As a Man Thinketh, the literary classic written by James Allen and published in 1903, introduced the world to the novel concept that each of us, by our every thought, holds the key to the frequency, quality, intensity and quantity of joy and happiness we allow into our lives.
Today, 113 years later, it seems only a few have discovered the irrefutable truth that lies hidden in plain sight within the lines of his magnificent work.
A difficult concept for many to grasp is the one that reminds us that our lives exist in our heads and nowhere else. Every experience we have has only the meaning we place upon it and the formation of that meaning can only take place in our own heads.
In those 113 years our knowledge of science has deepened and expanded and, combined with the advent of remarkable technologies, we’ve learned a great deal about ourselves and how we function.
Along with all that new knowledge has come strong validation of the title of that powerful, mind-expanding book, As a Man Thinketh.
Several years ago I read an article suggesting that each day more than 50,000 thoughts pass through our heads. We now know that every moment of our lives is governed by those very thoughts, and that each of them begins a chain of events and activities that regulate the quality of each moment.
We humans are emotional beings. The energy, passion, intensity, quality, focus and duration of our every action is influenced by the feelings brought about by the very thoughts constantly going through our minds.
And when those thoughts change, so do our emotions, and consequently, our actions.
The process works like this: a thought pops into our heads, which means, in that moment, that is precisely what we are focusing on. Energy flows to where our attention goes, and as our attention is now occupied by these thought, our emotions shift to align with the subject of our focus.
As we all know, the way we feel has enormous influence on what we do and how we do it. When we feel tired and sluggish, the passion we bring to our actions is far different from when we feel energized and excited.
We have all had the experience of being bone-tired. So tired that just the task of opening our eyes seems more than we can manage and all we want to do is drift off into a deep, lengthy sleep.
A moment later, something of great importance captures our attention and we are now busily engaged in energetically dealing with it. Where did that sudden burst of energy come from?
The moment that issue of importance captured our attention – our focus – we had an instant change of emotion and began to move in response to this new situation.
In other words, the new thought produced emotions powerful enough to cause us to take action. And in the very movement of that action our exhaustion was replaced with instant energy.
Do this very thing over and over again – thought, emotion, action – and soon you have adopted a whole new habit.
And as we all know the vast majority of results in our lives – the really good along with the not so good – come about because of the habits we have formed. Those very things we do again and again.
James Allen was 100% correct to when he wrote that marvellous book, all those many years ago.
Perhaps now is a good time to examine that often used phrase, “be careful of what you wish for,” and change it to a more accurate one that states “be careful of what you think.”
Till we read again.