This section is from the book "Applications of Psychology to the Problems of Personal and Business Efficiency", by Warren Hilton. Also available from Amazon: Psychology and Achievement - Applied Psychology 12 Volume Set.
IN THE progress of these lessons you have doubtless been troubled with much curious impatience as to the purely practical subject of methods. What you need and what you rightly demand of us are directions as to just how to proceed in your own case.
It is quite in vogue with men who have made their "pile" to point the road for success to others. But the one and obvious fault with their invariable prescription of industry, frugality and temperance is that they furnish no information as how to fill the prescription.
In this book we point out the general principles underlying scientific methods, and follow them up with specific rules and directions.
Two difficulties confront us in our endeavor to instruct you in a rational system for increased individual efficiency through mental means. One is the supposed simplicity of mental processes. The other is their supposed complexity.
A great many people, knowing nothing of the psychological discoveries of the past few years, sniff contemptuously at mental procedures. Others are equally insistent that the subject is so profound as to be quite beyond the reach of the average man. Both are wrong.
In the first place, the investigations of recent years have thrown so much light upon old mysteries that every man now has an absolutely definite mental instrument with which to attack the obstacles that hinder his realization of life in its fulness. We are not referring to any new and improved methods for the general training of the mental faculties. The general training of the mind has been widely practiced for generations past. But the time has now come when the mind may be employed with a degree of insight and of scientific accuracy hitherto impossible. The instrument has always been at hand. The advance has been made in the manner and extent of its use.
In the second place, while many problems remain unsolved, there can be no question but that sufficient has been established to make the control of one's mental energies and mental processes an easy matter for any man of ordinary intelligence.
In all that follows, do not for an instant lose sight of the one important truth, namely, that the concentration of consciousness upon a single idea necessarily gives free range to all those impellent energies that tend through bodily activity to transform the idea into a reality.