The education of the Will is the object of our existence.
- Emerson. O living Will that shalt endure When all that seems shall suffer shock.
The mind of a human organism can, by effort of will, properly directed, produce measurable changes in the chemistry of the secretions and excretions; in the vasor motor blood supply to areas and organs, and in the temperature selected areas, and so on. All of this goes to prove that the mind has a direct effect upon the functioning of the cells that compose an organ, and that if we can properly train the mind, we can produce definite effects upon any physiological function.
- Professor Elmer Gates.
An educated Will then is the first necessity to happiness, health and prosperity. The Will should be as subject to desire in us as are the muscles of the gymnast to his will. This can be done by creating right mental habits through voluntary concentration. The mechanic educates his hand to hold the saw; the engineer his to hold the throttle; the pianist, his fingers to play; till it is now "second nature" for them to obey. In like manner can the Will be cultivated in other directions. Its function is to obey; to carry out the orders of the judgment. When it has been trained to stick to a thought, it is easy, and we say, "A person of trained will!" But if the thought wanders then we say, "Weak will!" But the Will is equally strong in both cases. It takes as strong a Will not to do as it does to do; as much Will to sit in the chair as it does to get up; as much to stop walking as to start; as much to refrain, as it does to perform. "I can!" "I can't!" and "I won't!" require an equal expression of Will. But when we have trained the Will to our decision, "I can't!" then it is easy, "natural," for us to say "I can't." When we have trained it to our decision, "I don't," that is also easy; but when we have trained it to say, "I can," it is equally easy to say "I can," and to do.
The trouble with the majority of persons is that they never have been trained into habits of self-reliance and self-assertion. Lacking these it is natural, because it is habit to say, "I can't." In fact, it says itself, so accustomed are they to say and to think, "I can't." "I can't" is really "I won't try!" "Can't" means, I will not will to do. Therefore when you tell me that you do not concentrate because you "lack Will," this is not the fact. You really tell me that you have created a habit of letting yourself as Will drift without conscious direction. All you have to do to win your desires is to train yourself as Will through Affirmation, till it is as natural and easy for you to say "I can!" as it is now for you to fear, doubt and say, "I can't." This Affirmation, "I CAN!" is born of the consciousness of ability to do because you possess All-Life and All-Will, and may use as much as you desire. You do use at all times as much as you have trained yourself by thought to use. Would you possess the power of self-direction, you must have power to choose your thought, and to hold it as long as you choose; have power to shut out all thoughts that weaken or interfere; that make sick or timid; must have the power as trained Will to hold, because you choose, pleasant thoughts of health, success and happiness.
VOLUNTARY CONCENTRATION is the secret of personal power; is the secret of all who have won in life's battles. These victors decided to think success, and nothing but success, and to never give up, thus from the very jaws of defeat, to win the mead of victory.
Concentration is but sticking as Will to the thought you have chosen. It is thinking "I will." I am asked, "Shall I affirm all the time?" I answer, - Should you spend all your time thinking or saying "I can!" and "I will," you would do nothing else. Think "I can," and "I will" whenever opposite thoughts would enter the mind. Sit quietly a few minutes each day, by yourself with the chosen thought and hold it because you choose to hold it. While you thus concentrate voluntarily, keep all other thoughts out of your mind by willing them out. I will to think thus. This is not easy. You little realize how you have encouraged tramp thoughts, unwelcome thoughts, uncalled thoughts, "calling" thoughts, superficial thoughts, until you begin to direct your mind. You then find how unstable you are as Will. You find as one of my pupils said when she first tried to enter the Silence, "Every other thought, I ever had, came calling!" We have not been trained to choose our thoughts, and are too much of the time subject to wandering, vagabond, tramp thoughts that finding us undirected, pick us up and abide with us. It is important that you fully comprehend what is meant by "Going into the Silence!" It is voluntary concentration. It is wilful concentration. It is concentration upon a chosen thought.
It is doing voluntarily and with a determined purpose that which you have been letting yourself do involuntarily all your life. You have learned that when you decide to do a thing and get up your grit, - will to do it, - you can do it. Now what you do, in case of necessity, or under the stress of "must," or when you develop a positive determination, you are to create into habit of doing consciously all the time. By this time you will have preceived that what you are learning is not something for occasions, but something for all time. You are changing your manner of life, through this change of mental habit and learning, through thinking in the New Thought method, to live New Thought.
Success goes thus invariably with a certain plus or positive power; an ounce of power must balance an ounce of weight. And though a man cannot return to his mother's womb and be born with new amounts of vivacity, yet there are two economies which are the best succedanea which the case admits. The first is the stopping off decisively our miscellaneous activity and concentrating our force on one or a few points: as the gardener, by severe pruning, forces the sap into one or two vigorous limbs, instead of suffering it to spindle into a sheaf of twigs.
- Emerson in "Power."