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As a Man Thinketh (by James Allen)

It’s probably taking me longer to write this review than to read the book, but despite being a short read, it’s packed with powerful concepts that are still relevant today. For example, the metaphor of the mind as a garden that must be cultivated, or the notion that our minds become calm in proportion to our understanding of ourselves as thought-evolved beings. The central idea of the book is that our thoughts shape our lives.

A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses.

While many reviews of this book describe it as inspiring and life-changing, I didn’t find it particularly impactful. In fact, it was a bit too spiritual for my taste.

Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves.

Nonetheless, reading it was a pleasant experience, especially as my beautiful son was peacefully sleeping on my lap.

Title: As a Man Thinketh
Author: James Allen
Year First Published: 1903

From Goodreads:

As a Man Thinketh was first published in 1903. In it, Allen describes how man is the creator and shaper of his destiny by the thoughts which he thinks. We rise and fall in exact accordance with the character of the thoughts which we entertain.

Our environment is the result of the thoughts that we harbor and the behavior that our thoughts bring about. Part of the New Thought Movement, Allen reveals the secrets to having the most fulfilling existence possible, guided by a proper understanding and appreciate of how thought shapes our lives.

Allen advises on how to better manage our thoughts and how to direct them into more constructive behavior. Though written more than one hundred years ago, the language and resonance of this classic still hold up today, inviting each of us to reflect not on the world and others, but our own thoughts and how to regain their possession.

The title for the essay comes from the Bible: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,” Proverbs, chapter 23, verse 7. In more than a century, As A Man Thinketh has become an inspirational classic, selling millions of copies worldwide and bringing faith, inspiration, and self- healing to all who have encountered it.