James Allen’s book “As a Man Thinketh” opens with this verse:
“Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes, And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills, Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: —
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass: Environment is but his looking-glass.”
Stuffed with timeless wisdom on every page, it is no wonder that ‘As a Man Thinketh’ is listed as the most inspirational book ever read by many of today’s leading self-help authors, including Tony Robbins. However, as Allen points out, nothing contained within its pages is new, and in fact, the information has been shared and passed down by wise men, like Buddha, Christ, and so many others, throughout known history.
As a Man Thinketh is a short book (barely 7,800 words, which can be read in one or two hours) and is direct and to the point leaving the reader without a doubt that they are indeed responsible for the circumstances of their own lives. Do not let the small size of this book deceive you. If you, as the reader, are able to accept and apply the information shared, you will discover that you can completely rejuvenate and improve every aspect of your own life! You will find that this is a book that is worth reading again and again.
“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 peace.”
Allen describes this book, his most popular out of nineteen books written, as “… [dealing] with the power of thought, and particularly with the use and application of thought to happy and beautiful issues. I have tried to make the book simple, so that all can easily grasp and follow its teaching, and put into practice the methods which it advises. It shows how, in his own thought-world, each man holds the key to every condition, good or bad, that enters into his life, and that, by working patiently and intelligently upon his thoughts, he may remake his life, and transform his circumstances.”
Two essential truths become evident while reading As a Man Thinketh:
- That our current circumstances are a result of all the thoughts that we have had up to this point in time.
- It is only ourselves who have the power to shape our future, and we do this beginning now with each and every thought that we will have.
We have thoughts running through our minds all the time. These thoughts are either working for us or against us as every thought-seed we sow, or allow to pass through our mind, produces its own kind. Positive thoughts return positive fruit, and negative thoughts return negative fruit to the thinker and both forge our circumstances.
“Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance.”
If we are not happy with the circumstances of our lives, then we need to take a close look at our thought patterns. We are fortunate that we have the ability to choose our thoughts and consciously direct them toward creating anything we want in life. However, this does require a strong intention and continuous focus.
I believe that we are worth the time and effort. All of our lives are important! What do you think? Are you willing to settle for more of the same life that you currently have? Because if you don’t change anything, the probability is that your life will basically continue on as it is now. Does this thought fill you with happiness and joy?
“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.”
Allen suggests to us that we use our consciousness in a ‘proper way.’ If we wish to be responsible for the lives that we have been gifted, we should endeavor to control our thoughts so that they lead us to have the life that we desire for ourselves. It is when we begin to become aware of our minds that we can begin to recognize our thought patterns.
If we are having negative thoughts we should not judge ourselves harshly, but rather recognize the fact and then begin to cultivate positive, supportive, thought patterns. We should always focus on what we want, never on what we don’t want in our lives. And if we don’t yet know what we want to create, we can focus on thoughts that lead us to know what we want. We can never fail at this. We can only learn more about ourselves which makes us stronger.
“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 weed-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”
We can use processes like meditation and mindfulness to become aware of our thoughts, (95% of which according to science are subconscious and therefore below our level of awareness). It is only once we are aware of our thought patterns that we can begin to see how they actually shape our lives.
Our minds are incredibly powerful and they actually believe everything that we tell them with our often repeated thoughts. So, if we have repeating thoughts like ‘I don’t deserve to be happy’ our mind will seek out situations to create circumstances to confirm what it is that we believe. A better thought pattern to cultivate would be ‘I am healthy, wealthy, happy, and wise.’
“Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment, of these, if you but remain true to them your world will at last be built.”
Books, such as ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill and “The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne’ are more widely known than ‘As a Man Thinketh’ and have popularised the ‘Law of Attraction.’ Allen goes deeper by suggesting that we have the power to create our own character, our own happiness, and all the circumstances of our lives. Everything that we are is a result of our thinking!
“Thoughts and character are one, and as character can manifest and discover itself only through environment and circumstance, the outer conditions of our life will always be found to be harmoniously related to our inner state.”
This does not mean that the thought you are having now is going to materialize into your life immediately, but that it is our repetitive thoughts that reveal our deepest inner beliefs. It is these ‘programs that, given enough time, create our environment and circumstances. Therefore, the outer conditions of our lives are directly, and harmoniously, related to our inner state of being. It simply cannot be any other way!
“A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life.”
We are the architects of our own lives and we can accept our current circumstances as they are, and moan and complain to ourselves and others about how ’life is unfair,’ or we can begin right now to take responsibility by actively creating the future that we desire for ourselves. It begins now, with every thought that grows in our minds!
“Every man is where he is by the law of his being; the thoughts which he has built into his character have brought him there, and in the arrangement of his life there is no element of chance, but all is the result of a law which cannot err.”
Do you consider yourself important enough to have the life that you desire?
What are you willing to do to achieve all of your dreams?
This book is a goldmine of valuable information that can help you transform your life. However, it can only help you if you are willing to take action to help yourself. Are you ready for a better life? Begin to imagine that you are already living the life that you desire now.
Step one: Get your own copy of As a Man Thinketh.
Step two: Read it, absorb it, and begin living with a renewed passion knowing that you are being responsible and are creating a better future for yourself with every new positive thought that you have.
More Quotes: “Men do not attract what they want, but what they are.”
“A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses.”
“Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself”
“They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pityings.”
“A noble and Godlike character is not a thing of favour or chance, but is the natural result of continued effort in right thinking, the effect of long-cherished association with Godlike thoughts.”
I wish you well on your journey and expect you to create a great life for yourself and your loved ones.
10 thoughts on “As a Man Thinketh by James Allen.”
A short book is a good book!. I didn’t quite catch it – is this book available in PDF format?. I tend to but only eBooks as I am actually of “no fixed address”. 2hour read makes for great airport and inflight reading.
I’d love to know your thought on one of my fav books – the master key system by Charles Hannel.
Hi Derek. Thanks for taking the time to read another one of my posts. Yes, this book is available as a PDF. Even though it can be read in two hours, I would suggest that a much longer period of time is required to digest all of the wisdom that it contains. And then putting that wisdom into practice is something that can evolve naturally over the rest of a lifetime. I haven’t read ‘The Master Key System’ yet, but it is now in my must-read books list. Many thanks for sharing. Kind regards,
Your article is a great read! And it has really prompted me to read the book that promises to be a great read as well. Controlling our thoughts is perhaps the greatest, longest battle anyone will fight. But I love that you pointed out that we can never fail at this, we can only get better at knowing ourselves. What an encouraging way to look at it!
Thanks for bringing the book, “As a man thinketh,” to my attention! I can’t wait to get started learning from its pages.
Hi Mariah. Awesome! There are few people who are able to consciously create all the time. These are the enlightened people like Jesus and Buddha and they have shown us all that it is possible and given us a road map to follow if we want it. Some of their teachings have been hijacked and watered down or even changed throughout history, but the essential truth still remains. It is our thoughts that create the content of our lives, and James Allen is one who understood this and presented it in a way that we can all understand. This is a great book for anyone who has reached a milestone in their lives where they are willing to accept responsibility for all that they wish to create in the future.
I wish you all the best on your journey of growth and development.
I am a lover of books that are short and sweet but powerful. The quotes in your article already resonate with me so I believe this book will also!
I absolutely love this quote – “Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment, of these if you but remain true to them your world will, at last, be built.” I have recently learned the importance of gratitude and appreciation for all the beauty around us and I feel like life is just being built for me.
I am so interested in reading this book and it is so affordable that I may just order it now. Thank you for sharing such a powerful tool with the world. Heading off to check out more of your site.
Hi Nicky. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm with us. I love it when something I review really resonates with people. I know you will be really excited when reading the wisdom contained in this short and sweet book. I wish you all the best,
I easily get distracted especially when I am reading material including books. So when I want to read a book I check out its reviews first. The fact that it is a short book with powerful quotes like you have highlighted has gotten me interested in owning it.
My favorite so far (until I read the entire book) is “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 weed-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”
The mind is so powerful, so it is important to know what we feed it!
Thank you for your brilliant review.
That is one of my favorite quotes too. It says so much and serves to remind us how powerful our minds are. I am sure you will be happy to read the book and find many many more quotes that are inspiring. I wish you all the best.
WOW, this post has a ton of wisdom already! I can’t imagine how much more the book has!
What a great review. Thank you for sharing this Andrew!
I most especially like the quote “Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance.” I totally agree with this. If we are a master of our thoughts, so we will be a master of our habits, then our circumstance.
Our mindset and perspective can do so much with any situation we are given. If we are closed-minded to God’s blessings, then we will never see each situation as a blessing at all but a burden. If we have a good and open perspective with things, then God will just open up more possibilities for us.
Thanks again for sharing this!
It was hard to choose which quotes to share as every page is filled with timeless wisdom. James Allen is a very wise man and a great writer! I am very grateful that I found this book to read, and will keep a copy of it to read again and again. I absolutely resonate with the thoughts you have expressed. The more joy we are able to see in our lives, the more we will be given. Blessings to you, and us all. Kind regards,