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Your Mind and How to Use It

William Walker Atkinson

Book Overview: 

William Walker Atkinson was one of the most prominent contributors to the literature of the New Thought movement, a non-denomination spiritual philosophy which developed in the late Nineteenth Century. Although he achieved eminence in a number of professions, Atkinson never sought personal publicity, and many of his numerous works were published under a variety of pseudonyms. Most of Atkinson’s works are manuals of practice rather than pure expositions of philosophy. Many of his books are concerned with the training of the mind, and one of the most typical of these is Your Mind and How to Use It: A Manual of Practical Psychology.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Page_32" id="Page_32">[Pg 32] The training of the voluntary attention is the first step in mental development.

Training the Attention.

That the voluntary attention may be deliberately trained and developed is a fact which many of the world's greatest men have proved for themselves. There is only one way to train and develop any mental power of faculty—and that is by practice and use. By practice, interest may be given to objects previously uninteresting, and thus the use of the attention develops the interest which further holds it. Interest is the natural road over which attention travels easily, but interest itself may be induced by concentrated attention. By studying and examining an object, the attention brings to light many new and novel features regarding the thing, and these produce a new interest which in turn attracts further and continued attention.

There is no royal road to the development of voluntary attention. The only tru. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Comprehensive overview of the basics of psychology--with some practical tips for self improvement. The content is overall a little dated. For example, the advice on cultivating good habits seems amusingly uninformed given the vast body of work that's been done on how to form and maintain good hab...more

Boring, Maybe I can come back to read this later when My brain can accpet all this.

Although at first you may be discouraged to continue to read because of the amount of theory and facts that Atkinson offers, soon you'll realize they're all required to effectively implement the practical suggestions that are proven to be effectual. Also you can achive a much deeper understanding...more

It is very repeative of Memory and how to Use it, also by Atkinson.
The later chapters were, for me, a little hard to follow. I had to read a couple of times before understanding.

Though this was published in the early 1900s, there's a lot of information in here that's still shockingly relevant. The suggestions for building up perception, imagination, and will (more often called "discipline" nowadays) should not be overlooked!

Brilliant!!

One of the best psychology books i have ever read.......
Explains very clearly how the human mind thinks and why does it think in such a way and also how to train it

Absolute genius
This is must read. All I gotta say about this one is if you adapt the things it says, it is life changing !

This book started ok. But as you went along he mixed in evolution from Darwin which turned me off. If he had stopped at around chapter 14 I believe it was this would have been a five star book to me.