Title: As a Man Thinketh
Author: James Allen
Basic Overview: James Allen has put together a beautiful collection of thoughts and ideas designed to improve the way we think. The book is only 50 pages long, but it is powerful, inspiring, and amazing! The description from the front cover reads, “Throughout his life, James Allen (1864-1912) sought an oasis of tranquility amidst the violent tides of change wrought by the Industrial Revolution in England. Inspired by his meditations, he composed a series of short, pointed essays on the power of thinking positively and its influence on character, circumstance, and health.” This book will not only give you something to think about, it will affect the way you think altogether.
Parts I Liked Best:
1. “Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts “ (p. 8).
2. “Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts. When a man makes his thoughts pure, he no longer desires impure food” (p.25). This quotation caught me off-guard because I have never read a “diet” book that taught this principle. Interestingly enough, I have tried to apply this to my life, and I honestly have no desire to eat “junk” anymore.
3. “To think well of all, to be cheerful with all, to patiently learn to find the good in all—such unselfish thoughts are the very portals of heaven; and to dwell day by day in thoughts of peace toward every creature will bring abounding peace to their possessor” (p.27).
4. “Even if he fails again and again to accomplish his purpose (as he necessarily must until weakness is overcome), the strength of character gained will be the measure of his true success, and this will form a new starting point for future power and triumph” (p. 31).
5. “The thoughtless, the ignorant, and the indolent seeing only the apparent effects of things and not the things themselves, talk of luck, of fortune, of chance. Seeing a man grow rich, they say, ‘How lucky he is!’ Observing another become an intellectual, they exclaim, ‘How highly favored he is!’ And noting the saintly character and wide influence of another, they remark, ‘How chance aids him at every turn!’ They do not see the trials and failures and struggles which these men have voluntarily encountered to gain their experience; have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made, of the undaunted efforts they have put forth, of the faith they have exercised, that they might overcome the apparently insurmountable, and realize the Vision of their heart” (p.46).
6. “A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought-evolved being, for such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought, and as he develops a right understanding, and sees more and more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect, he ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast, serene” (p.50).
How This Book Made an Impact on My Life, Especially as a Mother: So much of motherhood depends on how we think. The more we think about the uplifting, exciting, peaceful, and wonderful aspects of family life, the happier we are with the ones we love. Since reading this book, I have reflected on at least one of its ideas daily. I feel happier, more in control of my mood, more excited about my purpose, and calmer when my children are not. I hope this book will do the same for you!
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