By By James Allen
September 2010
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There are many contrasting theories about the human kind called man, and the opposite gender has gone to lengths trying to figure out what this animal is all about. James Allen’s book As a Man Thinketh, tries to some extent to unravel this mystery.

The theme of all of Allen’s works is that each one of us has the power to form our own character and to create our own happiness. The conditions of our lives are closely related to our inner state. Allen encourages his readers to think positive thoughts, which will inevitably lead them to take positive actions.

Essentially, Allen says – everything that is happening in your life and mine (circumstances achievements, and all actions) is because of the thoughts we are thinking all day. Everything, he says, including jobs, relationships, happiness, pain, winning or losing are all because of our thoughts.

One may ask that if everything is because of thoughts, why don`t we feel it to be that way? Why do we feel at times that we are not lucky, that sometimes other people have a lot of control over our lives, that someone is cheating us? Why doesn`t life appear to be fair - if it was all so simple – with whatever we think?

“Because”, says James Allen, “we are not aware of our thoughts. We do not know what we think all day. If we only knew, and then we would realize that our life sucks because we are thinking - `my life sucks, my life sucks` all day. And so do not assume that you know your thoughts. Observe them. And if you change them gradually, you will automatically create any circumstances you want by changing them.”

The book is a classic. The underlying theme is that; “As you think, you shall become.”
This is what “the Secret” and the “Law of Attraction” is based on. By focusing on the positive, you attract more positive in your life. By focusing on the negative, you attract the negative. But, this book is a lot deeper than that.

James Allen goes into how disease and health are related to your thoughts. In fact, everything from who you are is made up by your thoughts.

Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought. Sickly thoughts will express themselves through a sickly body. Thoughts of fear have been known to kill a person as speedily as a bullet, and they are continually killing thousands of people just as surely though less rapidly. The people who live in fear of disease are the people who get it. Anxiety quickly demoralizes the whole body and lays it open to the entrance of disease; while impure thoughts, even if not physically indulged, will soon shatter the nervous system.

The book says our brain is the most powerful computer on the face of this planet. We must be careful of the thoughts that we conceive and process, because as said, they can literally destroy us. Instead, we must use the power of our brain and our thoughts to empower ourselves.

We have heard crazy success stories of people with only few weeks to live, and through the power of their thoughts and psychology, they manage to overcome it.

On the other hand, when some people are told they have a few weeks to live, accept their fate and die.

That same person with only a “few weeks to live” could end up living ten more years, if the person was not given that information. When you believe that you will die, you will surely die. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We should conceive of a legitimate purpose in our hearts and set out to accomplish it. We should make this purpose the centralizing point of our thoughts. It may take the form of a spiritual ideal or it may be a worldly object, according to our nature at the time. But whichever it is, we should steadily focus our thought forces upon the object, which we have set before us.

We should make this purpose our supreme duty and should devote ourselves to its attainment, not allowing our thoughts to wander away into ephemeral fancies, longings, and imaginings. This is the royal road to self-control and true concentration of thought. Even if we fail again and again to accomplish our purpose, the strength of character gained will be the measure of our true success, and this will form a new starting-point for future power and triumph.

In my own case, I have a special time management system that I use which is designed to keep me focused and proactively towards my purpose and vision everyday I live.

And there is no doubt on what James Allen says about failure. There is no failure, he says - only learning. Every failure or experience makes us stronger in some way, whether you believe that or not.

All that we achieve and all that we fail to achieve is the direct result of our own thoughts.

This is why we must learn to manage our thoughts and psychology. Eighty percent of anything is psychology. We literally have the power to shape our own destiny — our own lives.

Anyone that has become successful with anything has taken control of their thoughts and created what they now have. This is the most important step, above anything.

Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environments; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.

The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.

Interesting isn`t it? Here are some quotes from As a Man Thinketh that blew me over:

• Men do not attract what they want but what they are.
• Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves, therefore they remain bound.
• Circumstance does not make the man it reveals him to himself.
• Man is... unconsciously the cause of his circumstances, and that, whilst aiming at a good end he is continually frustrating its accomplishment by encouraging thoughts and desires which cannot possible harmonize with that end.
• The circumstances which a man encounters with his suffering are the result of his own mental disharmony.
• Men imagine that thought can be kept secret but cannot; it rapidly crystalizes into habit and habit solidifies into circumstance.
• The world is your Kaleidoscope, and the varying combinations of colors, which at every succeeding moment it presents to you, are exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever moving thoughts.
• Until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment.
• As the physically weak man can make himself by careful and patient training, so the man of weak thoughts, can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking
• You cannot travel within and stand without.

*At the time of going to the press, there were only two copies of this book left at one of the local bookshops in Windhoek.PF