Training the mind is not taught in school. Those attempting to govern stressful thoughts fall prey to distractions. Focus is so difficult that a product’s power to distract is related to how much money we pay for it (movies, quarterbacks, drugs).
Personal power comes through mastery of thought. The samurai must master their emotions to be great warriors. Olympians develop their mind to elevate their physical performance. Even Jedi training follows a long Zen-like apprenticeship.
The first thing the student of power must observe is that the mind cannot be trained when it is in chaos. Chaos is unfortunately the natural state of the mind. Stressful thoughts plague us. We replay personal interactions on a loop, reliving the event endlessly, trying out different versions of what should have been said.
Mind training involves moving the mind to other thoughts. Stop. Don’t react. Distract. (That’s why Jedi’s don’t lose their temper). This is practiced for many years. (Try not reacting to other people’s reactions).
Or you can look at a powerful image.
A primary function of art is aesthetic arrest: the thing is so beautiful it stops you in your tracks. Then instead of returning to your stressful thoughts, the mind becomes caught up in the mystery of the object. We speculate this is the power behind great works of art like the Mona Lisa. What’s she smiling about? What’s going on in that picture? Books have been devoted to unraveling the mysteries of that single painting.
ART + STORY = BOOK COVERS
We form great affection for the physical books we love. We place them on shelves, carry around dog-eared copies, and box them up like china when we move. A good book is a lifetime of adventures, relationships and emotions. As we read a book, hold and look at it, the emotional bond grows.
A captivating book cover carries us beyond the finite bounds of the story. The book might end after 350 pages, but the cover continues on forever. It looks different with each page. Endless secrets appear the longer we hold that book. And a book cover that presents a secret puzzle to the reader is powerful.