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.”

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

In the end of the day it is all about relationships…

… and how we nurture them!

Having a well-balanced approach to life is the only way to grow oneself and grow and nurture better life and working relations.

The health life we all dream of can only happen when we proactively engage with others in a positive mental attitude and congruently align personal beliefs and values with action.

To examine oneself should be a daily pursuit we all aim to enact and prioritise.

Carpe Diem! What is on the menu for today?

“Let us therefore set out whole-heartedly, leaving aside our many distractions and exert ourselves in this single purpose, before we realize too late the swift and unstoppable flight of time and are left behind. As each day arises, welcome it as the very best day of all, and make it your own possession. We must seize what flees.”
—SENECA, MORAL LETTERS, 108.27b–28a

You woke up today, that’s a great thing for starters, many haven’t. Then you went about your business, afterall we have to live and for that, we must work.

But what if there’s more to our days than what we have to do based on what is expected from us?

What if we can turn things around, decide for a change of action, begin doing those things that really inspire us? Things that leave us with a strong sense of fulfillment.

Perhaps some of us have been doing that already. Some few have reached that level but by experience, observation or even by just reading the news and stats, I’ve learned that most of us haven’t. Most still feel trapped.

The good news is, we all can!

This morning when I got up I was faced with three scenarios and I believe we all face them everyday. Which scenario we will chose is up to each one of us:

I would would have woken up with visions of my past. Somehow I feel locked in my memories, old preconceptions and paradigms. I’m unable to make a clear decision on my life, or to know what to do with it. I’m locked in past fears and traumas, filled with regrets and sorrows, many “if-I-onlys…” or “if-life-onlys”… Thoughts occupying my mind. Basically feeling life has dealt me a bad hand.

Or;

I woke up this morning locked in my present, tons or things to do. I’ve got to get going as I’m super busy! Work commitments dominate every aspect of my daily life. This is just business as usual, life as it is and no time or space for anything else. I’ve got to keep going. No time to waste, and that’s the way it is. No, I don’t feel fulfilled, or happy, it feels I just woke up in this gridlock and there’s no way out, I’ve got bills to pay and so on, I’m playing the catch-up game. Get up, grab a latte on the go and get to work. Isn’t the way things are or should be? Aren’t we all locked up in this present rat race?!

Or;

I could have woken up with the visions of the future I want to create, and the place I want to be. Knowing that each decision I make today will bring me closer or further away from that future. When I look back to my past I seek to understand it and learn from it, not to relive it. I’m grateful that despite the hardships, trials and tribulations, through fires and storms, hurts and disappointments; I have made it to where I’m and I believe that I can learn from the past, change in the present moment and move towards the future I envision.

This morning we have all woken up with this three scenarios and the decision is ours how we live our lives.

Life is indeed fleeting and we will never be able to have back the time we lost. Seneca admonishes us to make the most of it, make this day our own! This is the best day of my life because today I can decide to change, I can take control of my thoughts, attitudes, my life actions and fulfill my destiny.

Today we can leave aside all the other distractions and set our minds, energy and focus to embrace the future we dream of. So, what is going to be? What is in the menu today for you?

The Road to Success…

Someone once said: ‘the way you do anything it is the way you do everything’. So, how we will achieve anything in life is directly linked to way we face and takle our daily menial tasks. Even the most simple ones or the ones we feel we should not be doing.

Success does not happen to you by chance, but rather it is born out of a lot of sweat and tears. It is often the result of years of practice and determination, repetition and failures, ultimately of compound actions based on your beliefs and the dreams you might entertain for how you want your future to be.

When you decide to pursue that vision and build your life goals the you set off on that road, your journey to success.

Whatever we want to manifest, it will not happen to us as a matter luck. It is what we do repeatedly until it becomes a habit, then those habits will take us to our destiny.

It might start with something as simple as an idea, as Tony Robbins likes to put it our ‘sweet obsession’. Something that will compel us to keep going, pushing forward.

The road to success is a rocky crooked one, never a straight line and always under construction.

But what is success? How do we know we got there?

We all have our ideas of what success is. For some, it could be financial freedom, for others the limelight, stardom; or both. Some may define success by the recognition they receive based on the intellectual contribution to science and human development. They seek their place in history.

True success is manifested in how deeply our lives are touching others and how much we have become an agent for transformation, peace and love, for equanimity. Success is about building and raising up futures generations and the legacy that survives us after we departure from this life.

What is success for you? Are you pursuing it with all your strength? Are you devoting time and energy to make it happen? What do you want to leave after you? Or what do you want to be remembered for?

“There’s no faith and no courage and no sacrifice in doing what is expedient” prof. Jordan Peterson

Finding one’s true self might start by refusing what one is….

To know oneself should be the main thrust in life and to refuse to be what others impose on us, a self-conforming attitude we accept because of fear of not fitting in, or perhaps we are afraid we will not be loved but ostracised. We fear being somehow outcast, we miss being part or something bigger that can furnish us with meaning.

But perhaps we should stop and question!

That is also true to technology today, not being part in a social network, or not making use of a particular device or platform, being seen or heard online, etc…

To refuse is to question, unfortunately most of us have been told right from our early beginning to shut up and conform. We are given an identity to dress that are not of our own design but rather it has been imprinted on us by our family, friends, by society, by our traditions, beliefs and cultural values etc. Not that we have to reject all that outright but we must find a way to discover our true self inspite of all that.

The proposition of refusing what we are is not a nihilistic one, it is an invitation to courageously journey through our very own self and be brave enough to desconstruct and rebuild in a continual cycle of self discovery.

Refusing what we are may also mean to be opened for what we are to become. It is surely harder to let go of something we have than to embrace something new and unfamiliar as most of us live in prisons of our own making, that familiar dark place becomes soothing and comfortable because it is the only state we know.

Hence, refusing becomes a vital exercise for life embetterment and true transformation, it is a invitation to embrace our very own individual chrysalis that will eventually liberate us to fly away to freedom.

Men who reject the responsibility of thought and reason can only exist as parasites on the thinking of others.

Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism

Wisdom comes with the knowledge of time and thought-evolving values and beliefs

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 ever more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of cause and effect, he ceases to fuss, fume, worry, and grieve. He remains poised, steadfast, serene.”

James AllenAs a Man Thinketh

Something machines will never be able to experience… That’s innate to us humans and we must cherish in the fact that what makes us many times weak also elevate us and makes us beautifully distinct.

It doesn’t really matter… go and do something!

I’ve listened and watched Seth Godin uttering this sentence time after time after time… Well, perhaps it is about time to let his words sink in and take some action. So, I guess, nothing better than to start this blog journey with his words hammering in my head propelling me to write, to take a dive…

I’ve recently listened to him yet again in a couple of Tim Ferris’ Podcast – Seth Godin on How to Think Small to Go Big! – the same hypnotic shaman words whispering in my ears  – do your thing, go small but let the genius out – Seth possesses this amazing simplistic philosophy to life and work – Just do it!

It doesn’t really matter, it will only matter to those who will miss you when you do not show up, when the blog post is not written that morning, or if you suddenly stop touching the lives of those who love and appreciate your art. If they don’t exitst, nothing really matters, it doesn’t matter if you fail, if your writing is aweful, what matter is keep doing. You haven’t put the 10,000 hours yet. Go and do something.

Let the Genius out, shut the lizard brain, take a risk and step outside, CONNECT!