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)

One of my favorite books to pull from the shelf and read again is, "As a Man Thinketh," by James Allen, a British philosophical writer, and 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 in 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.  Which means we will come back to this book of renewal in future posts. In the meantime, here is wisdom worth pondering in a hurried, distracted, and often unfulfilling, world:

1. The premise of the book--to stimulate men and women to the discovery and perception of the truth that, "They themselves are makers of themselves." 

By virtue of the thoughts they choose and encourage; that mind is the master weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance; if you have 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 that which they want, but that which the are.

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

Source:  As a Man Thinketh, James Allen


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