James Allen was a 19th century English writer, best known for his classic work, As a Man Thinketh. For nearly a century, the book has motivated readers to lead more peaceful and successful lives. It was his most successful book and has been translated into at least five major languages. Yet Allen was dissatisfied with it and felt it was a minor work. His wife, Lily, had to persuade him to publish it.
Allen’s writings focus on teaching personal responsibility and finding the cause of personal problems within our own selves. He never gained fame or fortune and rarely made enough money from his writings to cover expenses. Born in Leicester, England in 1864, he spent his later years in Ilfracombe, where he wrote over 20 books.
After the murder of his father, a financial crisis at home forced Allen to leave school at age 15. He eventually became a private secretary and worked for several British manufacturers until 1902, when he decided to devote all his time to writing. Allen’s literary career lasted only nine years, until his death in 1912. He was an advocate of ethics in all the areas of life and believed in the power of thought to bring fame, fortune, and happiness.
James Allen is something of an enigma in that he remains almost unknown today. None of his books give much of a clue to his life other than to mention his place of residence. His name cannot be found in a major reference work. Even the Library of Congress and the British Museum have little information about him.
• You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.
• Above all be of single aim; have a legitimate and useful purpose and devote yourself unreservedly to it.
• Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.
• Men are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.
• To begin to think with purpose is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment.
• The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.
• Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.
• Circumstances do not make the man; they reveal him.
• The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit, and you reap a character. Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
• You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.
James Allen passed away over 90 years ago, yet he is still an important part of the Self Improvement Industry. The reason for it is very simple—his book As A Man Thinketh. It contains timeless material. Allen’s practical philosophy of successful living has awakened millions to the discovery and perception of the truth that “they themselves are makers of themselves.”
Building on the Bible verse, “As a man thinketh, so he is,” Allen insists that it is within the power of each person to form his own character and create his own happiness. This first paragraph describes the importance of and power of thought:
“As you think, so you are.” This not only embraces the whole of your being but also everything that ever happens to you in life. You are, literally, what you think, and your character is the complete sum of all your thoughts.
James Allen wrote 20 other books on Self Improvement, empowerment, and creating your own destiny, but As A Man Thinketh is the best way to start. You can get a free copy of the book by going to www.asamanthinketh.net .