Prosperity Chapter15: Dr. William F. Warren, a former president of Boston University, in an address to the students said: "No command occurs so many times in the Bible as this emphatic one, 'Fear not!'
From Genesis to Apocalypse 'Fear not' seemed an unending refrain. I began to count the occurrences; soon I had twenty, then thirty, then forty, then fifty. Glancing from fifty to seventy I noticed that other words, like those of our Lord, 'Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,' meant exactly the same thing; so that my count, however complete, never represents the true total."
Yet there are millions of people in America, in every part of the world, whose minds are constantly filled with the fear of something. From the cradle to the grave, fear throws its black shadow over mankind, marring and stunting vast multitudes of lives, making people wretched, keeping them in poverty and inferiority, driving many to insanity and death.
Not long ago a girl in New York slipped on an icy pavement and fell to the street. At the moment an approaching truck passed so close to her that the wheels almost touched her. Terror-stricken at the thought of her danger, the girl imagined that the horses and the truck had actually passed over her. When picked from the street and taken to a nearby hospital in an ambulance she was raving about the horses and the truck running over her, and finally became insane.
This tragedy was purely the result of imagination, for there was not a scratch of any kind on the girl's body, not even her clothes having been touched. Like the fears and worries that makes the lives of so many people wretched failures, the thing that drove away her reason had no reality.
The thing she feared never happened, but the effect of her fear, the conjuring up in her mind a picture of death, or of a mutilated body, brought upon her something worse, something more disastrous; for no other loss can compare with the blotting out of the light of reason.
The wrong kind of thought is daily bringing disaster, frightful tragedies and misfortunes into the lives of men and women everywhere.
A short time ago during a severe thunderstorm, a woman became unconscious from fright and died. An examination showed that there was no heart trouble, and that the lightning had not touched her; but it appeared that all her life the woman had felt a great nervous dread of thunder and lightning, and finally the thing she had long feared and expected came to her. It was not the lightning, however, but her fear of it that had killed her.
Multitudes today are seriously affected through fear of disease. They fear and expect influenza or pneumonia, and so invite these diseases. Their fear destroys their disease-resisting power and predisposes them to become victims.
We had a striking example of this soon after America entered the World War, when the influenza epidemic made its appearance in the soldiers' camps, and then spread through the country like wildfire. In an incredibly short time, thousands of victims, mostly young people, were carried off by the dread disease. Fear was at the bottom of its widespread destructiveness.
Through the influence of the fear thought, the gloomy, discouraged thought, the disease thought, the failure thought, — all sorts of morbid thoughts and imaginings — people are cutting off their divine supply, ruining their health, their possibilities of success and happiness.
The fear of death, the fear of disease, the fear of coming to want, the fear of failure, the fear of what our neighbors will think and say, the fear of accidents, anticipating misfortunes, bad luck generally, the fear of the future, of the miscarriage of our plans, fear of this, fear of that and the other, makes this, the most negative and destructive of all human emotions, the closest companion of our daily lives.
Fear is the damnable ghost that is always bobbing up to rob us of our legitimate enjoyment, of our peace of mind, of our courage and strength, of our faith in ourselves and our ability to rise above conditions that hold us back from victorious lives.
Take the fear of poverty alone. Consider the misery it has caused. Who can ever estimate what havoc this single fear has played in the race history, — the fear of coming to want, the torture of visualizing the wolf approaching the door; the agony of possible suffering for our loved ones if we cannot provide for their needs!
Oh, this terrible fear of want! We read it in the faces of multitudes of people who never have learned to demonstrate supply, who know nothing of the law of prosperity and never dream that holding in mind this fear of want, this horror of poverty, having the conviction that they are doomed to be poor all their lives, is driving away from them the supply, the opulence they long for.
They do not know that it is only by holding the prosperity thought, the thought of abundance; by picturing themselves in connection with limitless supply, visualizing what they want instead of what they don't want, that they will get away from the poverty they hate and connect with the very fountainhead of supply.
How many men and women deplete their strength and thus lessen their earning power by lying awake at night worrying over their business problems, their home problems, the expanding needs of their growing families, and wondering where their supply is coming from!
Has this fear and worry business ever done anything for you? Has it ever added to your income, to your health, to your comfort or your happiness? Has it ever solved your problems or helped you in any way?
Hasn't it always done just the reverse? Most of us know from bitter experience how the vicious fear and worry habit uses up our mental powers, saps our life forces, cuts down our efficiency, robs us of hope, courage, and enthusiasm; in fact, cuts down our success chances fully seventy-five percent.
The great secret of success, and of happiness, too, is to have faith; to face life with courage and confidence, and not to anticipate trouble.
It is greatly to our discredit that, in spite of the fact that America is the richest, the most prosperous, the most productive and resourceful country in the world, we are a nation of worriers. The majority of us don't face life in the right way; we fear and worry more than any other people on earth.
"The fear of tomorrow, anticipation of the trials and troubles just ahead, robs multitudes of the strength and enthusiasm that would enable them to make today a glorious success."
The Public Health Service in Washington realizing this, and knowing the evil effects of such a mental attitude in breeding nervous diseases and other life stranglers, some time ago issued a bulletin, the burden of which was, "Don't worry." "So far as is known," it said, "no bird ever tried to build more nests than its neighbor. No fox ever fretted because he had only one hole in which to hide. No squirrel ever died of anxiety lest he should not lay by enough nuts for two winters instead of for one, and no dog ever lost any sleep over the fact that he did not have enough bones laid aside for his declining years."
In other words, we might take a lesson from what we call the "lower animals" in not worrying about our future supply, which is one of the chief sources of our anxiety. We say they cannot reason, but they show far more intelligence in this matter than we do; they show that faith we lack, that faith which the Christ so constantly tried to implant in his disciples: "Therefore take no thought [that is, no anxious thought] saying what shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?... For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things... Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
Rich and poor alike are victims of the unreasonable fear of lack of supply, lack of means, as all panics and business depressions show, for it is the wealthy who through withdrawal of cash from business and banks, first disturb public credit. Of course not all of us anticipate financial shortages.
There are many who, though not what the world calls wealthy, do not worry over money matters: instead they allow fear and worry to get hold of them through some other obsession, the anticipation of failure in their work, a breakdown in their health, some misfortune to their children, the fear that some member of the family may go wrong, bring disgrace upon themselves and all connected with them.
Now, the man or the woman who is constantly afraid of some impending evil, always dreading, anticipating something that will work to his or her injury, or who is worrying about something that has already happened, is lacking in the most essential character and success elements — courage, self-confidence, and faith in the divine God-power in the great within of man, which makes him greater than anything that can happen to him.
Such a fear-stricken, worrying soul shows by his mental attitude that he does not believe in God; that he is not anchored in the consciousness of the limitless power and resources that are at his command; that he lacks confidence in the infinite Power that creates, preserves, and upholds the universe.
Don't be one of those craven souls; don't allow yourself to be robbed of your birth-right — success and happiness. Even if you have the fear and worry habit, you can free yourself from it.
Professor William James says that fear is conquerable; that it has at last become possible for large numbers of people to pass from the cradle to the grave without ever having a pang of genuine fear. There is no doubt that fear and worry, those terrible evils that have so long cursed mankind and held back the development of the race can be absolutely driven out of our lives. And you will not get very far, my friend, nor climb very high, until you rid yourself of your fears and doubts, of the worry and discouragement which are blighting your life, strangling your aspirations and obscuring your ideals.
How many really able people are struggling along, barely making a living, getting nowhere near the realization of their youthful dreams, because they listened to the whisperings of those human traitors, the fears and doubts and worries which held them back from doing what they were sent into the world to do!
It is for you to determine now whether you shall continue to be the slave of fear and worry; to lead the narrow, pinched life, limited in all its possibilities and power of expression, that you have so long been living, or whether you shall leave it forever behind you and rise to the height of your divine power and possible achievement through claiming your kinship with God — with whom all things are possible.
"The man who fears tomorrow is afraid of life, and that sort of man is a coward. He has no faith in God or in himself. He will never amount to much."
You don't need to make any preparations, to delay for anything, or to ask anyone's assistance. You can break away from your discouraging past; you can change your poverty-stricken environment and plant your feet firmly in the path of attainment; you can do this instantly by reversing your thought. Through the exercise of your divine power you can change your thought at will; and to change the thought is the first step in the cure of any evil condition.
Worry, anxiety, lack of faith, self-depreciation, timidity, lack of self-confidence, these are all expressions of fear, and cannot exist in your mind for a moment in the presence of the courage, thought, the mental suggestion of fearlessness, self-confidence, self-reliance; the image of yourself as strong, resourceful, courageous, in touch with the infinite reservoir of divine power and energy that flows to you from your Source, the Omnipotent One, the Creator of the universe.
Instead of picturing trouble and misfortune ahead, brooding over the difficulties that confront you, and fearing you will never be able to get past them, flood your mind with triumphant thoughts, with the thought of the power that is stored in the great within of you, always wanting to be used, always more than a match for the giant fear that tries to frighten you with bogies, with unrealities that have no existence outside of your troubled imagination.
No fear, no anxiety, no discouragement, no doubt or apprehension regarding the future, can possibly enter your mind while it is filled with thoughts of hope, of courage, of assurance, of all power and strength through your connection with Infinite Power.
You will find it a great help in driving out fear and worry to express strong, courageous sentiments aloud. When alone say to any enemy thoughts that would frighten or harass you: "Get out of my mental kingdom. I will not allow you to come between me and my Father. I am a son of God, and I was never made to cower before anything; to be frightened and turned from my purpose by a mere thought. I am brave, courageous, afraid of nothing; I am a conqueror of fear, not its slave."
Remember, that as God's child you have nothing to fear, for through your kinship with Omnipotence, the Source of all courage, of all supply, of all beauty, of all good, no evil thing has power over you. The next time that something which you feel is holding you back whispers to you, "Don't do that; you'll make a fool of yourself. Many a stronger, abler man than you are has failed in trying to do that same thing. Many with more ability, in more favorable circumstances, with more influence, and with outside help, have failed in the ambitious undertaking you are going to attempt, poor and ill-equipped as you are. You had better be careful; make sure that you are going to succeed before you begin," — don't listen to the evil thing, for it is fear that is whispering to you. And it is lying as it has lied to millions who came before you, as it will lie to millions who come after you.
He who listens to it will never enter into his heritage as a child of God, his birthright of peace, power, harmony, success, abundance.
Fear and doubt, discouragement and worry are always found together. They belong to the same family, and work for the same end — to rob people of energy and ambition, and to keep them from doing what they were made to do.
These relatives of Fear have ever been the great retarders of human progress, the great killers of ability, the blighters of happiness, the stranglers of aspirations, the murderers of success. They have kept untold millions in mediocrity and have caused utter failure and ruin of other millions who could have done big things had they gone ahead, made the most of their ability and worked steadily for the realization of their early visions.
God never meant any of His children to be victims of fear, worry, discouragement or any evil specter of the imagination. He intended that their lives should be triumphant achievements, glorious successes, and not miserable failures.
Whatever tries to hold you back from the pursuit of a high ambition is your enemy. When fear tries to shake your confidence in yourself, to keep you from beginning the things which you long to do and feel that you have the ability to carry through; when you feel yourself weakening before some unusual difficulty and think of turning back; when you are tempted to worry about something that has happened, or that you think may happen; when you doubt your ability to do this or that, and think you would better not undertake anything that is not perfectly sure to come out all right, drive all such suggestions out of your mind.
Asserting your divine power as a son of God, say to yourself:
"Now, it is right up to me to make good. I can't give up this way and turn coward. It would be unmanly, contemptible. I am able to overcome this thing; it has no power to keep me down. No matter whether I can see the way or not I shall keep going, forging ahead. No matter what obstacles may come up I shall keep headed toward the port of my ambition. Nothing has power over me, but what I give it. I will not allow anything to thwart my purpose and destroy my career. I can and I will rise above all my troubles, above all my mistakes and errors. Nothing can keep me from my own, for from now on I will work with the God in me. I will not be overcome by any enemy; I will overcome."
Nothing but ourselves can make God's promise to man void, — "Behold I have set before you an open door which no man can shut." The door that leads to your ambition, to the fuller, happier, more abundant life you desire is wide open.
No one can close it but yourself. Nothing but your doubts, your fears, your pessimism, your worry, your lack of faith in the Creator and in yourself can prevent you from matching your desires with reality.
» Chapter XIV - Self-Faith And Prosperity
» Chapter XVI - Good Cheer And Prosperity
» Chapter XVII - The Master Key - To Be Great, Concentrate
» Chapter XVIII - "Time Is Money" - And Much
"It is not the work we have actually done, the burdens we have actually borne, the troubles that have actually come that have furrowed deep wrinkles in the faces of many of us, and made us prematurely old; it is the useless fears and worries we have lugged along with us that have done all the mischief."