As A Man Thinketh

It’s often interesting to me how timing works. Yet, I shouldn’t be surprised. There’s a common saying “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” Sometimes I’m the teacher but more often I’m the student.
Lately we’ve been having discussions with our son as to the importance of the thought process he has and uses. We’ve been relating it mostly to his baseball. We talk about and actually practice being clear on exactly what he wants to have happen during both his practice and game settings with specifics such as when he’s hitting or when he’s catching. It’s a challenge but it is SO important.
I also just finished reading “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. It’s a very quick read and the message packed into these few pages is powerful. As I was reading the book (it’s free online), I would stop on different occasions and say to my husband, “Listen to this” or “Here’s a great line”. After a couple of times, he said to me “That is really good. Please write those down for me.”
That’s exactly what I did and when reading through the list, I decided to make it the content for this week’s newsletter. See if you can find one or two of the following that resonate with you and one or two that you can share with someone else.
– A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.
– ALL that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.
– As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.
– A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates his life. And as he adapts his mind to that regulating factor, he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition, and builds himself up in strong and noble thoughts; ceases to kick against circumstances, but begins to use them as aids to his more rapid progress, and as a means of discovering the hidden powers and possibilities within himself.
– A strong man cannot help a weaker unless that 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.
– Victories attained by right thought can only be maintained by watchfulness. Many give way when success is assured, and rapidly fall back into failure. All achievements, whether in the business, intellectual, or spiritual world, are the result of definitely directed thought, are governed by the same laws and are of the same method; the only difference lies in the object of attainment. He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.
– To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to, achieve.
– Dream lofty dreams and as you dream, so shall you become. Your Vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your Ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.
– And you, too, youthful reader, will realize the Vision (not the idle wish) of your heart, be it base or beautiful, or a mixture of both, for you will always gravitate toward that which you, secretly, most love. Into your hands will be placed the exact results of your own thought; you will receive that which you earn; no more, no less. Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal. You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.
Someone reading this is most likely saying “So if what you’re saying is true and my goal is to lose some weight, I can sit on my couch, drink a Dr. Pepper, eat some potato chips and as long as I have a clear thought about losing weight I’m golden. It’s sure to happen.”
I am in no way saying that and neither is James Allen. I think that point will be negated as you read the following which I’ve saved for last as it is my favorite:
– The thoughtless, the ignorant, and the indolent, seeing only the apparent effects of things and not the things themselves, talk of luck, of fortune, and chance. Seeing a man grow rich, they say, “How lucky he is!” Observing another become intellectual, they exclaim, “How highly favoured he is!” And noting the saintly character and wide influence of another, they remark, “How chance aids him at every turn!” They do not see the trials and failures and struggles which these men have voluntarily encountered in order to gain their experience; have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made, of the undaunted efforts they have put forth, of the faith they have exercised, that they might overcome the apparently insurmountable, and realize the Vision of their heart. They do not know the darkness and the heartaches; they only see the light and joy, and call it “luck”. They do not see the long and arduous journey, but only behold the pleasant goal, and call it “good fortune,” do not understand the process, but only perceive the result, and call it chance.
In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. Chance is not. Gifts, powers, materials, intellectual, and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort; they are thoughts completed, object accomplished, visions realized.
The Vision that you glorify in your mind, the Ideal that you enthrone in your heart – this you will build your life by, this you will become.
As the occasional (actually more than occasional) glass half empty person, I find it really important to have resources like this book to help keep me on track.
Don Mattingly, former 1st baseman for the Yankees and now Manager for the Dodgers, once said that he’s got a very clear picture of exactly what he wants and everyday he works at coloring it in. Let’s all invest in some Crayolas!

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