I read a lot of new books every year. There is one book though, that I have read every single year for as long as I can remember. That Book is:
As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen
This book was published in 1903 and to me it is still one of the greatest self-help books ever written. The secret is its simplicity. It is only 78 pages (my version) and about 11,000 words. It’s message is simple: what you think is what you become.
The book is composed of these seven chapters:
- Thought and Character – Thought is described as the tool to shape one’s character. Human character is the complete sum of all our thoughts.
- Effect of Thought on Circumstances – Our thoughts can shape the circumstances that we live in. A quote in this chapter I have highlighted is: “A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.” I also have highlighted: “Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves.” This line always hits me hard. It is a line I need to hear every year.
- Effects of Thoughts on Health and Body – “Negative thoughts will result in a sick body.” We all know people who get sick just by thinking about it. Negativity really does lead to negative results.
- Thought and Purpose – Our purpose in life, our goals can only be achieved with positive thoughts. “Thoughts of doubt and fear can never accomplish anything. They always lead to failure.” We often are our own worst “yea-but.”
- The Thought-Factor on Achievement – “A man can only rise, conquer, and achieve by lifting up his thoughts. He can only remain weak, abject, and miserable by refusing to lift up his thoughts.”
- Visions and Ideals – “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.”
- Serenity – Thought is the ultimate weapon, but uncontrolled, thought does not serve the purpose. We must clear our minds and direct our thoughts to a specific target. Clarity is imperative. We must be able to see where we are going.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has never read it. Even if you have read it, it is worth the small investment of time to read it again. Pardon the book’s language as it was written 115 years ago.
The message is clear and it is absolutely motivating. I need the message every single year because I must admit that I really am my own worst enemy.
I am the reason for my lack of productivity. I am the reason when I don’t accomplish my goals. This book reminds me how powerful the mind really is and that I can use that power to accomplish anything. Perhaps you need that reminder as well.
What book have you read multiple times in your life? Why is the book so important to you? Share them in the comments!