AS A MAN THINKETH IN HIS HEART…

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

CHARACTER MATTERS — A societal crisis is solved this simply

Assume a virtue though you have it not.”  — Shakespeare

Some time ago I had the privilege of doing a book signing for one of my titles along with Golf legend Johnny Miller who was breaking out his book Called It the same day and at the same store.

We discussed life, issues with the swing, and even mental preparation before taking any swing.  I remember talking about how things “come back” to you and how important every swing we take really becomes.

If life is a game, and people are players, then some also become perfect with practice and others become users. What achievers actually do is pre-thought, and pre-practice in their minds. The outcome of those actions, when built upon thoughts played out before hand,  are winning consequences, and the difference between how good or conversely how bad those outcomes can be, is only a matter of time.

Because the power of media is deeply ingrained in a fast paced soundbite society, we find we are living in times where allegations and accusations of unlawful, inappropriate, hurtful, unwanted, and even violent behavior against others becomes instant fact before an investigation or jury is even called in to question.

“CBS fires…” and “NBC fires…”  and “NPR fires…” and “Fox New fires…” and “Hollywood mogul loses company…”  “More accusers come forward…” and “Senator embarrassed by allegations…”  and so on.

Virtue is a planned behavior. Character is forged over time by choices between virtue and vice. When changes of life are made, so personal character is also changed. As we watch the mighty in society fall each day, remember it did not happen in a day. It began with a simple thought…some time ago.

A crisis in society where character is constantly challenged through allegations of sexual and other misconduct, can be solved very simply. The cause of allegations — which if they turn out to be true — means the perpetrator practiced mentally before any physical action against another person took place.

James Allen (1864-1912) had tremendous impact upon my mind and my course in life, when in my 19th year my mother wisely handed his most famous book to me — As a Man Thinketh — and said, “Jim, I want you to read this.” What stood out to me as I read was this:

 

We become what we think about.

That premise of pre-thinking our life, our actions, who and what we want to become, is a simple formula for success, and conversely to disobey it is to ultimately fail and face disastrous consequences.

LIFE HACK and simple formula for building good character…

If you want to be well thought of as a gentleman or a lady–

Deliberately plant seeds of thought with good outcomes.

Redeem the past through giving and seeking forgiveness and…

Ensure the future by living well today.

LIFE 101: Dark vs Light, Pain vs Joy

This much is true.

When it comes to darkness, light follows.

It may be a sunrise that soon yields a brightness of the sun at its zenith, or a light switch that chases away a darkened room, but one does not know the difference and the joy of light without the coldness of the dark night.

Pain, Confusion, Darkness, Disappointment, Tears, Illness of all kinds, offer the flip side:

Pleasure, Clarity, Light, Serendipitous JOY, Laughter, and Wellness.

You never get one without the other — so hold on!

As a Man Thinketh…In His Heart” (revised edition coming to Kindle 2018)

 

BE ATTITUDES from revised “As a Man Thinketh…In His Heart”

A revised edition for 2018, of “AS A MAN THINKETH… In His Heart,” takes the 2008 self-published edition and the present realities of a fast-paced digital steroid world, and re-introduces the characters of the personal growth category novel.

The time tested morals are based upon the slower heart approach to thinking — which a 19th century literary ghost and host of the cottage on the hill in Ilfracombe, England prescribes to his present day author guest. Told by Pratt in an Og Mandino first person style, (where the main protagonist is also the actual author taking the reader into the story’s world) action is interspersed with unexpected revelations and discoveries.

The truths are delivered by an ethereal writer who actually lived in Ilfracombe and became famous for a bestseller still selling well today — As a Man Thinketh,  James Allen, 1904.  The following “be attitudes” are new to those too busy to give time to ponder them. Delivered in an entertaining style with other truths wrapped in a paradigm termed “power-thinking,” they arrive in a day and time where they seem to be in short supply.

A bestselling thinker from the turn of the 20th century, James Allen was a philosopher who still blesses readers today, and whom author Pratt discovered in his 19th year. Now Pratt delivers “the rest of the story” in hopes that a path to personal peace and a more joy-filled living may be adopted in our time of hyper-distractions, addiction to mental stimulation, and a speed driven culture in constant need of a quick fix of “more…”  Whatever that may be.

BE ATTITUDES from As a Man Thinketh…In His Heart (2018 edition)

  1. Be kind to others
  2. Be valuable to all
  3. Be modest in speech and habits
  4. Be a servant to the least
  5. Be joyful though in pain
  6. Be honest for honors sake
  7. Be frugal and patient
  8. Be heart-filled and thought full
  9. Be forgiving
  10. Be a creator
  11. Be heroic
  12. Be for love above all

Mind is the master power that molds and makes, and man is mind and forever more he take the tool of thought; and shaping what he will, brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills. He thinks in secret and it comes to pass. environment is but his looking glass.” James Allen, 1904