The attitude of overcoming is usually thought of as being inseparably connected with resistance, and as being directly antagonistic, in its action, toward that which is to be overcome. Nearly every person, when trying to overcome anything, begins to resist, begins to antagonize, begins to work against that which is not desired. Accordingly, he does not succeed because he must work in the opposite direction before his purpose can be fulfilled.
The first principle in overcoming is to give no thought whatever to that which is not desired. The more completely we can forget that which we wish to overcome, the better. The second principle is to give our whole attention to that something which we know we shall realize when we have overcome.
If a person is in adversity he knows that when this adversity is overcome certain most desirable conditions will be realized. Then let him begin at once to give his whole attention to those desirable conditions. By giving his whole time, thought and energy to the attainment of that which is desired, he will invariably overcome and rise out of that which is not desired.
We overcome the wrong by turning completely away from the wrong, and giving all our life and power to the greater realization of the right. This is the secret of overcoming.
Trying to Remove or Overcome Evil is Wasted Effort
To antagonize evil, to resist evil, to work against evil will not remove evil. To try to remove or overcome evil is nothing but wasted effort; evil is not a thing but a condition... Evil is simply emptiness. When you see evil, do not become indifferent; proceed at once to add to the good; when the good is on the increase evil is on the decrease; this is invariably the law.
The same principle should be applied in every thought, action or relation in human life. We should never emphasize or ever recognize that which is not desired; but that which is desired should be recognized constantly and be emphasized most positively at every opportunity. When we meet others, their imperfections and shortcomings should be overlooked, while their good qualities should be given special attention. When we think of ourselves we should apply the same rule, and we should apply it universally in all physical, mental and spiritual training.
The reason why we are not higher in the scale of life, and not more perfectly developed in body, mind and soul, is because we have emphasized our imperfections, and have failed to give our good qualities special attention. You give your life to that which you emphasize; therefore give no thought to weakness or imperfection; give all your thought to those desirable qualities that you wish to build up; your worthy qualities will soon become so strong that weakness can no longer exist in your nature. Build up what you want; that is how you overcome and remove what you do not want.
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Think Constantly of That Which You Desire and You Will Grow Into It
Whenever you find yourself in any adverse condition, remember you will not come out of it until you grow out of it. You may antagonize adversity and cause it to disappear temporarily, but it will soon return in some other form. Nothing, therefore, is ever gained by such a method.
Train yourself to grow out of that which is not good by constantly growing into the greater good; and we invariably grow into that which we think of the most. Think constantly of that which you desire, and you will grow into it. But your thought must be of the heart; it must be deep and strong, and inspired by the invincible power of soul. Do not give personal force to your thought but try to feel that every thought you think has soul, and know that every thought that has soul has the power to do whatever it was created to do.
And in all your efforts to grow into the better, the greater and the more beautiful, consider the lilies of the field; grow like the flowers and you will never fail. The flower resists nothing, antagonizes nothing, works against nothing; it gently comes out of its gross and earthly environment, and grows on peacefully, silently and serenely until it becomes an inspiration to all the world. Human life can do the same, must do the same, if we wish to realize the life beautiful and become conscious of the richness and glory of the spiritual heights.
©2011. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission of
the publisher, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, a member of
Penguin Group (USA). www.us.PenguinGroup.com.
Section entitled "The Pathway of Roses" from the book:
The Optimist Creed: Discover the Life-Changing Power of Gratitude and Optimism
by Christian D. Larson.
Contemporary research has shown that optimistic people experience longer and healthier lives, better relationships, and higher incomes. Generations before such findings, however, inspirational writer Christian D. Larson showed an amazing grasp of the life-changing power of gratitude and optimism. Today, Larson is known worldwide for his powerful meditation, “The Optimist Creed,” and other classics of spiritual living.
About the Author
Born in Iowa to Norwegian immigrants, Christian D. Larson (1874-1962) abandoned plans to pursue the ministry in favor of a more independent spiritual path. In 1901, at age 27, he launched one of the first journals devoted to positive-thinking, Eternal Progress. He moved to California and grew into a popular New Thought and inspirational writer and speaker, producing more than 40 books. Christian Larson’s most enduring work is the meditation called “The Optimist Creed,” which he originally published in 1912 as “Promise Yourself.” In 1922, it was officially adopted as the manifesto of Optimist International and today is quoted around the world.