As a Man Thinketh – James Allen

Book Notes and Takeaways

(Written in 1903 so all masculine – applies equally to women)

Thought and Character

  • As a man think in his hear so he is
    • They themselves are the makers of themselves”
  • A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts
  • A noble or godlike character is not a thing of chance, but is the natural result of continued effort in the right thinking
  • Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he build for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace
  • Man is the master of thought, the molder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment and destiny
  • Man is always the master, even in his weaker and most abandoned state
    • In weakness and degradation he is the foolish master who misgoverns his “household”
  • Only by patience, practice, and ceaseless importunity can a man enter the Door of the Temple of Knowledge

Effect of Thought on Character

  • A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild
    • If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will rise up
  • Thought and character are one, and as character can only manifest and discover itself through environment and circumstance
    • The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state
  • Man is buffered by circumstance – when he realizes that he is a creative power and that commands his mind, he then becomes the rightful master of himself
  • Circumstances are the exact ratio of one’s mental condition
    • When a man earnestly applies himself to remedy the defects in his character, and makes swift and marked progress he passes rapidly through a succession of change and fortune
  • The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors; that which it loves and which it fears
    • Seek what you love
  • Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bear bad fruits
  • As the reaper of his own harvest, man leans both by suffering and bliss o Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are
    • Whims, fancies, and ambitions are thwarted at every step, but their inmost thoughts and desires are fed with their own thoughts
  • Simply because a man prays does not mean that is what he gets, only what is justly earned
    • Wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions
  • Men are always anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves
    • The man who does not shrink from self-crucifixion can never fail to accomplish the object of his heart
  • Grow and learn every day
    • The man whose sole objective is to acquire wealth must be prepared to make great personal sacrifices before he can accomplish his vision
  • It is impossible to judge another in their external aspects of his life alone
  • Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results
  • Suffering is always the effect of wrong thought in some direction
    • It is an indication that the individual is out of harmony with himself, with the Law of his being
  • A man is not rightly conditioned until he is a happy, healthy, and prosperous being; and happiness, health, and prosperity are the result of a harmonious adjustment of the inner with the outer, of the man with his surroundings
  • Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life
    • Thought rapidly crystalizes into habit, and habit solidifies in circumstance
    • Beautiful thoughts of all kinds crystalize into habits of grace and kindliness, which solidifies into genial and sunny circumstances
    • Pure thoughts crystalize into habits of temperance and self-control
    • Thoughts of courage, self-resilience, and decision crystallize into manly habits, which solidify into circumstances of success, plenty, and freedom

Effect of Thought on Health and Body

  • The body is the servant of the mind
    • It obeys the operation of the mind, whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed
  • Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought
  • Thoughts of fear have been known to kill a man as speedily as a bullet
    • They are continually killing thousands of people just as surely although less rapidly
  • Out of a clean heart comes a clean life and a clean body
  • Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts
  • Clean thoughts make clean habits ! Thought and Purpose
  • A man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart, and set out to accomplish it
  • He should steadily focus his though-forces upon the object, which he has set before him
  • Having conceived oh his purpose, a man should mentally mark out a straight pathway to its achievement, looking neither to the right nor the left
    • Doubts and fears should be rigorously excluded; they are disintegrating elements which break up the straight line of effort, rendering it crooked, ineffectual, useless
  • Strength can only be developed by effort and practice
  • He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure
    • Every thought is allied with power, and all difficulties are bravely met and wisely overcome

The Thought Factor in Achievement

  • All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts
    • Individual responsibility must be absolute
  • A strong man cannot help a weaker man unless the weaker man is willing to help
  • A man whose first thought is bestial indulgence could neither think clearly nor plan methodically
  • By the aid of self-control, resolution, righteousness, and well-directed thought a man ascends
  • He who must accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much

Vision and Ideals

  • The dreamers are the saviors of the world (Atlas Shrugged)
  • Dreamers know their dreams as realities which it shall one day see and know (Napoleon Hill)
    • Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become
    • Dreams are the seedlings of reality
  • He who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his hear will one day realize it o Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind
    • Embrace what makes you, you


  • Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom
    • It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control
  • The strong calm man is always loved and revered
  • Humanity surges with uncontrolled passion, is tumultuous with ungoverned grief, is blown about by anxiety and doubt only the wise man whose thoughts are controlled and purified, makes the winds and the storms of the soul obey him

The financial consultants at Arrow Point Wealth Management are registered representatives with and securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended as specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.