As a Man Thinketh

While I was home for the Thanksgiving holiday last week I ran across a book which has been in my family for years: As a Man Thinketh, which was written back in 1902 by James Allen. The title is influenced by a verse in the Bible from the book of Proverbs: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.”

This philosophy was one with which my sister and I were raised. A few of the more simplistic phrases my folks used, representing this same basic perspective, included: “Pretty is as pretty does” and “Life is attitude” and “If you think you can, you can.”

These clichés have served me well over the past 40+ years; and candidly, perhaps never more so than through the past 8-9 months. This open and honest statement may ring true to many of you, as well. Times have been challenging this year. It is so darn easy to succumb to defeat, to have self-confidence tested, and to question every little decision made. So, this week, I am revisiting a few of these time-tested truisms, written by the sage James Allen, in the hope that as each of us end 2009, we will reveal and reinforce our clarity, alignment, and strength to move forward into this new decade. I am not offering much additional commentary on these quotations this week, as I believe they stand firmly and strongly on their own.

On a personal note, I will say that they provided an additional anchor of light this Thanksgiving holiday, and I am hopeful they will for you, as well.

  • A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.
  • Right thinking begins with the words we say to ourselves.
  • The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors. We think in secret, and it comes to pass. Our environment is but our looking glass.
  • The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.
  • The circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him.
  • No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.

So, my suggestion is to embrace these six selected quotations from Allen’s book as guideposts as we navigate fiscal year end and 2010 planning. We can think calmly, optimistically, creatively, and with positive intentions. And at this time of year (when we are reminded to give thanks) we can all be grateful for the lessons we’ve learned as they will enable us to contribute in an even more powerful way in our careers and lives. Equally, we can be thankful for the gifts, freedoms, and remarkable experiences we so often take for granted.

In closing, click on this video link of James Allen quotations – it’s a bit ‘woo woo’, as it is set to new age music, which could be considered relaxing or irritating and yet, your mind may relax enough that the message will filter through.

Enjoy – and I welcome and encourage your insights, wisdom, and feedback!

6 responses to “As a Man Thinketh

  1. You always strike a chord. We are fortunate to come from family’s that focus on the positive – the good – the opportunities. When I see a pile of manure – I look for the pitchfork because I am sure there is a pony underneath. That optimism that I learned from my parents – makes everyday a new adventure to be cherished.

  2. I love that I am still learning something every day….and I was not familiar with James Allen until your post today, Kristin! What a marvel these quotes are (including the additional ones on the video). The one on tranquility and calmness of mind particularly resonated with me. A perfect one for me to aspire to in 2010!

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