WE BECOME WHAT WE THINK ABOUT
James Allen’s “As a Man Thinketh” 1904 bestseller was given to me by my mother in my 19th year. The author proposed a simple idea: “Thoughts are things.”
I am far-from-perfect, but the small book changed my outlook forever. The biblical aphorism, “As a man thinketh…so is he” was used by Allen in his short 50-page treatise that has been a mega-bestseller for over 100 years now. BUT… He left something out. I will tell you in the end what that something is.
We all have something to deal with. That includes the issues people bring into our lives uninvited. Some things are not in our control no matter how hard we try to take a cowboy’s rope, lasso them, and reign them in. This includes physical ailments, employment, relationships, maturity, and even spiritual growth.
I have suffered from skull buster headaches since 18. I have pushed through them, been hospitalized by them, and yet they have, no doubt, moderated behavior in a way I don’t like. (Please, no sympathy, just an example being used here) Yet those unkind torments of the brain have pushed me to look for answers elsewhere…that place of peace and soul searching located south of the cranium.
The “A” type personalities preaching personal performance techniques of “win, win, win” have some good to share with their effervescent encouragement to overcome, look at the sunny side of life, and follow formulas for success. I recommend the gems these winners share.
But in the end, there is a powerful ally for our soul often over-looked by skilled trainers of perfecting our achievement and success, as it was over-looked by James Allen. What I am saying is, “We become what we think about–as we take it to heart.”
Super-charged thinking alone, fueled by a jet-fuel-like dose of positive attitude platitudes releasing dopamine chemicals that make us feel good, even resonate with our brains, isn’t enough.
The truths we learn through cognitive means must become internalized so that they continue to motivate us days, weeks, years, after the initial impact. Such was the impact of Allen’s little book on my “soul” 47 years ago.
“We become what we think about–as we take it to heart.” The teachings Allen imparted to me didn’t simply make me feel good, but went much much deeper than the speeding lane of the brain.
The good news is that the path we set through the initial process of thought can set us on the road to perfection, joy, and the nirvana we all crave.
We really do become what we think about. The deficits we may feel after doing all we can do on a day by day basis and falling short, is made up in the brightness of “the perfect day” taught by the Master who also taught this — the complete phrase from biblical text: “As a Man Thinketh — in His Heart — so is he.”
The master teacher from Nazareth taught about the soul, the life of the soul, and where the spirit of God dwells. It was a heart-driven focus. Death was not death to him, but it was Eternal Life. So the “Perfect Day” was a promised future achievement. And it was a gift, and it was a future glorious life, and it was to be striven and hoped for, but in the end, from the maker of all, a forever “perfect day” which would become a crowning reward from a life well lived through complete thought-power; a heart-minded alliance.
Thought proceeds action. Pure actions, noble actions, honorable actions, proceed from a unique area of the body unassociated with what scientists and practitioners of the mental arts consider “thinking.”
The “Who” we become is a heart-centered growth personalized by who-we were-are-and-are-to-become, not by a “one size fits all” success paradigm or formula that requires a lot of brain power alone where winner’s win and losers go where losers belong. Don’t get me wrong…
I am not saying that mental processing of ideas, truths, and facts for higher achievement by our magnificent brain is not important. It all begins there.
What I am saying is that until ideas, truths, facts and formulas are internalized by and in the heart, they do not become “things.” If thoughts are things as Allen suggested, then the focus of Jesus’ saying cannot be left out of the processing.
I do not disrespect the mental toughness and attitudes of grit and determination taught by masters of success teachings. We sow in the mind through mental affirmations and proven success formulas the seeds of greatness. From those seeds trees of life grow. I just see those teachings as support for something more… something James Allen avoided–no doubt because the brain was and still is the focus of peak performance teachers. Very little was and still is known about heart-focused thought and power.
The heart is the center of the soul, its seat, and from it the life-giving blood flows in nourishment to every cell of the body. Now imagine the heart transporting our internalized thoughts into every one of 70 trillion human cells. The Brain may be a thinking machine, and it benefits us greatly, but if it fails us, the Heart goes on until God says, “enough.”
Young or old, we pass on to the “Perfect Day” even though we have not yet become perfect. And what our heart becomes, we become; Forever…
Still searching and still working on it — and the daily skull busters do not control me because: “As a Man Thinketh, In His Heart, So is He.”
James Allen’s book is included for free in “As a Man Thinketh…In His Heart” the Novel @ Amazon