Attaining Discipline Over the Mind: A Creed for Self-Discipline

Once again, going through my old mails early in 2013, I stumbled across one that was sent by a former classmate of mine way back in medical college. It seems I've had loads of these mails that I hadn't even bothered to look at in the past.

The mail was an excerpt from one of the chapters of a popular book by Napoleon Hill. The title of the chapter, whose excerpt I had, is 'The Master-Key To Riches'.

Although the book is not particularly targeted at a Christian audience, yet the excerpt on attaining self-discipline which my friend mailed to me exposed certain truths about developing self-discipline and ultimately character. So I decided to share it here.

It is important to bear in mind, as a Christian, that the faculties referred to here must be submitted to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

How to attain Self-discipline

Discipline over the mind is gained, little by little, by the formation of habits which one may control.

Habits begin in the mind; therefore, a daily repetition of the creed below will make one habit-conscious in connection with the particular kind of habits which are needed to develop and control the six departments of the mind.

The mere act of repeating the names of these departments has an important effect. It makes one conscious that these departments exist; that they are important; that they can be controlled by the formation of thought-habits; that the nature of these habits determines one's success or failure in the matter of self-discipline

A Creed for Self-Discipline

1. Willpower:
Recognizing that the power of will is the supreme court over all other departments of my mind, I will exercise it daily, when I need the urge to action for any purpose; and I will form habits designed to bring the power of my will into action at least once daily.

2. Emotions:
Realizing that my emotions are both positive and negative I will form daily habits which will encourage the development of the positive emotions, and aid me in converting the negative emotions into some form of useful action.

3. Reason:
Recognizing that both my positive emotions and my negative emotions may be dangerous if they are not controlled and guided to desirable ends, I will submit all my desires, aims and purposes to my faculty of reason, and I will be guided by it in giving expression to these.

4. Imagination:
Recognizing the need for sound plans and ideas for the attainment of my desires, I will develop my imagination by calling upon it daily for help in the formation of my plans.

5. Conscience:
Recognizing that my emotions often err in their over-enthusiasm, and my faculty of reason often is without the warmth of feeling that is necessary to enable me to combine justice with mercy in my judgments, I will encourage my conscience to guide me as to what is right and what is wrong, but I will never set aside the verdicts it renders, no matter what may be the cost of carrying them out.

6. Memory:
Recognizing the value of an alert memory, I will encourage mine to become alert by taking care to impress it clearly with all thoughts I wish to recall, and by associating those thoughts with related subjects which I may call to mind frequently.

7. Subconscious Mind:
Recognizing the influence of my subconscious mind over my power of will, I shall take care to submit to it a clear and definite picture of my major purpose in life and all minor purposes leading to my major purpose, and I shall keep this picture constantly before my subconscious mind by repeating it daily.

An Excerpt from 'The Master-Key To Riches' - By Napoleon Hill

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