Book Review: As A Man Thinketh by James Allen


Title: As A Man Thinketh
Author: James Allen
Genre: Self-help book
Publisher: Kindle
Release Date: May 12, 2012

           Our mind seems to have a "mind" of its own, I sometimes think.  There was a point I wondered if it was I who made those thoughts or it was my mind that continuously produces those thoughts of its own volition. 

          On average, a person has six thousand two hundred thoughts in a day according to a study done by researchers in  Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience. Just imagine how our body is bombarded with thousands of triggers every day!

          Curious about thinking and its impact on us, I went ahead and read James Allen's  As A Man Thinketh, which he presented the dichotomy of thoughts, good vs. bad. Basically, what he's emphasizing is good thoughts produce positive results and bad thoughts produce negative results. 

          Here are the things I learned:

  1.  We cannot choose our circumstances directly but we can still do something to change it indirectly by choosing the right thoughts as good thoughts produce good circumstances.
  1. Good thoughts help improve our health and well-being.
  1. We are the thoughts we choose to act on. I can have angry thoughts and feel angry with one person but the thoughts of forgiveness and being calm can be also present. It's up to me to choose the thoughts that affect my behavior and decisions.  I  am the maker of the events of my life by choosing actions based on my thoughts.
  1. Our achievements and failures are the direct results of our own thoughts. Achievements that are laced with malicious intentions will make our way up with "animality, indolence, impurity, corruption, and confusion". Conversely, achievements with good intentions move us up  with "self-control, purity, resolution, and righteousness."
  1. Serenity is the ultimate success. We are calm when we understand ourselves and other people.  With the right understanding, we see why another person is doing things the way he does. When we are truly calm, we stop "fussing, fuming, worrying, and grieving".  Nevertheless,  we do not deny negative emotions such as anger, jealousy, and so on. We just know how to deal with them. 

           All in all, I enjoyed reading this book; however, for a person who speaks English as a second language, one of the things I found challenging in reading this book was the form and structure of the written language which is totally different from modern writing. Even though it's challenging to understand the language, as long as you are eager to learn and dig deeper, the ideas will make more sense.