Here’s an interesting quote from William Walker Atkinson:
“The best example was given by a boy who had kept his eyes open and his thinker working. Maybe I had better tell you in his own words. This is what he said, just as he said it:
“Oh, pshaw!” said the Boy, “you’re making a big fuss over nothing. Every feller knows that you’ve got to think about a thing if you want to hit it, and if you think about the wrong thing, why, you’ll hit the wrong thing. If I fire a stone at a tin can, why, I just look square at the can and think about the can for all I’m worth, and the can’s a dead one, sure.
If I happen to let my mind wander to the cat what’s on the shed over to the left of the can—well, so much the worse for the cat, that’s all. To shoot straight, you’ve got to aim straight; and to aim straight you’ve got to look straight; and to look straight you’ve got to think straight. Every kid knows that, or he couldn’t even play marbles. If I get my heart set on a beauty marble in the ring, I just want it the worst way and says I to myself, ‘You’re my marble.’
Then I look at him strong and steadylike and don’t think about nothing else in the world but that beauty. Maybe I’m late for school, but I clean forget it. I don’t see nothing—nor think nothing—but that there marble what I want. As the piece in my reader says, it’s my ‘Heart’s Desire,’ and I don’t care whether school keeps or not, just so as I get it. Then I shoot, and the marble’s mine. And, at school, when our drawing teacher tells us how to draw a straight line, she makes two dots, several inches away from each other. Then she makes us put our pencils on the first dot and look steady at the other and move our pencil towards it. The more you keep thinking about the far off dot, and the less you think about the starting dot or your hand, the straighter you’re going to get your line. Wonst I looked straight at the far-off dot with my eyes, but I kept thinking about a red-headed girl on the other side of the room, and what do you think, the line I was drawing slanted away off in her direction, although I had kept my eyes glued on the far-away dot and never even peeped in the kid’s direction. That shows, sure, that it’s the thinking as well as the looking. See?”
I wish you would pay attention to what the Boy said. It is not the first time that we have gone to the babe for wisdom. Although a child has an imagination beyond our comprehension, he, at the same time, is painfully and even brutally, matter of fact. He is continually asking: “Why,” and when we grown-ups are unable to answer him he answers the question himself, often better than we could have done. He doesn’t theorize, but gets down to business, and works things out for himself.
This boy knew all about the Thinking part of the problems, and had put it into practical application, while we were theorizing about it. He had discovered that in order to get things we must first earnestly Desire them; then Confidently Expect that we would get them; then go to work to procure them. That’s the true philosophy of getting things.
He tells us, about the marble, that he first “wanted it the worst way” and “didn’t care whether school kept or not” just so he got the marble. Then he “looked strong and steady-like” at the marble, saying: “You’re my marble.”
Then he shot, and the marble was his. Can any of you describe the process of getting things better than this? If we grown-ups would only put into our daily tasks the interest and attention that the boy put into his game of marbles, we would “get the marble” oftener than we have been doing.”
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