As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen
Originally published: 1902
Description: “As a Man Thinketh” is a literary essay by James Allen, first published in 1902. In more than a century it has become an inspirational classic, selling millions of copies worldwide and bringing faith, inspiration, and self healing to all who have encountered it. The title comes from the Bible: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” — Proverbs, chapter 23, verse 7
Purchase: Amazon Books
At first glace, Proverbs 23:7 seems obvious enough and can be easily glossed over. However, James Allen takes a closer look and studies the power our thoughts have over our lives. Our thoughts, even have profound power over the situations we end up in. Our thoughts can inspire to greatest or they can weigh down with the gravity of mediocrity.
Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills:-
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.
Allen walks us through topics like, Thought and Character and show us how our thoughts can shape our character.
The Effect of Thoughts on Circumstances – The idea that we are we where are in life, because our thoughts have led us there. We are destined to follow what we think.
Effect of Thought on Health and the Body – He states that the body is the servant of the mind. For those of us that endevour to learn a new physical skill or push ourselves through a personal record (PR) of some kind are all too familiar with the power of the mind over the body.
Thought and Purpose – Allen points out how closely aligned our thoughts and purpose really are. “They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pityings, all of which lead, just as surely as deliberately planned sins (though by a different route), to failure, unhappiness, and loss, for weakness cannot persist in a power evolving universe.”
The Thought-Factor in Achievement – All that we achieve or don’t achieve is bound to our thoughts. My strength and my weakness, as a man, are mine own. Though environment, upbringing, my own talents may aid or hinder me, I can’t blame others for my short-comings or even my wins. We all play a role in life and should own that role completely.
Vision ad Ideals – Scripture has much to say about visions and dreams, one of the most quoted saying, “Without a vision, the people perish.” Allen ties vision and ideals together, “He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realize it.” Without a vision, we won’t have purpose.
Serenity – “Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. Its presence is an indication of ripened experience, and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.” Peace of mind is what so many of us seek. What is our thought life like? What do we center our thoughts around?
As A Man Thinketh, is a very short read. Really more of a pamphlet than a book. Because of this, it is easy to blaze through, but I would encourage to take as much time as needed with this book. The principles contained within, should be unpacked and dwelt upon.