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How Best to Approach The Book “As a Man Thinketh” — A Must-Read (and Re-read)

Jordan Clive
Feb 13, 2017 · 4 min read
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This little volume… is suggestive rather than explanatory, its object being to stimulate men and women to the discovery and perception of the truth that -

“They themselves are makers of themselves”

by virtue of the thoughts which they choose and encourage; that mind is the master weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance, and that, as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness.

The Impact of James Allen’s Book

The book, “As a Man Thinketh,” is commonly acknowledged to have established the self help genre of literature most. Think of this short book to be pre-reading to other publications of its sort. The themes of the law of attraction and the responsibility assumption — codified a half century after the book was written — are revisited all the time by other authors. The great news for us is that the book is in the public domain — the text is free. It takes less than two hours to read at a reflective pace. Links are at the end.

How Best to Approach “As a Man Thinketh”

  1. Acknowledge that these ideas are embraced by people of all beliefs.
    Though it contains quotes from the Buddhist scripture, Dhammapada, and the title of the book came from a proverb in the Bible, the teachings inside are acknowledged by its millions of readers to be true. As a Man Thinketh has been adopted as a companion text to the books of all beliefs — religious, agnostic, and atheistic. It could be said that As a Man Thinketh teaches universally recognized truth. The honest reader acknowledges this.
  2. This book will only benefit you if you are willing to honestly assess your character and thought patterns.
    The reader who feels no urgency to improve themselves, or believes they are fine the way they are, will not benefit from this book. Total ownership and total responsibility are prerequisites for gaining the most from this book. Saying the book is decent or rating it 3 stars is more a reflection of the reader than it is the quality of the book. This book puts you to the test.
  3. Prepare to reassess your aspirations in life.
    There is no guarantee that this book will be of use to your aims in life. It will, however, guide you in aspiring to the right things. Success is predominantly viewed by people either in material terms or based on recognition. Members of the human family most widely seek after happiness in the pursuit of these same unquenchable appetites. The patterns of thought adopted in these pursuits are incompatible with their greatest potential fulfillment. The highest culmination of the human state can more accurately be described as blessedness. James Allen describes the eventual result of right thought to be serene life, transcendent of the world’s vast imperfections. If the desires of your heart are off course, the book will help you redirect them. If you are unwilling to, though, then you will find no reward reading this book.
    I have read As a Man Thinketh about twenty times during the nine years I have known about it. It is almost like scripture to me — as it is to millions others. The problem has been that the available copies online have had awkward formatting, distracting ads, and overall unpleasant design inconsistent with the quality of the text. This last weekend I coded a simple copy that I think you will find gives the text justice. You can view the same copy of the book through, in case that URL is more memorable for you.
  5. Read the book again and again.
    The ideas in this book are about as pure and noble as they come. To take a metaphor from the book, repeatedly sewing these thought seeds in your mental garden will cultivate right thoughts where useless weeds otherwise might have. Right thought brings forth fruits of blessedness. Rewiring a brain takes deliberate practice and repetition. That is why on the last page of I include a link to the highest rated audio version on Audible for $4. (I earn no commissions.) I’ve listened to it completely over a half dozen times while commuting within the last two months.

Enjoy the book! You’re welcome.

Share with a friend and click that ‘recommend’ heart. Thank you.

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