As a Man Thinketh - James Allen
As a Man Thinketh is likely one of the most read and reviewed books in the Law of Attraction/New Age/New Thought movement and it is one of the shorter books as well (depending on the version, it ranges from roughly 50-80 pages in length).
The essence of this book is that our thoughts create our reality and that, “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.” Our minds are impressionable and we will improve the quality of our lives as the quality of our thoughts improve.
Repeated throughout the book is the theme that: by holding a vision of our ideal, of keeping a constant focus on what we wish to be, in spite of current circumstances, we can transform ourselves into that ideal self, “The Vision that you glorify in your mind, the Ideal that you enthrone in your heart—this you will build your life by, this you will become.”
If we allow thoughts that are undesirable/negative to propagate then we will create negative experiences.Fear and doubts will act in the opposite manner and sabotage us, “Doubt and fear are the great enemies of knowledge, and he who encourages them, who does not slay them, thwarts himself at every step.”
While I agree in principle with what James Allen says in this book, that our thoughts create our reality, I did find the content somewhat lacking. On several occasions I found myself thinking that the author could have benefitted the reader by expanding on some of the discussion. As an example, to say that, “Out of a defiled mind proceeds a defiled life and a corrupt body” or, “Change of diet will not help a man who will not change his thoughts” is somewhat of an oversimplification in my mind. I am not saying that these statements are false, I am just saying that I don’t think they reflect reality in its entirety.
I know that there will be readers who just want a short, to the point, summary of James Allen’s views, and they will likely be very satisfied with what they find in As a Man Thinketh. Personally, I found this book worth reading, yet if I had to choose between As a Man Thinketh and several of the other books written on this topic, this book would not be my first choice.