Rightly has it been remarked that is easy to talk of and write upon this subject but most difficult to possess it. Perfect Self-Control means infinite power. Only the Buddas and the Christs of this World manifested Perfect Self-Control.
“Anything short of the absolute control of thought, word and deed is only sowing wild oats,” said Vivekananda. It is with no little diffidence that I approach this subject as whoever handles this subject is rightly culpable as being a “Do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do” class of writers. Still you can make appreciable progress in this direction by mastering these instructions, going through the exercises and last but most important by “carrying the principles in your mind” and applying them as far as you can in your daily life. Nothing is more conducive to rapid growth and development as the making of the “little and big” affairs in your work-a-day life, the occasion for the practical expression and conscious translation of your ideals. We all are guilty of a serious mistake in setting apart our higher ideals for regular ‘practice’ hours and leading a life of low and quite different ideals in our ordinary life.
The natural process, as you can see, is to LIVE OUT your highest ideals every minute of your life. Nothing is more important than the daily occupation of a man and if he fails to bring his ideals right into these little things, then Success will ever elude him. A mental scientist has summed up the entire secret of Character-Building in this valuable advice on Objective Concentration: the simple task of mental concentration on whatever task, business or profession a man is engaged in is the beginning of the mastery which is the perfection of Objective Concentration.
Whatever you are doing be master of your work. If you are a cobbler mend shoes in a perfect manner; if a barber keep your razors and scissors in a state that will excite the admiration of your customers; if a tailor make the coat fit like a glove; if a clerk keep your accounts in apple-pie order; if a builder scorn your jerry-brother; if a singer enchant the listener with a concord of sweet sounds; if an actor enter into the spirit of the character and make the play-goer feel that “All the world’s a stage And all the men and women merely players, They have their exits and their entrance And one man in his time plays many parts.”
If a leader in any department of thought or action, remember that if to you much is given, from you also much is required, for the responsibility of the lives and happiness of your fellows rests heavy on your shoulders, whether you know it or not and thousands may secretly curse your incapacity and bungling. It is infinitely better to be a good cobbler than a bad ruler.
I believe the above advice if followed conscientiously by you would go to make you really fit for initiation into the more advanced stages of mastery. Take it to heart by all means. Be convinced, the man who looks for quick results and a royal road to the mastery of Mental Science breaks down in frequent despair at apparent failures and neglects his daily work will never go far. In fact, his very impatience will lead to failure. No individual life is fully rounded out unless some useful work forms part of it. The Yogi who has renounced the world has already done his work and is ahead of the times. The real hermit and the saint are the Pillars of Strength on which this world stands. I cannot repeat this too often. The mere fact of their breathing the same atmosphere as you is a benediction and an inestimable boon unto the race.