Start out in the morning and see how self-poised you can remain all day. At times take an inventory of your actions during the day and see if you have kept your determination. If not, see that you do tomorrow. The more self-poised you are the better will your concentration be. Never be in too much of a hurry; and, remember, the more you improve your concentration, the greater are your possibilities. Concentration means success, because you are better able to govern yourself and centralize your mind; you become more in earnest in what you do and this almost invariably improves your chances for success.
When you are talking to a person have your own plans in mind.
Concentrate your strength upon the purpose you are talking about.
Watch his every move, but keep your own plans before you. Unless you do, you will waste your energy and not accomplish as much as you should.
I want you to watch the next person you see that has the reputation of being a strong character, a man of force. Watch and see what a perfect control he has over his body. Then I want you to watch just an ordinary person. Notice how he moves his eyes, arms, fingers; notice the useless expenditure of energy. These movements all break down the vital cells and lessen the person's power in vital and nerve directions. It is just as important for you to conserve your nervous forces as it is the vital forces. As an example we see an engine going along the track very smoothly.
Some one opens all the valves and the train stops. It is the same with you. If you want to use your full amount of steam, you must close your valves and direct your power of generating mental steam toward one end. Center your mind on one purpose, one plan, one transaction.
There is nothing that uses up nerve force so quickly as excitement. This is why an irritable person is never magnetic; he is never admired or loved; he does not develop those finer qualities that a real gentleman possesses. Anger, sarcasm and excitement weaken a person in this direction. The person that allows himself to get excited will become nervous in time, because he uses up his nerve forces and his vital energies. The person that cannot control himself and keep from becoming excited cannot concentrate.
When the mind can properly concentrate, all the energy of every microscopic cell is directed into one channel and then there is a powerful personal influence generated. Everyone possesses many millions of little trembling cells, and each one of these has a center where life and energy are stored up and generated. If this energy is not wasted but conserved and controlled, this person is influential, but when it is the opposite, he is not influential or successful.
Just as it is impossible for a steam engine to run with all its valves open, so is it impossible for you to waste your energy and run at your top speed. Each neuron in the gray layers of the brain is a psychic center of thought and action, each one is pulsating an intelligent force of some kind, and when this force, your thoughts and motions, are kept in cheek by a conservative, systematic and concentrated mind, the result will be magnetism, vitality and health. The muscles, bones, ligaments, feet, hands and nerves, etc., are agents for carrying out the mandates of the mind. The sole purpose of the volitional faculties is to move the physical mechanism as the energy travels along the wires of nerves and muscles. Just for that reason, if you throw a voluntary control over these messages, impulses, thoughts, emotions, physical movements and over these physical instruments you develop your faculties of self-mastery and to the extent you succeed here in proportion will you develop the power of concentration.
Any exercise or work that excites the mind, stimulates the senses, calls the emotions and appetites into action, confuses, terrifies or emotionalizes, weakens the power of concentration.
This is why all kind of excitement is bad. This is the reason why persons who drink strong drinks, who allow themselves to get into fits of temper, who fight, who eat stimulating food, who sing and dance and thus develop their emotions, who are sudden, vehement and emotional, lack the power to concentrate. But those whose actions are slower and directed by their intelligence develop concentration. Sometimes dogmatic, wilful, excitable persons can concentrate, but it is spasmodic, erratic concentration instead of controlled and uniform concentration. Their energy works by spells; sometimes they have plenty, other times very little; it is easily excited; easily wasted. The best way to understand it is to compare it with the discharge of a gun. If the gun goes off when you want it to, it accomplishes the purpose, but if it goes off before you are ready for it, you will not only waste ammunition, but it is also likely to do some damage. That is just what most persons do. They allow their energy to explode, thus not only wasting it but endangering others. They waste their power, their magnetism and so injure their chance of success.
Such persons are never well liked and never will be until they gain control over themselves.
It will be necessary for them to practice many different kinds of concentration exercises, and to keep them up for some time. They must completely overcome their sudden, erratic thoughts, and regulate their emotions and movements. They must from morning to night train the mind to be steady, and direct and keep the energies at work.
The lower area of the brain is the store house of the energy.
Most all persons have all the dynamic energy they need if they would concentrate it. They have the machine, but they must also have the engineer, or they will not go very far. The engineer is the self-regulating, directing power. The person that does not develop his engineering qualities will not accomplish much in life. The good engineer controls his every act. All work assists in development. By what you do you either advance or degenerate.