“A man is literally what he thinks.” These poignant words were written by James Allen who is the author of As a Man Thinketh. They are quite possibly some of the most profound written words ever formulated. Essentially, we are the quintessence of our thoughts. We are the only ones privy to our thoughts, with the exception of God and his all-encompassing, never tiring, listening skills. Our mighty minds and conscience hold the key where there is no facade from which to hide.
I stumbled upon As a Man Thinketh in my father’s bookshelf. It was a gift given to him by his father in 1955. It is a 72 page small 3×5 book, but it is packed with the most powerful life-changing words. I would have overlooked it if it had not tumbled out from its wedged status inconsequentially dwarfed by the larger books of far less value. I read the first paragraph and was so intrigued by the content that I finished it off in twenty-five minutes. I devoured every powerful, profound word. It is a prerequisite to the basis of all understanding of ourselves and the power and capabilities of our human minds.
It is a book that should be distributed en masse to graduating high school and college seniors. Heck, why wait? Give your children a copy the moment they learn to read. It is still in print. It could save thousands of dollars on psychiatric bills. Nip the problems before they begin by this simple book of wisdom—so complex and yet so simple. In essence, the credibility of our lives is in our power and control. It is far more effective to train ourselves along the path towards self-fulfillment and hope, rather than an existence of disillusionment.
James Allen was a modest literary man. His influence has made a reflective impression on millions of people. He, however, remains relatively unknown and un-congratulated. He never achieved great fame or amassed a fortune through the writings of his nineteen books. Interestingly, he was not completely content with As A Man Thinketh, his second book, and modestly did not comprehend its importance. It was his wife, Lily, who convinced him of its value and the necessity of publishing it.
James Allen was born in England in 1864. His father’s family business failed and he left for America to find work. His father was murdered before the family had time to arrive. James quit school and worked for manufacturers. It makes one wonder how he was able to achieve such psychological savvy. He explains in the foreword that “this little volume (the result of meditation and experience) is not intended as an exhaustive treatise. It is suggestive rather than explanatory, its object being to stimulate men and women to the discovery and perception of the truth that, they themselves, are makers of themselves—the mind is the master weaver.”
Allen elegantly states in his bare-boned manner all we really need to know, in order to understand ourselves. I could not help but be drawn to several significant passages that my father had underlined in red ink. Here is a sampling to lure you into James Allen’s prophetic world of the power of our thoughts:
* A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape circumstances.
* A sour face does not come by chance; it is made by our thoughts.
* The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do. Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge, and he who encourages them, who does not slay them, thwarts himself at every step….James Allen
In essence, it is all within our own capacity to attain to be people of credibility with healthy, positive thoughts. It can be an aid in a life of contentment.
Hunter Darden-order personalized copies of my books by scrolling to the top and clicking on the link or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.