While I was home a few weeks ago, I ran across a book which has been in my family for years: As a Man Thinketh, which was written back in 1902 by James Allen. The title is influenced by a verse in the Bible from the book of Proverbs: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.”
This philosophy was one with which my sister and I were reared. A few of the more simplistic phrases my parents used, representing this same basic perspective, included: “Pretty is as pretty does” and “Life is attitude” and “If you think you can, you can.”
These clichés have served me well over the past 50+ years; and candidly, perhaps never more so than through the past few years. This open and honest statement may ring true to many of you, as well. Times have been challenging in our world of late. It is so easy to succumb to defeat, to fear, to have self-confidence tested, and to question every little decision made.
So, this month, I am revisiting a few of these time-tested truisms, written by the sage James Allen, in the hope that as each of us as we embark upon Spring and renewal, we will reveal and reinforce our clarity, alignment, and strength to move forward.
- A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.
- Right thinking begins with the words we say to ourselves.
- The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors. We think in secret, and it comes to pass. Our environment is but our looking glass.
- The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.
- The circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him.
- No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.
My charge to each of us is to embrace these six selected quotations from Allen’s book as guideposts as we navigate the remainder of 2015. We can think calmly, optimistically, creatively, and with positive intentions. And at this time of year, as we embark on renewal and rebirth in many ways, we can all be grateful for the lessons we’ve learned as they will enable us to contribute in an even more powerful way in our careers and lives. Equally, we can be thankful for the gifts, freedoms, and remarkable experiences we so often take for granted. Happy Spring!!