for sale; that he will not lease his manhood for salary, for any amount of money or for any influence or position; that he will not lend his name to anything which he can not indorse.

The trouble with so many men today is that they do not stand for anything outside their vocation. They may be well educated, well up in their specialties, may have a lot of expert knowledge, but they can not be depended upon. There is some flaw in them which takes the edge off their virtue. They may be fairly honest, but you cannot bank on them.


Syndicate content