What food does to your body is what reading does to your mind. SP Smart School wants its student to develop the habit of reading books because of its enormous benefits and we highly recommend our students to read this book which we have detailed summarized for you. The book’s name is “As A Man Thinketh”.
About the Author
- James Allen was born in 1864 to working-class parents in England. His father died when he was just 15, so he went to work to help support the family, but he continued to read books enthusiastically. Some of Allen’s major influences include Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Milton, and Leo Tolstoy. He was also inspired by religious writings such as the Bible and teachings from the Buddha and Lao Tzu.
- In 1902 he founded a magazine called The Light of Reason where he began publishing his inspirational writing. His most popular book was, As a Man Thinketh, and its success allowed him to start writing full time.
- James Allen is considered one of the early founders of the self-help movement. Many of his ideas still echo today in what modern self-help teachers call The Law of Attraction. But in a preface to one of his books, his wife Lily said that he never wrote about theories, but “facts, which he had proven by practice.”
- As a Man Thinketh teaches readers to harness the power which is the most important influence in our lives.
- It argues that the key to mastering your life is harnessing the power of your thoughts and helping you cultivate the attitude of a positive & successful person.
- 3 main takeaways:
- To be the master of your life, be the master of your thoughts
- Your actions are outgrowths of your thoughts.
- You shape the world just as much as it shapes you.
Detailed Summary & Interesting Quotes
- Chapter One: Thought and Character
- James Allen says that we are literally what we think. Our character is simply the sum of all our thoughts. But that also gives us extreme power, because by changing our thoughts we can change our character.
- Every spring, we see flowers spring from planted seeds, right? The author uses this illustration to explain how the character of a man flows out of what he thinks
- Quote- Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself
- Chapter Two: Effect of Thought on Circumstance
- The outer conditions of our lives are the reflection of our inner thoughts and our inner state. The inner thoughts and our outer condition are not the same because external conditions do have a major influence
- The author likens this development to soil and seeds that can be modified and manipulated by the gardener (you), in an attempt to become the master of your being.
- Quotes: Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit
We are each the masters of our destiny
- Chapter Three: Effect of Thought on Health and the Body
- The body, he says, is the servant of the mind. Whatever the mind thinks, good or bad, will have its results in how the body behaves. If you want to change your diet or your body, change your mind and you’ll no longer crave the things that are bad for you.
- While we might think that thinking about the risks keeps us safer, always thinking about diseases makes it more likely we’ll get them.
- If we think about our health and care about it, we are more likely to form positive habits of healthy eating and exercise, which will lead to a better life.
- Quote: A sour face doesn’t happen by chance: sour thoughts made it
- Chapter 4: Thought and Purpose
- By aligning your thoughts with your purpose in life, you can create and attain achievement
- People without a purpose have too much time on their hands to focus on fears, worries, and petty problems.
And in turn worries, fears and doubts are the greatest enemies of achievement.
- Quote: There is no accomplishment until thought is linked with purpose
- Chapter 5: The Thought-Factor in Achievement
- The chapter states that all achievements in life -or lack thereof- are a direct consequence of his thoughts.
- The high achiever must sacrifice a lot to accomplish a lot.
- Quote: A man can only rise, conquer and achieve by lifting his thoughts. He can only remain weak, abject, and miserable by refusing to lift his thoughts.
- Chapter 6: Visions and Ideals
- Dreams and visions underpin reality
- Dream big, and you will achieve big
- Quote: The greatest achievement was once a dream
- Chapter 7: Serenity
- Calmness of mind is the last stage of wisdom, believes the author.
- to achieve serenity, meditation is of great help
- Quote: The strong, calm man is always loved and revered
1. Our thoughts are seeds that create our world
- A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.
- The author uses the analogy of our mind being like a garden. We have to plant the right seeds in this garden and nurture them, and at the same time pull out the bad weeds. In this analogy, the right seeds are thoughts that make us vital, energized, and strong, while the weeds are disempowering thoughts. Over time, our minds can become like a beautiful, orderly garden that satisfaction and success. But if we neglect to take care of the garden, then our lives become a chaotic, overgrown, miserable mess.
- 2. Our circumstances are shaped by our character
- Today society encourages us to view ourselves as helpless victims. Maybe this view can give one psychological relief, but in the end, it is a fruitless activity—to see oneself as a victim can only lead to hatred and depression.
- the only worthwhile response is to focus on the areas of our lives that we do have some power to change. This begins with our thoughts, then our daily actions and habits.
3. Our desires direct the world we create around us
- You will always gravitate toward that which you, secretly, most love.
- Desire leads to attention, attention leads to action, actions lead to our circumstance
- If you think Differently & see the world as a fluid combination that you can rearrange in creative new ways, you will ultimately direct the world around you
4. We must earn things, not just wish for them
- Not what he wishes and prays for does a man get, but what he justly earns. His wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions.
- we must begin by having the right thoughts and desires, but those alone are not enough. Rather, the right thoughts get us to do the right actions so we can “justly earn” what we desire.
- Desires are not just material possessions, they also include a great family, a community of friends, charitable contributions, etc.
Personal & Emotional Learnings
Lesson 1: What you do is the result of what you think.
- The very first argument the author lays out is that man is the sum of his thoughts.
- Just like tiny seeds turn into big plants, a single thought often turns into a major decision, which makes your thoughts the roots of your actions. Over time, these actions shape into patterns, which will eventually make up our character.
Lesson 2: You shape the world just as much as it shapes you.
- The reason your thoughts and actions are so deeply connected is that they live in a constant cause-and-effect relationship with the outside world.
- Playing the victim is easy. You can just push off responsibility and blame the world for everything. In reality, your thoughts, your actions, and your character, all take at least as much influence on the world, as the world does on you.
Lesson 3: Be careful what you think, it might make you age faster.
- When we talk about the power of positive thinking, we usually speak of affirmations, goals, priorities, etc. But not about health.
- What do you think massively impacts your heart rate, sleep, chronic pains like migraines and your skin
We highly recommend it to any student who is looking out for a good read and just like a good book brings good knowledge, a good school brings sublime education.
At SP Smart Schools we not provide quality education but also intend our students to develop the soft skills that are quintessential to thrive in life.