Improve your life with your mind, according to James Allen

This is essentially a summary of the key takeaways of James Allen’s As a Man ThinkethThis book is kind of like The Secret with all the mysticism scraped off.

As a Man Thinketh isn’t so much about improving your life through happy thoughts (please, Rhonda) as it is about working tirelessly to improve yourself, and learning to rope in that hyperactive ape we call a mind.

“Achievement, of whatever kind, is the crown of effort, the diadem of thought.”

Basically, our minds are like gardens that we cultivate. Either we can intelligently curate what seeds get planted, or we can let it grow wild and hope for the best. And it follows naturally that if you don’t plant any useful seeds you’ll end up with a skull full of useless ideas. So, if you’ve been disappointed with the quality of your ideas lately, try being more strict about what ingredients you add to your cerebral soup. Nonsense in, nonsense out.

He also points out the amusing paradox of people who are ostensibly desperate to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves. Oh, they’re probably waiting for that instant YouTube fame. Funnily enough, these are usually the same people who attribute people’s success to some combination of luck, fortune, and a little bit of prayer for good measure as opposed to something absurd like well placed effort. Allen has names for these people; he calls them the ‘thoughtless, the ignorant, and the indolent’. A bit harsh? Probably not.

“The dreamers are the saviours of the world.”

Delightfully, much credit is given to the creatives. He calls us ‘the architects of heaven’. As if that wasn’t enough, he also credits us with the beauty in our world, saying that without us ‘labouring humanity would perish’. I think I’m blushing a little…

Read the book, it’ll change your life. Also, share this with whoever you think has a few too many weeds in their garden.

 

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