Awareness Is Power!
We have considered the secret of genuine success in general. Now, let us consider some of the ABC’s of building a state of beingness so that success will become habitual or automatic and our lives.
We can refer to these ABC’s as the four simple rules of success.
There are four basic fundamental ideas which I would like to share with each of you. May I suggest that you get a notebook and write these rules or ideas down so they can become part of your being. This will be of tangible help to each of you in starting to make you be anything you want to be and have anything you want to have.
So, the first rule that I would like to share with you is this: We must become aware of the fact that we are thinking beings.
Of all of God’s creations, we are the only part of the entire universe that has the privilege of thinking. And naturally when we think of thinking, we become aware that we are dealing with mental processes.
I would like to have you become keenly aware that you are thinking all the time, that you are a thinking being, that you have what is known in psychology as mental processes, and you, if you will stop and take inventory, will recognize that these thought processes surging through your being.
Make a special note in your notebook and say to yourself, “I am a thinking being; I am constantly thinking thoughts; I am constantly having a mental process during every waking hour, every waking moment and every waking split second.”
You are consciously having a thought process and, of course, at night, while you are asleep, your subconscious mind is always active; expressing itself in the form of a thought process. So, number one of these rules, which are so fundamental and very important for you to remember, is to constantly be aware that you are thinking.
Rule number two is to be aware that you can only think one thought at a time.
I remember very well when I first became aware that I was a thinking being, and it was suggested that I can think only one thought at a time. I thought, “No, I could think two or three or four thoughts at a time.” I was wrong. You and I can think only one thought at a time. It only seems that we can think more than one thought at a time.
Our ability to switch our attention so frequently and so rapidly causes us to have the illusion that we are thinking more than one thought at a time. So, let us be keenly aware that we are thinking beings, that we have thought processes, and that we cannot think two thoughts or three thoughts at a time, but we can think only one thought at a time.
Rule number three is that we must be keenly aware not only of the fact that we can think only one thought at a time but that we can control all of our thought processes.
We can control each single thought we have. I believe that most of us have been under the false illusion that we cannot control our thinking. Most of us believe that outside forces, the power of suggestion from a friend, reading something in a newspaper, or listening to something on the radio or television overpowers our thinking processes and causes us to think thoughts that are undesirable, untrue, and ugly.
Let me assure you, that you have within you the power to control every thought that you think. Yes, you are thinking constantly, you can think only one thought at a time and you can control your thinking. Regardless of the situation, regardless of how hard the situation may be, you have the power and the privilege of reacting to that situation as you choose by controlling the thoughts which you think, one at a time.
I would like to elaborate upon this because it is so important to our health of body and of mind, our feeling of well-being and to our success. I was happy, indeed, happy to discover that I had the privilege of either reacting positively or reacting negatively to any given situation.
Yes, I was in control, regardless of the appearance of the situation which might appear as a tragedy, which might appear as a situation that would cause the average person to be discouraged, frustrated and upset, and negatively excited.
This realization came as a natural result of understanding that I was a thinking being, that I had thought processes constantly, that I could think only one thought at a time, and that I could control the one thought which I was thinking at any given split-second of time.
I suddenly realized that because of this I had the power to control my reaction to each situation. I suddenly realized that, in the last and ultimate analysis, no situation had the power to disturb me if I refused to be disturbed; that no situation had the power to discourage me if I refused to be discouraged.
I found that I could not experience discouragements, unless I permitted myself to think discouraging thoughts. I found that the basic thought process, thinking one thought at a time, is the basis of control of every situation; that the situation itself has no power.
Situations which appear to be tragedies, situations which appear to be disappointments and discouragements, cause the average person to be upset, unhappy, frustrated and miserable, and many times ill.
Think of what a tremendous discovery it is when you become keenly aware that a situation has absolutely no power, no power whatsoever over us individually. Yes, you can be master of every situation when you know for certain that you are a thinking being and that you can think only one thought at a time, and that you can control every single thought.
That conclusion may seem, at first, to be untrue and unbelievable. If it seems to be untrue to you, that feeling you have is based upon the fact that you have established a habit pattern in your subconscious mind, would causes you to react habitually to various situations in a negative way.
If you almost always seem to be thinking wrong thoughts, if you almost always seem to be discouraged in certain situations, if you seem to be frustrated and react negatively over and over and over, you have developed a negative habit.
Even though you now have discovered that it is your privilege to react and control any situation, you will continue to react as you formerly did. For a little while you may have a little difficulty establishing a new habit pattern of developing control and guiding your reactions to every situation toward to seeing the good, the true and the beautiful.
Soon, in every situation, because you can control your thinking, you will begin to look for that which is good before you react, and you will say to yourself, “I refuse to react in any situation spontaneously until I have given sufficient thought to it. And until I have evaluated that situation sufficiently to permit me to see something good in the situation, and I refuse to react until I can say something good about that situation.”
I think, perhaps, at this time, it would be well to dwell a little bit on “will power.” Many people believe that will power is the thinking which causes people to be successful.
Many people say, “I am going to be successful even if it kills me.” Well, in many cases, it does that very thing.
I would like to tell you a little story that will give you some idea of the function of will power in our lives. Let us suppose that we’re going to build a table top, a beautiful table top, and we have all the finished boards ready to assemble as the top. We are going to glue those boards together, so we secure a glue that is especially prepared for this job. We apply the glue, then we put the boards together. Then, we put the clamps on the boards to hold them together until the glue dries. We know that it takes a certain minimum amount of time for this glue to go through a prescribed drying process before it will hold strongly enough to allow for removing the clamps.
Now, the will power in this situation is illustrated by the clamps. The clamps hold the boards in place until another power in the glue has time to take hold so the boards will stay together without the help of the clamps.
In our mental processes, we decide that we are going to establish a new idea. Then, we proceed to form that new idea into a habit so it will automatically cause us to react to every future situation in harmony with our new being and our new principle. But realizing that the old habits are well established, and we react automatically according to our old habits, we have to work diligently to establish this new habit.
The only way we can establish this new habit pattern is through control of our thinking, the use of our will power. Through will power, we clamp our new thoughts, our new concepts, our new objectives, our new desires, even though they are in conflict with the old habits, with the will power and hold them in place until we have the new habit established so strongly that it neutralizes the old habit.
Soon, the old habit then has no further power over us, and we automatically, having clamped that new thought in place, hold the thoughts in place until the glue has dried. When we first think of an idea it is like the newly applied glue.
It is a little bit difficult to hold in place, but, when we clamp it there with the will power and refuse to think any thoughts contrary to our new ideas until our new idea becomes permanently established and becomes a strong habit pattern, we can take off the clamps.
The will power and our thoughts will stay in place and we automatically interpret every situation with the proper reaction. We will react with courage instead of discouragement; and we will react with faith instead of doubt, and we will see the beauty in the situation instead of ugliness. We will see the good in every situation instead of that which appears to be otherwise.
Because a major point of determine this discovery I want to share with you is, that it is your privilege to think and to control your thinking, to the point where you can design anything that you want to be and anything that you want to have.
As a new idea, let us definitize it. You realize that, at the outset, your thoughts about the new concept of yourself, which you have designed, are either hazy or are definite in design.
You can think of yourself as being a person of poise, a person of courage, a person of faith, a person of great stick-to-it-iveness, a person of great stability, of kindness and love and service and understanding.
All of those thoughts actually have definite size and color and quality. How you see it at the outset is of no consequence, because through the use of will power, you can hold your attention and control one thought at a time and direct it toward that which you want to be until you become that.
As soon as you have this habit pattern of new thoughts well established in your subconscious, you will suddenly realize that you are the thing that you want to be, the person that you want to be. Then, when you begin to direct your thinking, one thought at a time, to incorporate possessing that which you want to possess, you build what we call acceptance of the new thought or idea in the subconscious mind.
You embody, you design, you build a mental mood for controlling this new idea with will power until this new design becomes established as a habit pattern. Soon, this embodied idea, this well defined idea, controlled through will power, becomes firmly established, until you have what we call full acceptance. Then, you will suddenly realize that the very physical equivalent of the idea has appeared in your own individual life.
Rule number four: I would like for you to realize, that what we are at this time, is the result of everything we have thought throughout our entire past.
Our loveliness or unloveliness, our kindness or our tendency toward unkindness, our faith for our tendency toward doubt, everything that we are, is the result of our past thoughts.
Whether we are persons of confidence or persons of timidity, whether we are persons of courage or persons who are easily discouraged, whether we are persons of poise or whether we are persons who feel ill at ease in life’s situations, whether we are persons of integrity or whether we are persons who lack integrity, we are what we are, you are what you are, I am what I am, he is what he is because of the thoughts which we have permitted ourselves to think throughout the entire past.
If I might quote the great Solomon of old, who said that, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
Note this. What Solomon said about a man being what he thinks in his heart is not true because Solomon said it. Solomon said it because it is true. It means something to us today, not because someone said it many years ago, but, because it is true.
Another great teacher of old said that, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” We know that we can seek the truth about ourselves and through the control of our thought processes, chart our future.
You, I am sure, feel the same way I felt most of my life. That something else has caused me to be what I am. I have a friend who believes that the climatic conditions and the political situations and some distorted, demented uncle or aunt is to blame for his predicament. In fact, this friend of mine can tell me a dozen reasons why he is not happy and why he is in need of money constantly.
But it has never occurred to this friend of mine that he is the cause of his present situation, that he has been unaware of the fact that he has a thinking process, that he has a thought process constantly every waking hour, and that the thoughts which he permits himself to think during the day, the subconscious thinks all night long, and gradually he becomes that which he has permitted himself to think.
Thus, he is the cause of his present situation of unhappiness and poverty. He does not realize that it is his privilege to redirect his thought process to control his thoughts, and inasmuch as each thought is a well- defined concept or idea, through the control of his thought processes, he can redesign himself to be anything that he wants to be.
I want to emphasize the basic fact that whatever you are and whatever I am and whatever he is, we are what we are because of the thoughts which we have permitted ourselves to think.
There is absolutely nothing on the outside of us that has any power over us if we will not permit it. We would never have thoughts which cause us to react in a negative fashion, cause us to think thoughts that we do not want to have, if we could possibly visualize the quality of thought.
Also, we should be keenly aware of the fact that whatever we want to be and whatever we want to have, we can be all of the wonderful things we want to be and we can have all of the wonderful things we want to have
- by realizing that we are thinking beings, that we can think only one thought at a time,
- that we can control this thought process by directing our will power towards that which we want to be until it becomes a habit,
- that we are what we are today because of all of the thoughts which we have thought throughout all of the past.
This discovery will cause us to be aware that there is a system of rules which operate according to an exact science. By defining clearly the things we want to be and the things we want to have, through control and direction of our attention units along those lines, we can become anything that we want to become and we can have anything we want to have.
Isn’t it a marvelous thing to become aware of these wonderful things? Isn’t it marvelous to realize it is really up to us to literally design our future, so we can be anything we want to be and we can have anything we want to have, regardless of the scope?
I challenge you to think largely and to make large plans, because they have magic to stir man’s blood.
Continue to make that list of the things you want to be and make a list of all the things you want to have.
Begin to realize that they all can be yours by being aware that you are a thinking being, that you have a thought process, that you can think only one thought at a time, that you can control this thought process through will power, that you are what you are because of this and that you can be anything you want to be and that you can have anything you want to have.
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