- Author: James Allen
- Genre: Self-help
- Originally Published: 1903
- No. of Chapters: 7 Chapters with 95 pages
- Price: 150 Nepali Rupees
If you are looking for a pretty short read but full of impact, As a Man Thinketh is the right choice for you. Because it is a quick read that tells you about how our thoughts can build our character, purpose, achievement, vision, and ideals. Also how our thoughts can affect our health and body, and how we can control our circumstances for serenity (peaceful life).
Basically, it talks about how every accomplishment and failure is related to our thoughts. However, this book is a little difficult to understand but if you are good at vocabulary and the English language, you will definitely enjoy its poem, beautiful quotes, and valuable lessons.
Chapter Wise Book Summary “As a Man Thinketh”
Chapter 1: Thought and Character
The first chapter begins with the powerful statement, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” which means we are literally what we think. Our every action comes from our thoughts even the spontaneous one. So, whether we are good or bad, we are the sum of all our thoughts.
If we want to change our character, we can just change our thoughts. To make us more clear, the Author has given us an example of a plant that as a plant cannot spring without seeds, similarly, every human action springs from the hidden seeds of thoughts.
Hence, whoever we are as a person, is the result of our own thoughts.
“Man is the master of thought, the molder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment, and destiny.”
Chapter 2: Effect of Thought on Circumstances
In the second chapter, the writer has talked about how our thoughts create our circumstances.
Since many of us have a habit to blame everything on our situations (circumstances), but in reality the situations do not make us, it reveals us to ourselves.
Our inner thoughts and our inner state reflect our situation. Our thoughts create habits, and habits determine our circumstances. Thus, we are responsible for all the circumstances we face.
“Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results … We understand this law in the natural world and work with it, but few understand it in the mental and moral world—although its operation there is just as simple and undeviating—and they, therefore, do not cooperate with it.”
Chapter 3: Effect of Thought on Health and The Body
Here, Allen says that how habits of thoughts will have its result in our body. If we have good thoughts, it will produce positive effects, else bad thoughts will produce negative effects on our body.
Whatever the mind thinks, good or bad, will have its results in how the body behaves. For example, 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.
A sour face does not come by chance it comes by the sour thoughts. That’s why we should have good thoughts.
“The body is the servant of the mind. It obeys the operations of the mind, whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed.”
Chapter 4: Thought and Purpose
In this chapter, the author has shown us the importance of having a central purpose in life.
He has mentioned that without a central purpose, a person has to face worries, fears, troubles, failures, unhappiness, and loss as they easily get distracted from their real goal.
So, in order to become happy and be successful one has to determine the fixed purpose and roadmap for life without having any distractions.
“They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pitying, all of which are indications of weakness, which lead, just as surely as deliberately planned sins (though by a different route), to failure, unhappiness, and loss, for weakness cannot persist in a power evolving universe.”
Chapter 5: The Thought-Factor in Achievement
Achievement always depends on how strong is your willingness.
Everything one achieves in their life depends on their effort, strength, and sacrifice they have made. No one can help anyone unless they want to help themselves, so it all depends on yourself, what you want to achieve and how you want them to be achieved, other factors are influenced by your own dedication.
“A strong man cannot help a weaker unless the weaker is willing to be helped, and even then the weak man must become strong of himself; he must, by his own efforts, develop the strength which he admires in another. None but himself can alter his condition.”
Chapter 6: Visions and Ideals
What we want to be in future (our vision), and what we shall be (ideals) depends highly on our today’s dreams, desires and aspirations. We become as small as our desires and as big as our desires, so whatever we aspire to be is our own choice.
Allen says that dreamers are the real saviors of the world. This visible world is saved with our invisible thoughts and imaginations, which goes through many trials and errors unless that turns into reality.
“The dreamers are the saviors of the world. As the visible world is sustained by the invisible, so men, through all their trials and sins and sordid vocations, are nourished by the beautiful visions of their solitary dreamers.”
Chapter 7: Serenity
In last chapter, writer has ended with an important lesson of Serenity that means calmness.
Having calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom that comes from long and patient effort in self-control, ripened experience, knowledge, and operations of thoughts. When a person develops the right understanding of things they remain more peaceful, poised, ready, and committed by getting over from all the worries, and grief of life.
To have peaceful mind, meditation is a great help.
“Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. Its presence is an indication of ripened experience, and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.”
After reading this book, I have learned the importance of thought, how it can change our personality, lifestyle, vision, achievements, and surroundings. That’s why these days am carefully monitoring my thoughts, trying to ignore all the negative thoughts, and only pour positive thoughts so that I can convert my dreams to reality.
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