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As a Man Thinketh

As a Man Thinketh

by James Allen

A little book with a very powerful message; you create your own destiny by the thoughts you choose and encourage which create your inner character and your outer circumstances.  Originally published in 1902 - it’s as relevant and popular today as it was then. An absolute timeless classic.

Summary Notes

Chapter 1 - Thought and Character

As a man thinketh in his heart so is he

You are literally what you think. Your character being a complete sum of your thoughts. Just as plants cannot grow without the seed, actions cannot have been taken without the thought. Through this is the realization that you hold the key to every situation, and just as gold and diamonds are discovered through much searching and mining, you can discover your own truths and character by digging deep into yourself.

Skills to acquire

Chapter 2 - Effect of Thought on Circumstances

You do not attract that which you want, but that which you are

Your mind is like a garden that can be cultivated or allowed to run wild, depending on the quality of your thoughts and your thoughts shape your character, circumstances, and destiny. Most people are usually anxious to improve their circumstances, but unwilling to improve themselves. You become your true and powerful self when you take responsibility for your life - when you stop blaming others for your conditions and build yourself up with strong thoughts. We imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot. It rapidly crystallizes into habit and habit solidifies into circumstance. When you radically alter your thoughts you will experience rapid transformation in your life.

Skills to acquire

Chapter 3 - Effect of thought on Health and the Body

There is no doctor better than cheerful thought for keeping the body healthy

Your body reacts to your mind and will, therefore, be a direct reflection of your thoughts, and disease and health, like circumstance, are rooted in thought. Sickly thoughts will express themselves through a sickly body and strong, pure and happy thoughts build a strong and graceful body. Your body is delicate and responds readily to your thoughts. A change of diet will not help you without changing your thoughts. If you want to protect your body, guard your mind.

Skills to acquire

Chapter 4 - Thought and Purpose

He who conquers doubt and fear conquers failure

Those who have no central purpose in life will fall prey to petty worries which lead to failure, unhappiness, and loss. Find your purpose and set out to accomplish it, and make this purpose the centralizing point of your thoughts. Make your purpose your duty and devote yourself to it - not allowing your thoughts to wonder. Even if you fail again and again in your purpose, you will gain strength of character and this will be the measure of your success. Once you begin to think with purpose you will recognize failure as a pathway to success; you will make all conditions serve you and think strong, attempt fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully. Once you know your purpose, start to plan a path to its achievement and let go of doubts and fears as they break up the straight line of effort. Purpose, energy, power and all strong thoughts cease when doubt and fear creep in.

Skills to acquire

Chapter 5 - The Thought-Factor in Achievement

All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thought.

No-one can change your conditions but you. Others can help you, but cannot do the work for you and can do nothing unless you are at first willing. Achievement of whatever kind is the effort of thought and success can only be maintained by continued watchfulness. All achievements are the result of strongly directed thoughts.

Skills to acquire

Chapter 6 - Visions and Ideals

He who cherishes a beautiful vision will one day realize it.

The dreamers are the saviors of the world, as they are the realities which we shall one day see and know. Columbus cherished a vision of another world and he discovered it. Cherish your visions, cherish your ideas for out of these your world will be built. Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, you will become. Your vision is the promise of what you will one day be. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg. Dreams are the seedlings of realities. To realize your vision takes hard work and sacrifice. There are efforts and there are results and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. You will become your vision.

Skills to acquire

Chapter 7 - Serenity

Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.

The more tranquil you become, the greater your success and influence for this kind of state are necessary for understanding others. A calm person having learned how to control themselves knows how to adapt to others and they, in turn, appreciate this spiritual strength that they can learn from and rely on. A strong, calm person is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land or a sheltering rock in a storm. Many people destroy their poise with explosive tempers. Those who are well balanced have an exquisite poise which attracts others. Self-control is strength and calmness is power.

Skills to acquire

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