As A Man Thinketh awesome summary by ebookhike

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Author: James Allen

As A Man Thinketh James Allen 1992

As A Man Thinketh
As A Man Thinketh

Man is the weaver of his own happiness (As A Man Thinketh)

As A Man Thinketh: The leitmotif of the work of James Allen is the assertion that every person is able to “weave” his own happiness. Because our thoughts affect our health, character, circumstances and achievements. 

The writer told how thoughts affect the listed components and what, in his opinion, is an indicator of correct thinking. Take this information into service to make your life more meaningful and interesting.

We warn you: not all of Allen’s ideas fit into modern realities, but most are applicable now, as if written by our contemporary, and not by a person who lived more than a hundred years ago.

The influence of thoughts on character

A man’s character is the sum of his thoughts. Without them, not a single act is committed, whether it be intentional or spontaneous. A noble 1  character (benevolent, honest, etc.) is the result of a person’s continuous efforts, a long process of right thinking, while an ignoble one (quarrelsome, cruel, etc.) is formed due to constant indulgence of vicious inclinations and one’s own egoism. As the saying goes, “a man is what his thoughts are.”

We create and destroy ourselves with our own thoughts. Right thoughts bring us closer to perfection, falsely directed ones bring us down to the level of an animal. Between these two extremes lies the whole range of human characters. 

Man is the master of his thoughts and the creator of character. He himself creates his environment, living conditions and destiny. 

Even in moments of weakness and humiliation, manifesting ourselves as poor thought leaders, we again become masters of the situation when we begin to reflect on the current situation and try to find an explanation for it, look for fruitful solutions and direct energy in the right direction. The key is in our hands. 

If we control our thoughts (observe them and, if necessary, change them), tracking their impact on ourselves, other people, circumstances, linking cause and effect, analyzing even minor everyday events, we can make sure that we are creators of our character and fate. We are capable of becoming what we want to be.

The influence of thoughts on circumstances

James Allen compared the human mind to a garden: if nothing useful is planted in it, flowers and fruit trees will gradually suffocate the weeds. Weeding out the latter, that is, not allowing anything harmful into your head, you will see how noble thoughts will blossom in it.

It is the thoughts that have shaped our character that lead us to where we are now. Where there is an opportunity to gain experience that can be useful later. And we either learn the lesson of the current circumstances and find ourselves in new ones, or the situation repeats itself.

Circumstances crush us as long as we think that life depends only on external conditions. But as soon as we realize that we can change the conditions, honestly try to overcome the shortcomings of our character, without placing the blame on the vicissitudes of fate, we make rapid progress.

Circumstances do not force a person to do something – whether it be a misdemeanor or a good deed – if he does not strive for this in his thoughts. A person cannot, for no reason at all, start drinking alcohol a lot and often or commit a crime. This happens only when he indulges his desires. A person with a pure soul will not commit a crime even under the influence of the blows of fate.

Each step we take causes certain conditions that reflect our purity or moral impurity, strength or weakness. Unworthy thoughts make people their hostages, noble thoughts set them free. We attract not what we want, but what is peculiar to us. Desires are realized only if they are consistent with actions. Anyone who wants to improve his life, but does not strive to become better himself, will not achieve the goal. 

A poor person who wants to live better, but constantly avoids work and deceives the employer (justifying himself by the fact that he pays him little), will eventually wallow in poverty due to negative thoughts, laziness and inaction. An employer who lowers the wages of employees in an effort to make a big profit will go bankrupt and lose his reputation.

As A Man Thinketh

However, a person cannot be judged only by the manifestation of the external aspects of his life. A decent person can suffer because of poverty, and a swindler can bathe in luxury. Allen explains this by the fact that a dishonest person can have exceptional noble character traits (for example, abusing the trust of some people to help others), and an honest person can be completely unbearable in some situations. Any person rejoices, reaping the fruits of their good intentions and actions, and suffers because of the bad ones.

Some people take comfort in suffering because of their kindness or honesty. In fact, their suffering is caused by shortcomings, not virtues: according to the law, “evil should be punished, and good should be encouraged.” What you sow is what you reap: it works not only in the physical, but also in the mental and moral world. Good thoughts and actions will not lead to bad results, and bad ones will not lead to good ones. The purpose of suffering is to get rid of shortcomings. Suffering is not sent to a pure-hearted person. Just as there is no point in continuing to melt gold after the impurities have been removed, so the enlightened soul no longer needs to suffer.

The rich man suffers when he unreasonably disposes of money, the poor man – if he thinks that he is unfairly deprived of fate.

As A Man Thinketh

An indicator of the purity of thoughts is a feeling of harmony and happiness, and not the amount of money in the account. If a person feels unhappy, dirty thoughts roam in his head. Equally unfortunate are those who are in dire need and who indulge their every whim. Both of these states are unnatural and characterize the internal discord in the human soul, attracting suffering-causing circumstances. After all, we already feel good when we are just healthy and full.

We become mature individuals only when we stop whining and complaining that circumstances or other people are to blame for our problems, and begin to look for hidden justice that regulates our lives. Realizing this, we begin to use circumstances as an opportunity to discover hidden reserves in ourselves. Constantly seeking and finding the highest justice in everything, we begin to look at many things differently, treat others, and they, in turn, begin to treat us better.

Thoughts usually turn into habitual actions, and those, in turn, attract the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

Vulgar thoughts can develop into a habit of sexual intemperance, increasing the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease. Thoughts of fear, doubt and indecision turn into weakness and softness, leading to failure and slavish dependence on someone else’s will. On the other hand, thoughts of unselfish love contribute to the formation of devotion, which leads to stable well-being and the possession of true values. And thoughts about courage, self-confidence and determination lead to the formation of a strong character that attracts success and gives a sense of freedom. 

As A Man Thinketh

Allen likened the world to a kaleidoscope: just as when you turn the device, the pattern changes, so the change in the train of thought changes the “picture” around us. In his opinion, the redirection of thoughts will necessarily indirectly affect the conditions of life . Get rid of vicious thoughts, and you will see that the world is ready to help. Leave thoughts of weakness and incapacity, and opportunities will begin to open before your firm intentions at every step. Cheer yourself up with good thoughts, and the vicissitudes of fate will not be able to break you. 

The influence of thoughts on health

According to Allen, changing the diet will not improve health. It is more important to clear your thoughts . Then there will be no desire to eat unhealthy food and neglect body care. Because a person with pure thoughts will not allow dirt in anything. In addition, the desire to improve your body and prolong its youthfulness will support the mind and keep the mind alive. 

On the contrary, gloomy thoughts about malaise, disappointment, despair and despondency can dry up the body and deprive it of beauty. Deep wrinkles appear as a result of stupidity, excessive emotionality or arrogance.

James Allen knew a 96-year-old woman with an almost girlish face and a pre-middle-aged man with deep wrinkles. The youthful face of the lady testified to her pleasant and sweet disposition, the face of the man – to the raging passions and dissatisfaction with life.

As A Man Thinketh

The faces of those who have lived a righteous life are pacified, as if illuminated by the rays of the setting sun: 

“I happened to see the face of a philosopher on his deathbed. If I hadn’t known how old he was, I would never have thought that an ancient elder was lying in front of me. He passed away calmly and with dignity, just as he lived, ”Allen wrote. 

As A Man Thinketh

Thought is the primary source of life: if it is pure, a person is calm, and the body is healthy. The body obeys the commands of the brain – both intentional and unconscious. Bad thoughts (including the fear of illness) quickly destroy it, while joyful and benevolent ones give energy and beauty.

There is no better healer than encouraging thoughts that the disease will be defeated. There is no better comforter that relieves sorrows than goodwill. To constantly allow dissatisfied, cynical, suspicious and envious thoughts is to imprison yourself with your own hands. But if we always think kindly of people, cheerful and persevering in the search for good, the world will be kind to us.

The Influence of Thoughts on Achievement

Goal as the first step to success

People without a goal, like chips in the ocean, easily become victims of troubles and losses. Therefore, each person needs to have a well-thought-out goal, for the implementation of which he must constantly set himself up . It can have the image of a spiritual ideal or a material object, but in any case it must completely take over the thoughts. We must devote ourselves to achieving it, without indulging in illusions and vain expectation that everything will be decided by itself. This will allow you to fully control your actions. Even if you suffer failure after failure on the way to the goal – and this will certainly happen until you overcome your impotence – your character will be tempered, and this will serve as a springboard to new opportunities and successes.

To enter the category of strong people who evaluate another failure as an opportunity to move forward and are not afraid to make another attempt, it is worth “pumping” willpower and thinking objectively .

The first step to gaining willpower is to acknowledge your weakness. The second is to constantly exert moral effort, just as physically weak people become stronger through regular and deliberate exercise.

If you are not ready to set a grand goal for yourself, focus your thoughts on the perfect performance of your duties , even if they seem insignificant. So you can focus and concentrate, gain energy and self-confidence.

If you have clearly defined the goal, imagine the steps to achieve it. Let go of doubts and fears. They only get in the way, making you consider your actions useless. Without them, you are ready to courageously overcome the difficulties that arise. To get rid of doubts and fears will help a good command of the situation, allowing you to understand the problem. 

When thought becomes an ally of purpose, it becomes a driving force. By inspiring yourself with lofty thoughts, you can “get up off your knees” and achieve what you want. Without their support, you doom yourself to a joyless and humiliating existence. In order not to think about your own helplessness later, stop obeying circumstances. If the thought of humility with them arises, it will not be possible to solve the problems. Therefore, learn to fully control your thoughts. 

You can keep victories only by remaining vigilant. You shouldn’t relax. Successful people who weaken efforts quickly return to previous failures. And they even turn into nonentities if they allow arrogant, vain and vicious thoughts to take possession of them. We move up through self-control, determination, purity of mind, and slide down through depravity, laziness, moral impurity and disordered thinking. 

You cannot achieve success without sacrifice. Whether you will be able to succeed in life depends on whether you can sacrifice your fear by focusing on developing and implementing plans, strengthening determination and faith in your own strength. Only by concentrating your thoughts in a certain direction, you will get achievements. The laws of success in business, intellectual and spiritual are the same, the only difference is in the end goal. Depending on the “size” of the latter, one must prepare for small or large sacrifices.

Lazy people who do not bother to think only notice the external side of things. They say about a wealthy person: “Here is a lucky one!”, About a smart person: “Fate is always favorable to him!”, About a strong character: “He always gets a good chance!” They do not see at the cost of what trials, failures and struggles these “lucky ones” achieved such a result. They have no idea what sacrifices had to be made, what to do, what obstacles to overcome. The ignorant do not want to know anything about the difficulties, they see only the joy of those who have achieved success, calling their achievements “luck”, “fortune” or “happy chance”. But any person, in order to get a result, should always make an effort. Talent, material wealth, a sharp mind are the fruits of efforts, accompanied by a painstaking thought process and actions.

There is an opinion that people become slaves because a tyrant appears. But you can look at the situation differently: someone begins to oppress the majority, because this majority allows itself to be treated this way. The truth is that the oppressor and the oppressed mutually produce each other. Although outwardly they are fighting each other, in fact they are making things worse for themselves. A person who has overcome his own weakness and renounced any manifestation of selfishness does not belong to either the oppressed or the oppressors – he is free.

As A Man Thinketh

The universe does not favor the greedy, the dishonest, and the spiteful, even if appearances suggest otherwise. She helps the honest and generous. You can see this for yourself if you actively and persistently strive for virtue 2 .

“People who are driven by nobility of mind gain more influence over time, just as the moonlight becomes brighter on a full moon,” Allen argued.

As A Man Thinketh

Dreams and ideals as future achievements

A dream is a kind of prediction of what will happen to you one day, and an ideal is something that you will be able to get closer to. Be inspired by your dreams and ideals, because without it the world seems gray and boring. A person feels happy, and his life is complete only thanks to the beautiful. 

According to Allen, the world belongs to dreamers – composers, sculptors, painters, poets and others. All human achievements were originally someone’s lofty dream: Columbus dreamed of discovery, and he succeeded; Copernicus predicted that the universe is expanding and proved it.

Whether the satisfaction of your innermost desires will bring you joy or whether you will suffer because of the impossibility of achieving them, no one knows, but “ask and you will receive.” Allen expressed the hope that your dreams will be sublime and noble, as it will enrich you spiritually. And as soon as you have an ideal and you strive to achieve it, adverse circumstances will recede. 

A dream and an ideal will help you build your life so that your goals become real and achievable. You can no longer remain the same.

Imagine a poor young man working in one of the factories in unhealthy conditions. At one time he did not manage to get an education, but he dreams of a better life, gaining knowledge and independence in all respects. Inner restlessness makes him act. And the guy begins to use his free time and modest opportunities for development. Soon he is no longer satisfied with the way he lives: he wants to get rid of the past, like old unnecessary clothes. Over time, he has more opportunities that meet his increased inner strength. After a few years, the young man becomes a mature man, on which the lives of many people who trust him depend. So gradually he managed to realize the dreams and ideals of his youth.

As A Man Thinketh

You, too, can realize your dream – both very mundane and large-scale. Just go for what you like best. Whatever your current situation, with your thoughts you can aggravate it, leave it at the same level or improve it. It is in your power to become the way you see yourself.

Balance as an indicator of correct thinking

Realizing that people’s lives are the result of their thoughts, a person sees more clearly the internal connections of events, causes and effects. He ceases to worry, worry, fuss and be sad, becoming calm and persistent.

According to James Allen, restraint, serenity or poise is an indicator of the ability to control thoughts and the result of long-term self-control. The writer valued balance no less than wisdom and gold. He compared balanced people with a shady tree, under the crown of which you can hide on a hot afternoon. They are calm in any situation, their condition does not depend on the weather or a sudden change in circumstances. 

“How petty and vain life, accompanied only by the desire to earn more money, compared to that which is led by a benevolent and balanced person, whose soul is pure and serene,” Allen wrote.

As A Man Thinketh

The better a person knows how to remain calm, the more influential, successful and more useful he can be to people. Balanced people with a strong character are loved and respected by others, because you can always rely on them and learn a lot from them.

On the contrary, people with an explosive character destroy their own lives, ruining everything that is good and beautiful. If you are one of them (you find it difficult to cope with feelings, you often worry and doubt), learn to control yourself and your thoughts. In every difficult situation, say to yourself: “Hush, calm down.” After all, no matter how the circumstances develop, in the ocean of life you will still meet islands of well-being. The master in your soul is just waiting for you to finally wake him up.

Top 10 Ideas

1. To change life, you need to improve the character, health, circumstances and add to the list of achievements. All this is influenced by our thoughts, which we create ourselves. 

2. Moral thoughts can bring us closer to perfection, immoral thoughts can bring us down to the level of an animal. In order not to sink to the social bottom, you must always prove yourself a good manager of thoughts: even in moments of weakness, control them, thinking about the good.

3. To improve character, you need to constantly make efforts of a moral plan, thinking not only about yourself, but also about others ; in order to worsen it, it is enough to follow the lead of any of your desires.

4. A change in diet will not help improve health unless you first clear your thoughts of fear, discontent, contempt, suspicion and envy. Bad thoughts quickly destroy the body, while joyful and benevolent thoughts give energy and beauty.

5. Redirecting thoughts will indirectly change the standard of living. Don’t whine or complain about circumstances or other people – look for hidden justice (find out the inner cause of the problem) and overcome your own shortcomings (use the best solutions). To fulfill your desires, you must first of all change for the better yourself. 

6 . Good thoughts and actions will not lead to bad results. An indicator of the purity of thoughts is not a material condition (the rich also cry), but a feeling of harmony and happiness.

7. To replenish the list of achievements will help the definition of the goal. If you are not yet ready to set a grand life goal, focus on the perfect performance of your duties. This will allow you to “pump” willpower and think objectively. Once you have clearly defined your goal, imagine all the stages of achieving it. Be inspired by your dreams and ideals so that the world does not seem gray and boring to you.

8. Success cannot be achieved without sacrifice (getting rid of fear and doubt, efforts of the moral plan to gain willpower). The bigger the goal, the bigger the sacrifice.

9. To stay at the same level or “rise higher” , remain vigilant – give up selfishness and do not relax. The universe does not like the greedy, dishonest and spiteful.

10. Learn self-control if you find it difficult to cope with your emotions, worries or doubts : the owner of your thoughts is waiting for you to wake him up. If you know how to remain calm in any situation, then most likely you are thinking correctly and are on the right path to well-being.

1 The  explanatory dictionary of D. N. Ushakov defines the word “noble” as “capable of neglecting personal interests, highly moral and impeccably honest”

2  Virtue – a property of character that determines the constant moral course of action of a person, the antonym of the word “vice”. The ancient Greeks identified four basic virtues: wisdom, courage, justice, and moderation. With the advent of Christianity, the list of virtues was replenished with faith, hope and love.

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