01 March 2016

As You Thinketh

"Only the wise man, only he whose thoughts are controlled and purified, makes the winds and the storms of the soul obey him."

--James Allen (1864-1912)

As a Man Thinketh is one of my favorite books to pull from the shelf and read again. The author is James Allen, a British philosophical writer first published in 1903. Thinketh is an example of how a small book (52 pages) can yield great understanding. 

The essay is a reminder of how leadership development courses could improve their outcomes by focusing some time and attention on the direction of thought.  That's because most organizations come up short in teaching the importance of a sound mind when managing the complexities of corporate life.      

It's hard to draw just a few insights when Allen's writing is manifestly insightful. This means we will return to this book of renewal in future posts. For now, here is wisdom worth pondering in a hurried, distracted, and often unfulfilling world:

1. The book's premise is to stimulate men and women to discover and perceive the truth that "They are makers of themselves." 

By the thoughts they choose and encourage the mind is a master weaver, both the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance. If you've been weaving in ignorance and pain, you may now weave in enlightenment and happiness.

2. A person is literally what they think--their character being the complete sum of all thoughts.

3. A noble and Godlike character is not a thing of favor or chance but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of long-cherished association with Godlike thoughts.

4. We make or unmake ourselves; in the armory of thought, we forge the weapons by which we destroy ourselves.

5. The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors; that which it loves, and also that which it fears.

6. Men and women do not attract what they want, but what they are.

7. Individuals are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves; they, therefore, remain bound.

Source:  As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen.


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