Prosperity begins in the mind and is impossible while the mental attitude is hostile to it. It is fatal to work for one thing and to expect something else, because everything must be created mentally first and is bound to follow its mental pattern. No you can’t become prosperous while you really expects or half expects to remain poor. We tend to get what we expect, and to expect nothing is to get nothing. When every step you take is on the road to failure, how can you hope to arrive at the success goal? It is facing the wrong way, toward the black, depressing, hopeless outlook, even though you may be working in the opposite direction, that kills the results of your effort.
Most people do not face life in the right way. You neutralize a large part of your effort because your mental attitude does not correspond with your endeavor, so that while working for one thing you are really expecting something else. You discourage, drive away, the very thing you are pursuing by holding the wrong mental attitude towards it. You do not approach your work with that assurance of victory which attracts, which forces results, that determination and confidence which knows no defeat. To be ambitious for wealth and yet always expecting to be poor, to be always doubting your ability to get what you long for, is like trying to reach East by traveling West.
There is no philosophy which will help a man to succeed when he is always doubting his ability to do so, and thus attracting failure. The man who would succeed must think success, must think upward. He must think progressively, creatively, constructively, inventively, and, above all, optimistically. You will go in the direction in which you face. If you look towards poverty, towards lack, you will go that way. If, on the other hand, you turn squarely around and refuse to have anything to do with poverty,— to think it,— live it, or recognize it— you will then begin to make progress towards the goal of plenty.
Many of us work at cross purposes, because, while we would like to be wealthy, we believe in our hearts that we shall not become so, and our mental attitude, the pattern which the life processes follow, makes impossible the very thing we are working for. It is our penury attitude, our doubt and fear, our lack of self-faith and of faith in the all-abundant, infinite supply, that makes us poor. You must not play the part of a poor man while you are exerting all your energy to make money. You must get into a prosperous mental attitude. As long as you carry about a poorhouse atmosphere with you, you will make a poorhouse impression; and that will never attract money.
There is a saying that every time the sheep bleats it loses a mouthful of hay. Every time you allow yourself to complain of your lot, to say, “I am in need; I can never do what others do; I shall never be wealthy; I have not the ability that others have; I am a failure; luck is against me,” you are laying up so much trouble for yourself, making it all the more difficult to get rid of these enemies of your peace and happiness, for every time you think of them they will go a little deeper and deeper into your consciousness. Thoughts are magnets which attract things like themselves. If your mind dwells upon poverty and disease, it will bring you poverty and disease.
There is no possibility of you producing just the opposite of what you are holding in your mind, because your mental attitude is the pattern which is built into the life. Your accomplishments are achieved mentally first. If you are always thinking of poor business, preparing for it, expecting it, are always complaining about the times and conditions and fearing that business is going to be bad, it will be bad for you. No matter how hard you may work for success, if your thought is saturated with the fear of failure, it will kill your efforts, neutralize your endeavors, and make success impossible.
The terror of failure and the fear of coming to want and of possible humiliation keep multitudes of people from obtaining the very things they desire, by sapping their vitality and incapacitating them, through worry and anxiety, for the effective, creative work necessary to give them success. The habit of looking at everything constructively, from the bright, hopeful side, the side of faith and assurance, instead of from the side of doubt and uncertainty; and the habit of believing that the best is going to happen, that the right must triumph; the faith that truth is bound finally to conquer error, that harmony and health are the reality and discord and disease the temporary absence of it this is the attitude of the optimist, which will ultimately reform the world.
Optimism is a builder. It is to the individual what the sun is to vegetation. It is the sunshine of the mind, which constructs life, beauty, and growth in everything within its reach. Our mental faculties grow and thrive in it just as the plants and trees grow and thrive in the physical sunshine. Pessimism is negative, it is the darkened dungeon which destroys vitality and strangles growth. A fatal penalty awaits those who always look on the dark side of everything, who are always predicting evil and failure, who see only the seamy, disagreeable side of life. They draw upon themselves what they see, what they look for. Nothing has power to attract things unlike itself.
Everything radiates its own quality, and attracts things which are akin. If a man wants to be happy and wealthy, he must think the happy thought, hold the abundance thought, and not limit himself. He who has a mortal dread of poverty generally gets it. Stop thinking trouble if you want to attract its opposite. Stop thinking poverty if you want to attract wealth. Do not have anything to do with the things you have been fearing. They are fatal enemies to your advancement. Cut them off. Expel them from your mind. Forget them. Think the opposite thoughts just as persistently as you can, and you will be surprised to see how soon you will begin to attract the very things for which you long.