At birth each of us ﬁguratively brings with him two sealed envelopes: one is labeled Rewards, and the other Penalties. In the ﬁrst envelope is a list of the beneﬁts we may enjoy by taking possession of our own mind and using it for the attainment of the things we desire in life. In the second is a list of the consequences nature will exact from us if we neglect to control our mind and direct it toward desirable, worthwhile objectives.
The foregoing paragraph is so rich in signiﬁcance that it will pay you to read it, analyze it and meditate on it before you go ahead with the remainder of this lesson. Read it at least three times.
In this lesson we shall break the seals of these two envelopes and present you with their contents. But more important than this, you will discover for yourself that these sealed envelopes are real. They can be the means of putting you on the success beam, enabling you to ride to victory and a destination of your own choosing.
You will not understand the full meaning of this lesson unless you are ready to receive it. And you will not be ready to receive it until you have mastered the six preceding lessons.
There are two things which nature discourages and severely penalizes: (a) a vacuum (emptiness) and (b) idleness (lack of action). Remove any muscle of the body from active use, and it will atrophy (waste away) and become useless. Tie an arm to your side and remove it from action and in time it, too, will wither and become useless. The same law which governs other portions of the body governs the brain, where the vibrations of thought are organized and released.
A positive mind ﬁnds a way it can be done, a negative mind looks for all the ways it can’t be done.
You either use your brain for controlled thinking in connection with things you want, or nature steps in and uses it to grow a crop of negative circumstances you do not want. You have a choice in this situation: You can take possession of your thought power, or you can let it be inﬂuenced by the stray winds of chance and circumstances you do not desire. But you cannot sit idly by and thus free yourself from the inﬂuence of these two sealed envelopes.
Nature allows you to ﬁx your mind on whatever you desire. Nature also allows you to create your own plan for attaining your desire. She crowns. all your efforts with those beneﬁts which come in the sealed envelop labeled Rewards. But she discourages idleness and penalizes it wherever it exists.
Out of this truth has grown the saying: Success attracts more success while failure attracts more failure — a truth which you may have observed many times although you may not have analyzed why it happens this way.
If you put your mind to work with a positive mental attitude and believe in success as your right, your belief will guide you unerringly toward whatever your deﬁnition of success may be. If you adopt a negative mental attitude and ﬁll your mind with thoughts of fear and frustration, your mind will attract to you the penalties of these undesirable thoughts.
Or you may make no attempt to control and direct your mind, opening it wide to every inﬂuence with which you come in contact, and it will yield you the things listed in the second sealed envelope, which are the Penalties you must pay for your neglect to possess and direct your mind.