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As a Man Thinketh

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  65,153 ratings  ·  3,818 reviews
The mind guides our footsteps as we progress along the pathway of life.

Purity of mind leads inevitably to purity of life, to the precious love and understanding that should control our everyday acts and attitudes towards friends and foes.

But where must one look for guidance? How does one achieve purity of mind that alone brings happiness and confidence?

The author offers hi
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published December 28th 2006 by TarcherPerigee (first published 1902)
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Kevin Zielinski He's further illustrating the main idea of this chapter and the grand theme woven throughout the book: that is, "circumstances grow out of thought." H…moreHe's further illustrating the main idea of this chapter and the grand theme woven throughout the book: that is, "circumstances grow out of thought." His point being that our outward circumstances (i.e. drunkenness or some other vice) occur in direct proportion to our inward thoughts (i.e. vicious inclinations). The same law is true for the opposite of vice (i.e. virtuous behavior), which springs forth in direct proportion to inward virtuous aspirations.
Simply put, we cannot fake outwardly what we think inwardly for very long. Thoughts--whether they be positive or negative--manifest physically if given enough time. Hence, "The human mind may be liked to a garden which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild," and "Thoughts and character are one, and as character can manifest and discover itself only through environment and circumstance, the outer conditions of our life will always be found to be harmoniously related to our inner state."

I always liken the idea to this metaphor: When my mind and thoughts are a mess, so too is my room or house or outside environment also messy. What's on the outside reflects what's on the inside. (less)
Purple Available once in a while on amazon for free. Got mine from there. Also from and…moreAvailable once in a while on amazon for free. Got mine from there. Also from and

Have a nice time reading!(less)

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Tharindu Dissanayake
"To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to achieve."

"You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration:"

How the author had managed to deliver so many helpful lessons in so little number of pages seems most incredible. Self-help or Self-development books are often long and descriptive books, typically attempting to orient the reader along a particular school of thought (which is not a bad thing). But this book is an exception to that rule. An incredible amoun
Oct 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I read this book yesterday. I really enjoyed it and have set some new personal development goals in line with the book's concepts. This is a book I will reread throughout my life.

I do disagree with one point. James Allen said that bad thoughts lead to sickness and disease, which is the part I agree with. He also said the reverse is true, bad health is a result of bad thoughts, which I do not agree. I don't believe that all sickness and disease is a result of bad thoughts or sin. I believe that w
Sanjay Gautam
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

Thought is the seed for action. If you control the cause- you can control the effect. The main message of this succinct, yet powerful, book is: the quality of your thoughts determine your quality of life. If your thoughts are pure and good, your life will also be good; and vice versa.

"Man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. I
Tom Lombardo
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational
In 2003, a number of leading self-help authors were asked to list the works that were, to them, most inspirational. The book mentioned most often was James Allen's As a Man Thinketh.

Despite the fact that his books have been inspirational for generations, very little is known about the man himself. He was born in Leicester, England. When he was fifteen his father was brutally murdered by a robber, forcing Allen out of school and into the workforce. He eventually worked his way up to the position
Jesse Field
Oct 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
"Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force." This is the basic idea behind all of James Allen's sugary half-truths. When I found an audio file with this text pre-packaged into my new cart, read by "Brian Johnson, Philosopher and CEO of," I was briefly intrigued.

Then as I listened a bit more, I thought it was some kind of joke or parody -- surely in just a moment Brian, "Philosopher," will put on a more genuine, critical voice. Surely he would tell us
Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills:—
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.

This is a short and inspiring philosophical book with its title being influenced by a verse in the Bible. The author also makes references to Jesus, Krishna, and Buddha while explaining his ideas. The central theme of the book is that a
Jan 07, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I found this in one of my apartments on my religious mission, and it looks like it used to be required reading. I read it then and thought it was decent. I read it recently and thought it was pretty poor. It felt a little bit too much like "The Secret" ... just think about something and you'll get it. If you think good thoughts you'll have a good happy life and vice versa. If only those people suffering genocide in Darfur could think better thoughts...

To be fair, I do agree to an extent and know
Jul 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Annalisa by: Crystalyn
A small collection of thoughts on how powerful our minds truly are, this is book you'll want to turn to again and again because though it's short, it's deep with meaning. There is no fluff to distract our brains from epiphany to epiphany. Some of my favorite quotes:
Thought and character are one.
The dreamers are the saviors of the world.
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.
A man is literally wh
Ujjawal Sureka
Genre: Self improvement, Power of thought.
Publication Date: 1903

This is a good book, it emphasizes on the power of one's thoughts and that they can change one's reality and make one better with every passing moment. The book is quite inspiring and author is urging the reader to take control of oneself and one's thoughts to create destiny.
Amir Tesla
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
دوستان عزیز این کتاب بی نظیر رو که الهام بخش آدمهای بسیار بزرگی مثل آنتونی رابینز، جیم ران و ... هست رو حتما نگاهی بهش داشته باشید. بعد از خوندن تنها یک صفحه متوجه عمق و زیبایی مطالبش می شید.
This wonderful book is one the most exquisite, delicate, books I've ever read. Statements being uttered in the book carry a heavy deal of wisdom while gently they touch your soul. Here are some of them:

-The outer conditions of a person's life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Fuzaila by: Sharjeel
"As a man thinketh in his heart so is he"

^ That one sentence sums up the whole idea of this book, or rather, an essay.

In As a Man Thinketh, James Allen strongly professes the concept that a man is only as good as his thoughts. While in a sense, it may be true, you could also argue against it. It has a lot of possibilities for an amusing, thought-provoking debate.
Look at this –

“A man does not come to the almshouse or the jail by the tyranny of fate or circumstance, but by
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The Secret fans
I can hardly believe that this book was published in 1902!

If you know about the "Law of Attraction" it's very likely you found out about it from a movie called The Secret that came out in 2006 - a 100 years later! A part of the human population was blown away by it (me included), other parts were either amused, disturbed, hated it or found it hard to care.

Now, this review contemplation rant WHATEVER will be weird, especially if you don't believe in the Law of Attraction. It's very likely you'll
Viji (Bookish endeavors)
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Close your eyes..
look deep into yourself..
what do you see.?
red..? black.?
no.. go deeper..
concentrate on your breath..
unable to concentrate..?
finding some murmurs in the background.?
well.. those are your thoughts..
those thoughts which fill your mind every moment..
most of us do not observe our thoughts.
start observing them..
try to concentrate on each and every thought as a single grain of sand..
most of them will be repetitive..
eliminate them..
fill your mind with cheerful thoughts..
replace eve
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
Good thoughts will bring you good things in life, bad thoughts will bring you bad things. Here you go, you just read the book.

Reading this sentence is exactly like reading the whole book because it is the only idea in there but is repeated like a million times, in all possible ways. But that does not mean I don't believe in it, I do. It makes sense to me.
Norm Davis
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Norm by: A stranger willing to help me when I needed help.
The first “self help” book I ever read was Norman Vincent Peale's “The Power of Positive Thinking”. I was a troubled kid seriously trudging down the “wrong road”. Seeing this and evidently caring about it, a “stranger” jewelry salesman at a large department store offered me the book. Guess he thought the loss of the book would be better than the loss of ear rings from his department around Mother's Day.

Since reading that book I have read in the neighborhood of 500-1,000 of these type of books.
Diamond Williams
Jan 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book was honestly just boring, awful, and fake deep.

Here's a line that really turned me off: " It has been usual for men to think and to say, 'Many men are slaves because one is an oppressor; let us hate the oppressor.' Now, however, there is amongst an increasing few a tendency to reverse this judgment, and to say, 'One man is an oppressor because many are slaves; let us despise the slaves.'

Really perpetuates a 'blame the victim' mindset that is already prominent in our society while inte
Huma Rashid
May 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
Good thoughts being good things.
Bad thoughts being bad things.
There. Now you don't have to read the book.
Abhishek Chandorkar
It's a short book, fairly decent. Having read Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, this book seems like just a primer to the aspect of positive thoughts influencing a person's life positively.

I disagree with the author on 2 points:

1. All disease is a result of negative thoughts. I strongly disagree. I have seen some of the most positive, cheerful and happy people falling prey to deadly diseases(cancer) and just living the rest of their days in pain. The author's statement might be true in 75% of
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Written in 1902_the title is influenced by a verse in the Bible from the Book of Proverbs chapter 23 verse 7, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” RUN,DON'T WALK,and get several copies to share as it still or maybe more RELEVANT TODAY than EVER!

Quotes From As a Man Thinketh
Men do not attract what they want, but what they are.
A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.
Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs
Cassandra Kay Silva
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
This was basically the original version of "the secret". I consider this whole Law of Attraction thing a by product of a spoilt and generally healthy society, but apparently this idea has been circulating for some time. Anyone who has dealt with a debilitating illness brought on by nothing but genetics knows that you can't "think your way" out of a bad situation. You can make the best of what you have but blaming someones thoughts for the cards they were dealt in life be it poverty, health, or l ...more
As A Man Thinketh, so he is.
Whatever you think, you become.
You are LITERALLY what you think.
This short read is a great reminder that we should guard our thoughts and ensure we are thinking great things.

A timely reminder. I will definitely be using the suggestions in this book for the coming year.
Deanna Autumn
May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Memorable quote:

"To live continually in thoughts of ill will, cynicism, suspicion, and envy, is to be confined in a self made prison-hole." -James Allen
Aug 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book could be summoned up as "You are ultimately responsible for your life through your thoughts". James Allen's presents his ideas like a no-holds-bar-stop-making-excuses-for-your-life slap in the face. I definitely agree with his major points though at times his moralizing seems a bit antiquated the core concepts are pretty solid. This book made me think about excuses, complaining and justifications vs. sacrifice and hard work. What I find intriguing about it is that all of us have such p ...more
Rakhi Dalal
Jun 10, 2012 rated it liked it
In the foreword, the Author says that this work is intended as suggestive rather than explanatory. He conveys that, this is not an exhaustive treatise, but a result of his own meditation and experience in the direction. I couldn’t but agree more with him.

Through this short book, James has explained relation of our thoughts with our character, health and circumstances. He has also tried to maintain a relation of our thoughts with purpose and achievement in life. Though the book is written in a mo
May 11, 2016 rated it liked it
"ALL that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts. In a justly ordered universe, where loss of equipoise would mean total destruction, individual responsibility must be absolute. A man's weakness and strength, purity and impurity, are his own, and not another man's; they are brought about by himself, and not by another; and they can only be altered by himself, never by another. His condition is also his own , and not another man's. His suffering a ...more
Sep 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone but especially if you're feeling down or need a good pick-me-up
Shelves: 2007, classic, philosophy
I've read this book many times. First ran across it 15 years ago and have come back to it many times; glean new treasures from it each time. This go-round was especially rich. Cheers! ...more
Mar 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Superficial, naive, wishful-thinking. On top of all, torturously dragging.
Khyati Gautam
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful collection of thoughts and powerful narrative. One would love to go through it in times of dire need of guidance.
Being one of the oldest self help book this has been the inspiration of many modern self help books which include the theme of
Positivity, controlling your thoughts, what you think you get, law of attraction.
All the later books seems to be inspired from this book.
It has se theme but not easy language of this generation of people.
But no doubt this is brilliant and probably one of the first to talk about thoughts .
"As a man thinketh in his heart so is he."
I don't know whether this kind of self
It's amazing to me how certain philosophies are timeless. This book was written 100 years ago during England's industrial age when oppression of the average worker was standard practice. James Allen tells the reader how your thoughts, not mere circumstance, are what creates your life events. Allen believes there is a law of thought that determines our every life event. All action comes from thought. This is so similar to book like The Secret and other books that have been so popular in the last ...more
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Allen was 15 when his father, a businessman, was robbed and murdered. He left school to work full-time in several British manufacturing firms to help support the family. He later married Lily L. Allen and became an executive secretary for a large company. At age 38, inspired by the writings of Leo Tolstoy, he retired from employment. Allen — along with his wife and thei

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“A man's mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.” 412 likes
“Self-control is strength. Right thought is mastery. Calmness is power. ” 389 likes
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