Does negative thinking pay? Is it desirable for me to encourage thoughts in my mind that break down, hinder, and incapacitate me for good work? Do I want negative thoughts that inevitably bring discontent, unhappiness, and ultimate failure in their train?
Your answer will be, of course, that you do not want them. But such thoughts work insidiously, and will find an entrance into your mind if you are not extremely vigilant. The surest way to keep them out, however, is to fill the mind completely with vital positive thoughts, to think constantly of yourself as a man of unlimited possibilities, growing daily in mental and spiritual power, equipped for great things, a necessary part of God's glorious creation, and moving forward toward a triumphant and immortal destiny.
It is difficult to construct positive thoughts out of the poor stuff from which dreams are made. A man should devote himself particularly to the practical things of life. Some men learn this lesson all too late, for, as Thoreau says, "Youth gets together the materials for a bridge to the moon, and maturity uses them to build a wood-shed."
The habit of right thinking, when firmly established, becomes a source of attraction. Good thoughts soon become great thoughts, and the mature mind attempts even the impossible. The power of a single thought at the beginning of a day can hardly be estimated. It can change despondency into hope, and fear into courage. It can nerve the arm for great and noble deeds. It can strengthen a weak and timid character into four-fourths of a man. It is possible for it to set in motion an influence that will reach the ends of the world.
The importance of right thinking is its effect upon right doing. How many disastrous mistakes are made for lack of proper thought? How many of life's failures are due to a careless and unwise selection of a business or profession?
It was Sidney Smith who said: "If we represent the occupations of life by holes in a table, some round, some square, some oblong, and persons by bits of wood of like shapes, we shall generally find that the triangular person has got into the square hole, the oblong into the triangular, while the square person has squeezed himself into the round hole."
Right thinking means that which constructs, strengthens, and ennobles. It means better manhood, the pluck to do and to dare, and the heroism of mighty endeavor. It knows no limitation, but reaches out daily for new conquests. It is a power unto itself, growing through its own use.
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