This is the final rule for the Mastery of Desire by Theron Q. Dumont from his book, The Master Mind. Links to the first three rules as well as a link to read the book The Master Mind for free will be posted at the bottom of this page. Enjoy!
Cultivate the opposite. Every mental state in the emotional spectrum has its opposite state and as a rule, these two cannot exist at the same time and place. You cannot feel sad and happy at the same time nor feel anger and gratitude at the same time.
The key to successfully cultivating the opposite feeling, emotion, or desire of those emotions, feelings, and desires that you wish to be rid of is by using your willpower to focus your attention on the one that you wish to cultivate.
It is not a good idea to attempt to “kill out” an undesirable emotional state by acts of sheer will, although it is possible. Instead, cultivate the opposite. Dumont explains that the two opposing emotional states can be compared to two emotional armies at war. So instead of attacking head-on all alone, you simply ally with the friendly army and support their efforts with reinforcing thoughts, actions, etc.
Dumont wrote that there is a question before all of us: “Shall my emotional garden bear thriving weeds, noxious and poisonous to my well-being? Or shall it, instead, bear a crop of sturdy, strong and vigorous plants and fruits, which are conducive to my well-being, strength, efficiency, and ultimate happiness? It is up to all of us to decide and then act.