As a Man Thinketh - James Allen

As a Man Thinketh
On dreams and vision
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.
It all starts with a dream
Nobody accomplished great things without
any dreams
Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so
shall you become.
Dreams = what you will become
Your Vision is the promise of what
you shall one day be.
Vision = What you will be
Your Ideal is the prophecy of what you shall
at last unveil.
Your circumstances may be uncongenial,
but they shall not long remain so if you but
perceive an Ideal and strive to reach it. You
cannot travel within and stand still without.
If you strive for an ideal your circumstances
will change
Whatever your present environment may
be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your
thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal.
And you, too, youthful reader, will realize the
Vision (not the idle wish) of your heart, be it
base or beautiful, or a mixture of both, for
you will always gravitate toward that which
you, secretly, most love.
The Key: NOT the Idle Wish
You will become as small as your controlling
desire; as great as your dominant aspiration:
As small as your basest controlling desires
As great as your DOMINANT aspirations
Dominant is the key word here
The thoughtless, the ignorant, and the
indolent, seeing only the apparent effects of
things and not the things themselves, talk of
luck, of fortune, and chance.
Who talks of luck, fortune and chance?
In all human affairs there are efforts, and
there are results, and the strength of the
effort is the measure of the result. Chance is
The Vision that you glorify in your mind, the
Ideal that you enthrone in your heart—this
you will build your life by, this you will
Vision in your mind
Ideal in your heart
This is what you will become
Don't just set goals Cast a vision
On Purpose
UNTIL thought is linked with purpose there
is no intelligent accomplishment.
Thoughts * Purpose
Aimlessness is a vice, and such drifting must
not continue for him who would steer clear
of catastrophe and destruction.
Outwitting the Devil Within Napoleon Hill
Drifting is the biggest reason why the devil
gets you
Aimlessness = Vice
Aimlessness should not be taken lightly
Those who have no central purpose
fall prey to everything petty
Central Purpose
Falling prey
A man should conceive of a legitimate
purpose in his heart, and set out to
accomplish it. He should make this purpose
the centralizing point of his thoughts.
Purpose = Centralizing Point of thoughts
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 startingpoint for future power
and triumph.
To begin to think with purpose, is to enter
the ranks of those strong ones
who make all conditions serve them,
Make the condition serve YOU
No matter what the condition
It serves you
You are no more a victim of that
You are using that circumstance to your
who only recognize failure as one of the
pathways to attainment;
Obstacle is the way Ryan Holiday
Marcus Aurelius Meditations
The Impediment to action advances action.
what stands in the way becomes the way
Failure is a pathway to achievement.
Purpose > Rank of strong ones
Definiteness of Purpose is the starting
point of all great achievement
Your plans can change
But you must be very definite on the
7 Habits of Highly Effective people
Habit #2
Begin with the end in mind
2 Keys to Purpose
Being definite about what you want
Not changing it
Seeing it As vividly as you can
Thoughts allied to purpose become a
creative force
“The soul attracts that which it secretly
harbors; that which it loves, and also that
which it fears. It reaches the height of its
cherished aspirations. It falls to the level of
its unchastened desires – and circumstances
are the means by which the soul receives its
We attract what we secretly harbor
Whether we love it or hate it
Circumstances = reflection of what we are
thinking about all the time
Thought factor in achievement
ALL that a man achieves and all that he fails
to achieve is the direct result of his own
As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to
think, so he remains.
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On sacrifices
The man who does not shrink from
selfcrucifixion can never fail to accomplish
the object upon which his heart is set.
Willing to give it all
Willing to die for it
Even the man whose sole object is to
acquire wealth must be prepared to make
great personal sacrifices before he can
accomplish his object
Great Personal sacrifices
4 Hour work week?!
There can be no progress, no achievement
without sacrifice, and a man's worldly
success will be in the measure that he
sacrifices his confused animal thoughts, and
fixes his mind on the development of his
plans, and the strengthening of his
resolution and selfreliance.
And the higher he lifts his thoughts, the
more manly, upright, and righteous he
becomes, the greater will be his success,
the more blessed and enduring will be his
Success is proportional to the extent to
which you can fix your mind on your
No achievement without sacrifice
Success is proportional to sacrificing of
animal thoughts
Animal thoughts?
Base desires
TV, Internet, Junk Food and thousands of
other such things
He who would accomplish little must
sacrifice little; he who would achieve much
must sacrifice much; he who would attain
highly must sacrifice greatly.
Accomplishments are proportional to
your sacrifices
On Character
A man is literally what he thinks
his character being a complete
sum of all his thoughts
Character = Result of thoughts
Man is made or unmade by
himself; in the armoury of thought
he forges the weapons by which
he destroys himself; he also
fashions the tools with which he
builds for himself heavenly
mansions of joy and strength and
We are making ourselves every single
moment with our thoughts
Man is the master of thought, the
moulder of character, and the maker and
shaper of condition, environment, and
We mould our character
Nobody else is responsible for it
You are not a victim
We make our conditions
We are not at mercy
Man contains within himself that
transforming and regenerative agency by
which he may make himself what he wills.
We can make ourselves what we want
On circumstances
Man is buffeted by circumstances so long as
he believes himself to be the creature of
outside conditions, but when he realizes that
he is a creative power, and that he may
command the hidden soil and seeds of his
being out of which circumstances grow, he
then becomes the rightful master of himself.
He is the creative power
Commands the hidden soil
He becomes the rightful master of himself
Circumstances grow out of thought
A man cannot directly choose his
circumstances, but he can choose his
thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape
his circumstances
Circumstances do not make a man
They reveal him to himself
As the master of our thoughts, we are the
Author and shaper of our environment
Men are anxious to improve their
circumstances, but are unwilling to improve
themselves; they therefore remain bound.
that man is the causer (though nearly always
is unconsciously) of his circumstances, and
that, whilst aiming at a good end, he is
continually frustrating its accomplishment by
encouraging thoughts and desires which
cannot possibly harmonize with that end.
Man is the causer of his circumstances
A particular train of thought persisted in, be
it good or bad, cannot fail to produce its
results on the character and circumstances. .
Train of Thought > Character and
The garden and the seeds
MAN'S mind may be likened to a
garden, which may be intelligently
cultivated or allowed to run wild; but
whether cultivated or neglected, it
must, and will, bring forth. If no useful
seeds are put into it, then an
abundance of useless weedseeds
will fall therein, and will continue to
produce their kind.
If proper thought seeds are not planted,
WEED seeds will fall and be planted
As the plant springs from, and
could not be without, the seed,
so every act of a man springs
from the hidden seeds of
thought, and could not have
appeared without them. This
applies equally to those acts
called "spontaneous" and
"unpremeditated" as to those,
which are deliberately executed.
Every Act > From hidden seed of thought
Thoughts are exactly like
Good thoughts and actions can never
produce bad results; bad thoughts and
actions can never produce good results. This
is but saying that nothing can come from corn
but corn, nothing from nettles but nettles.
Men understand this law in the natural
world, and work with it; but few understand
it in the mental and moral world (though its
operation there is just as simple and
undeviating), and they, therefore, do not
cooperate with it.
Thoughts are exactly like SEEDS
Corn seed will not produce Apple
It will only produce corn
We use it in the natural world all the time
But find it hard to understand it within
Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and
he will be astonished at the rapid
transformation it will effect in the material
conditions of his life.
Men imagine that thought can be kept
secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes
into habit, and habit solidifies into
Thoughts > Habits > Circumstances
Why this book
One of my all time favorite books Top 3
One of the greatest books ever written on
the power of thought
Very concise
Very dense
One of the earliest works in the modern self
help movement
Read it every month!
Author James Allen British philosopher and
pioneer in the modern self help movement
Published in 1903
Really short book around 20 pages long
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