Your Life is the result of your thinking

Abraham MaslowAccording to Wikipedia James Allen “was British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry and as a pioneer of the self-help movement.” I read his famous book ‘As a Man Thinketh’ a few years ago, it had a profound impact on my life during a very tough period I was living at the time. I have recently found some of the quotes I wrote from the book and decided to post them here.

Compared to Allen and many who have gone through similar life conditions, truly, I’ve had it easy! His dad was pronounced dead two days after arriving in the US where he was seeking after a better life for his family. Allen, age 15 then, had to stop his studies to work and support his impoverished family.

Another site devoted to Allen’s life mentioned that “James Allen is a literary mystery man. His inspirational writings have influenced millions for good. Yet today he remains almost unknown…… None of his nineteen books give a clue to his life other than to mention his place of residence – Ilfracombe, England. His name cannot be found in a major reference work. Not even the Library of Congress or the British Museum has much to say about him.”

“He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing; but he wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it out in his own life, and knew that it was good. Thus he wrote facts, which he had proven by practice.” wrote Mitch Horowitz in his work “James Allen: A Life in Brief”.

Allen’s life was the message, what he had to do was to pack that in writing format and feed it to his readers. And that is where all the power lies. The secret was in the way he lived out his own philosophy, that would empower his thoughts and words on the piece of paper. In orther words, what impact us aren’t when we read his words are not emptied rhetoric but sweat, blood, tears and badassness in face of calamities, challenges and sufferings. Your writing comes alive when it is birth out of the fiery furnace of life torments, words pierce through the flakiness, excuses and comfort of us readers.

From his official webpage we read that “In 1901, when Allen was 37, he wrote his first book, From Poverty to Power. In 1902 he wrote his second book, As a Man Thinketh. Although this would be Allen’s most successful book, it is said that he felt it be unsatisfactory and not worthy of print. It was his wife, Lily, who convinced him to publish it. Allen wrote 19 books in all.”

Ilfracombe
Allen’s Home Town  – Ilfracombe in North Devon.

It is also claimed that Allen sought to live a Tolstoyan life-style, meaning, a life of voluntary poverty, manual labour and ascetic self-discipline. Russia greatest novelist Count Leo Tolstoy apparently had some influence in his life choices, values and virtues.

Below I have copied my favourite passages from his second book ‘As a Man Thinketh’:

“Man is buffeted by circumstances so long as he believes himself to be the creature of outside conditions, but when he realizes that he is a creative power and that he may command the hidden soil and seeds of his being out of which circumstances grow, he then becomes the rightful master of himself.”

“Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.”

“O my soul, the time I trust will be, when thou shalt be good, simple, more open and visible, than that body by which it is enclosed.”

“Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life”

“They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pityings, all of which are indications of weakness, which lead, just as surely as deliberately planned sins (though by a different route), to failure, unhappiness , and loss, for weakness cannot persist in a power evolving universe”

“Achievement, of whatever kind, is the crown of effort, the diadem of thought”

“There can be no progress, no achievement without sacrifice and a man’s worldly success will be in the measure that he sacrifices his confused animal thoughts, and fixes his mind on the development of his plans, and the strengthening of his resolution and self-reliance”

“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 all delightful conditionals, all, heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will, at last, be built”

“Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but they shall not long remain so if you but perceive an Ideal and strive to reach it”

“You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration”

“The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul, a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities”

“Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise without your thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal”

“A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as a thought-evolved being, for such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as the result of thought , and as he develops a right understanding, and sees more and more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect he ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and remains poised, steadfast, serene”

“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”

in other words, be MONOMANIACAL ABOUT YOUR BEAUTIFUL LIFE OBSESSION!

“The strong, calm man is always loved and revered. He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm. Who does not love a tranquil heart, a sweet-tempered, balanced life? It does not matter whether it rains or shines, or what changes come to those possessing these blessings, for they are always sweet, serene, and calm. That exquisite poise of character, which we call serenity is the last lesson of culture, the fruitage of the soul. It is precious as wisdom, more to be desired than gold —yea, than even fine gold. How insignificant mere money seeking looks in comparison with a serene life— a life that dwells in the ocean of Truth, beneath the waves, beyond the reach of tempests, in the Eternal Calm”

“Self-control is a strength; right thought is mastery; Calmness is power. Say unto your heart, “Peace, be still!”

In Summary, Allen teaches two essential truths – “today we are where our thoughts have taken us, and we are the architects – for better or worse – of our futures.”

Your choices are the only determinants…

The only power we have when change winds blow it is to be found in the choices we make. Which direction to set our sails, which train to board or plane to take, which way to go…what to do.. choices will bring you closer to your dreams or further away…

“…So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us…”

J.R.R Tolkien _The Fellowship of the Ring

“Mors certa, vita incerta”

The Latin quote popularised by Dick’s book is one I particularly have close to my heart and thoughts every day. We never know what is out there waiting for us. Our freedom can be taken away, out lifestyle, our loved ones and even our own life. A million things can obliterate our plans and shattered our dreams. Even if some may find reasons to be boastful we must understand that we all have the sword of Damocles dangling over our heads. Whatever you think you have can be taken away.

In one of the oldest written poems known to us, ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’ is written that “Man is snapped off like a reed in the canebrake! The comely young man, the pretty young woman— All too soon in their prime Death abducts them!”

The Stoics also had that at the heart of their philosophical thinking…

“Keep death and exile before your eyes each day, along with everything that seems terrible—by doing so, you’ll never have a base thought nor will you have excessive desire.” —EPICTETUS, ENCHIRIDION, 21

“Don’t behave as if you are destined to live forever. What’s fated hangs over you. As long as you live and while you can, become good now.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 4.17

screenshot_20181206-124338~23863023782836244327..jpg

In conclusion, to do good and to be good are the only virtues that matter. We must live and celebrate the now, our present. Many of us keep postponing happiness as if that will happen one day in the future when everything will somehow work out. Gratitude today is key to happiness. Being thankful for what we have and who we have in our lives.

In the final scene of Shakespeare’s final play, The Tempest, the main character Prospero says “And thence retire me to my Milan, where / Every third thought shall be my grave.” It evokes and acknowledges death as a possibility and imminent threat. However, reflecting on our mortality should not leave us in dread, it should rather have the opposite effect. To die while you are alive is the best way to purposely live after all nobody can kill and nothing can affect a dead being. That gives us clarity and motivates us to live a full fearless and purpose-driven life.

Your philosophy determines your life outcomes

marcu aureliusThat’s because your life philosophy, or to put in layman’s term, the way you see things, your worldview and the values that underpin your choices will become the factors determining whether you will be successful in your endeavours or not.

“Human behaviour flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.” Plato

What Plato is saying is that what you do comes from material produced inside your mind, aka your mindset. The combination of those three factors will form your values or your philosophy, that consciously or unconsciously.  So calibrating your desires, emotions and building a solid healthy knowledge will increase your chances for better outcomes.

Jim Rohn, throughout his highly successful career as a motivational speaker and life coach, always gave emphasis to developing your life philosophy and inner values. Jim, as well as many before and after him,  developed and build their life upon their values and philosophies.

“If you work hard on your job, you make a living. If you work hard on yourself, you can make a fortune. What is the reason for this truth? Success is not something you pursue. Success is something that you attract by becoming an attractive person. The way that you become rich is not by wishing your life were easier, but instead by focusing on making yourself better.”  ― Jim Rohn, My Philosophy for Successful Living

James Allen, British philosopher and writer, famous for his inspirational writings, wrote in his book As A Man Thinketh “Men do not attract what they want, but which they are”, in other words, your outcomes are the fruit of who you are inside, of what drives you and your behaviour. All our impulses, perceptions, sensory motivations, impetus or inertia, decisions, choices, fears, etc are born and exist and are shaped by our own philosophy and creates our identity. They are determined by how we see ourselves and the world around us, our values that will guide us to whatever outcome they are set to achieve good or bad.

Most people think they are not in control of that but that is exactly the only thing in the universe we have control over.

“As long as you live, keep learning how to live.”
― Lucius Annaeus Seneca

 

True lasting habits change are granular…

Atomic HabitsIn the age of quantum computing and exponential growth real lasting changes occur at a granular level…or as James Clear puts it, it happens at an atomic level.

I highly recommend James book “Atomic Habits”. I’ve just finished it and will have to start again. So much to take in… James has written from what he has lived and it gives him great authority. He mentioned in the book “to write a great book you have to become the book” he has definitely become the book he wrote.

“We imitate the Habits of the close, the many and the Powerful”

“Action is the only behaviour that produces an outcome.”

“Motion becomes a form of procrastination you have to change something act.”

 

He mentioned in the book that the 3rd Law of Behavioural Change is making easy to change. I guess many times we complicate and make it hard for us to change and develop new healthy habits. We either want to go full-on, start and then give up later or we keep beating around the bush and never start, we use excuses, procrastination etc.

He also talks about the 2 minutes law. Start something for two minutes and the stop! Keep repeating that. Make it easy for those repetitions to occur. It is all about the reps, not the raps! Well rehearsed words will never drive any change, action will. The most effective type of habit building come from actions and not by learning, it is by the consistent practising that a new habit is formed.

 

future start today

By designing a world around you that makes it is easier to do what is right and not wrong one can see better results. Design your environment to make it easier to keep up with good habits. These habits will eventually grow and develop to become your destiny.

Redesign your life to a point where the actions that matter the most are easier to perform. We will always gravitate towards the action that takes the least amount of effort to perform. This is what we naturally do as humans.

Along the time that creates a pattern in your life that is going to be repeated Time After Time and you might change things. Master the habit of showing up, build up with the 2 minutes rule, make the first action frictionless,  make it the first action quick to perform and the rest will follow

Habits are grown in the farmland of our hearts …

We need to learn how to see habits not as a line to cross but as a lifelong development. In that, we shift the focus from acquiring a habit of maintaining the habit.

A habit acquired can be easily lost if not cultivated and maintained. It’s not the achievement of the habit but the cultivation that is key.

An easy allegory for that would be to think of ourselves as a farmer and our lives as the land in which we will plant good habits.

A farmer knows that if he sleeps during the sowing season he will not reap the benefits later on. If he does not cultivate his/her land nothing will grow healthy and strong. Habits are just like that, the fruits of a good farming attitude.

Sow them, water them, work on the land and reap the joys. After, you will have to repeat and keep in doing. Practice for the rest of your life until it becomes your destiny.

“Your mind will be like its habitual thoughts; for the soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts. Soak it then in such trains of thoughts as, for example: Where life is possible at all, a right life is possible.” Marcus Aurelius

That is the only way to change for the better, keep those changes and live a prosperous lifestyle.

How hungry are you?

img_20181111_142630_1322570200835679526161.jpg

While we are in this world we must always make choices. The results and outcomes we have experienced throughout our lives are directly linked to those choices.

The only thing stopping us from growing and achieving amazing things are how we see ourselves and the choices we make based on this vision of ourselves at any given moment.

What drives us or keeps us in inertia is our own level of hunger, the obsession to achieve our peak… Inertia caused by fear and apathy is the result of a distorted image of ourselves and own shortcoming.

If you learn how to see yourself in a new light you will start to hunger for more, you will find your purpose and will be unstoppable!

Jim Rohn said “every life form seems to strive to its maximum except human beings”

Break free and reach your peak!

#peakperformance #reach #leadership #globalvision #empowered #leading360 #love #life #purpose #coaching #ushbaboy

A pathway to a great destiny

Someone once said that you cannot change anything or any problem in your life with the same mindset that has created it. Many people spend their lives focusing on what they don’t have to sort out the problem they created by negative thoughts and reactions to external situations. They will never be able to experience true freedom that way.

The only way to see changes in the present and move towards a better future and destiny is by nurturing positive thoughts no matter which circumstances one finds oneself in. Thoughts are made of pure raw energy (being negative or positive) and have the power to change our physiology and psyche immediately. It is the only thing we can truly have control over.

After developing good thoughts one should start paying attention in the words one uses. Words have the power to manifest the reality of your thinking, speak sound words and you will be truly whole and happy.

Thirdly: congruency! Acting in line with your thinking and words. Oh, how hard that one is! The worst things anyone can display in their lives are inconsistency and incongruency. Where one acts differently from what one believes and says.

Afterwhile your healthy thinking life, your manifested positive words and your congruent actions will be consolidated as your new habits. Cultivating these new good habits are a powerful way to unlock long-lasting changes in your life but ultimately they should be governed by superior moral and ethical values directing everything you do.

In you keeping with all of them, practising diligently as you go about your business, you will then start paving the way to a great destiny. Try it today!

good Habits

Action Learning is Life long learning

Revans pioneered action learning as a management discipline and although he had never produced one single definition to the process, he passionately believed it to be the ancient form of acquiring wisdom. For him, there was not one single form (format) to the approach.

Action learning requires a profound and meaningful engagement and commitment to the process of being changed through the learning process which ultimately could not be communicated through a simple formulaic or technique. .

The future of everything we do is directly connected to the future of how we (humans) process (life long in most case) learning added to our ability to communicate wisdom beyond the information gathered, since the pure application of the latter is already dominated by intelligent machines. Needless to say we cannot compete with them in their own game.

Therefore, learning should moves us towards applied wisdom and not simply towards more application of information and knowledge simply.

#wisdom #business #management #action#actionlearning #leading360 #360#consulting #leadership #leader#wisdomprinciples #communication#principles #learning

Action Learning