You may have heard of Success magazine but you may not be aware of the founder Orison Swett Marden who lived in New England, born 1850 – 1924. His story is that of rags to riches, and he is considered by many the founder of the personal development movement. He was very much a self-made man who early on discovered that one had to believe in oneself to make it in this world. Becoming an orphan at age 7, being moved among some relatives, he found himself as an apprentice when he discovered a self-help book by Samuel Smiles which made a deep impression on him. So much that he determined himself to get as much education as he could, including a Doctor degree from Harvard University. Over his lifetime he wrote many inspirational books and sermons including “The Miracle of Right Thought.”
“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
That seems like good advice to contemplate on positive ideals, to dwell on them and meditate on them all day long. His methods of self-suggestions and affirmations have helped thousands of men and women to become great citizens.
“We should see ourselves in a much grander light; should think of ourselves as superb beings with infinite, divine possibilities. Don’t be afraid of thinking too highly of yourself, for if the Creator made you, you must have inherited divine, omnipotent possibilities, you must partake of His qualities.”
“Never allow yourself to think meanly, narrowly, poorly of yourself. Never regard yourself as weak, inefficient, diseased, but as perfect, complete, whole. Never even think of the possibility of going through life a failure or a partial failure.”
“Failure and misery are not for the man who has seen the God-side of himself, who has been in touch with divinity. They are for those who have never discovered themselves and their God-like qualities. Stoutly assert that there is a place for you in the world, and that you are going to fill it like a man. Train yourself to expect great things of yourself.”
He was right in quoting the enemy in the negative emotions which are influenceing us against any logic and reasoning. He gave well seasoned advice to never continue any task in a confused or mean state of mind. Rather he suggested to get out of the office into nature if possible, to clear once mind and heart from any negative influences.
“How can you expect to get the maximum of efficiency when worry, fear, anxiety, discouragement, or melancholy are sapping twenty-five, fifty, or seventy-five percent, of your mental energy? You must clear the mind of its enemies; otherwise you pay the penalty in exhausted vitality, in wasted energy.”
It is our birthright to be happy, healthy and prosperous. I benefitted greatly by reading his “Miracle of Right Thought.” We often undervalue, are indifferent and put ourselves down for no other reason that we belief our negative self-talk.
Orison Swett Marden proved to himself and to the world, that discipline and deferring of gratification builds a strong character and brings great success in later life. He has some very good advice when we encounter the “blues” or negative thoughts:
“When you feel the “blues” coming on, concentrate your mind vigorously upon the very opposite qualities, hold the ideals of cheerfulness, confidence, gratitude, good-will towards everybody, and you will be surprised to see how quickly the enemies which were dogging your steps and making your life miserable will disappear, just as the darkness does when the shutters are opened and the light rushes in.”
Dwelling on unfortunate experiences or mistakes only makes them bigger, blacker more hideous. Forget them, thrust them out of your mind as you would a thief from your home. Say to them, “You have no power over me. You cannot destroy my peace. You are not the truth of my being. The reality of me is divine. You cannot touch principle, my real self. Only the good and the true are scientific realities, are absolutely real, all else, however real it may seem, is false, because there is only one Infinite Power in the universe. A supreme, perfect Being could not have made imperfection or discouragement. However real they seem, they are not realities, they are only the absence of harmony, the absence of truth.”
Mr. Marden himself had many setbacks in his life and became discouraged where it would have been easier to go back than to push on. His words are therefore very real and uplifting and certainly possible for anyone to practice.
By focusing on the good, the ideal, the renewal and growth, he taught us the principle of that only light can chase out darkness; instead of trying to root out gloominess, worry and fear, cultivate the opposite quality. The best antidote for negativity is to be grateful, aspire for the higher things in life and keep the image of perfection.
Long before the Law of Attraction became popular, he warned of superstitious beliefs, wrong mental concentrations, or predicting misfortunes; rather he enlightened people with convictions of greatness, confidence in the Omnipotent Creative Power, and faith in the ultimate connections of a beneficent universe based on an immortal Principle.
He believed that the secret of achievement is concentration.
Man is great in proportion as he reflects truth, justice, and righteousness. The very holding of the thought that we are truth itself, that error is abnormal to us, that we are harmony and not discord, that we are the principle of life, the very essence of love, justice, truth, and beauty gives us peace, serenity, a steadfastness and spiritual uplift which no material things can bestow. The constant contemplation of our union with the Infinite life, the realization that literally “I and my Father are one,” helps to establish a certainty, an assurance that we are not the playthings of chance, the puppets of accident or fate, that we are not tossed hither and thither in the universe the victims of a cruel destiny which we cannot control. The secret of all health, prosperity, and happiness is being in conscious union with the Divine.
The late Professor Shaler, of Harvard University, said that the greatest discovery of the last century was that of the unity of everything in the universe, the oneness of all life.
This idea that there is but one principle running through the universe, one life, one truth, one reality, that this power is divinely beneficent, and that we are in this great current principle, which is running God-ward, is one of the most inspiring, encouraging, and fear-killing that ever entered the human mind.
Here is the ultimate comfort:
Just in proportion as we realize this oneness with the Divine, this at-one-ment with our Maker, do our lives become calm, confident, and creative.
"Just try the experiment of thinking of yourself as an absolutely perfect being, possessing superb health, a magnificent body, a vigorous constitution, a sublime mind, and capable of standing any amount of strain."
With these words I like to conclude the “Miracle of Right Thought.” I also like to encourage you to read the complete manuscript at: http://www.mrrena.com/misc/marden_miracle.php. It is certainly an inspiration on a dreary winter day. Happy reading.