Habits of Thought
An article taken from "Napoleon Hill Yesterday and Today Issue 208"
Written by Napoleon Hill
The drifter makes no attempt to discipline or control his thoughts, and he never learns the difference between positive thinking and negative thinking. He allows his mind to drift with any stray thought which may float into it. People who drift in connection with their thought habits are sure to drift on other subjects as well.
In an allegorical account of an interview with the devil it was stated that the devil said he feared nothing except that the world might sometime produce a thinker who would use his own mind, adding significantly that he controlled all drifters who neglected to use their own minds. The devil is not the only individual who exploits the drifter. And the drifter is the victim not only of all those who wish to exploit him, but he is also the victim of all the stray, negative thoughts which park themselves in his mind.
The non-drifter takes full possession of his own mind through self-discipline, and organizes definite plans and purposes. He directs his mind to whatever ends he desires, and he keeps his mind occupied with the things he wants and off the things he does not want.
A positive mental attitude is the first and the most important of the twelve riches of life, and it cannot be attained by the drifter. It can be attained only by a scrupulous regard for time, through habits of self-discipline. No amount of time devoted to one’s occupation can compensate for the benefits of a positive mental attitude, for this is the power which makes the use of time effective and productive.
A positive mental attitude does not grow voluntarily, like the weeds of the fields. It requires cultivation, through carefully disciplined habits of thought. And the greatest of all training grounds for the cultivation of a positive mental attitude is provided by one’s chosen occupation, where he spends the greatest part of his life. Here you may combine your efforts to make them financially productive and to develop a positive mental attitude.
When you get your own thought habits under control, you will have yourself under control, but you cannot do it by drifting. Organize your thoughts. Decide what you want, to what position in life you aspire. Then plan ways and means to express your thoughts in terms of organized action. Follow through with applied faith and unremitting persistence. This is the means by which you can become the master of your fate, the captain of your soul.
Waste no time worrying about what others may think. The important thing is what you think and do.
Source: PMA Science of Success Course. Published 1983. Pgs. 463-464.