What’s it about?

Like a Man, Thinketh (1903) apprehends the philosophy of James Allen. This summary reveals the power that thoughts have over our personalities, our circumstances, and our well-being. We recognize the benefits of learning to master our minds and direct our thoughts toward the goals we want to achieve.

About the author

James Allen (1864–1912) was a British author best known for his theories about the power of thought. His most famous work, As a Man Thinketh, has inspired generations of self-help writers.


We can control our life by mastering our thoughts:

Have you ever sat and contemplated what defines us as human beings? Because it’s a perplexing question, here’s a hint: man is the sum of his thoughts. Each action we take is an offshoot of our thoughts, just as a plant emerges from a bit of seed. Patterns develop from these acts. As a result, our character is formed by these patterns. Our thoughts are the foundation of our character or identity. But why is this so significant?

yellow haired woman in red and white shirt

Have you ever encountered someone who seems to permanently give up on endeavors or relationships while maintaining a negative attitude? You guessed it: the two – attitude and action – are intricately bound. Underachievers tend to disappoint themselves since they have low self-esteem to begin with. Attitude issues frequently shoot down, resulting in severe effects. There is, however, a straightforward answer.

It’s only reasonable that changing our thoughts will also change our character if our thoughts shape our character. Pessimistic individuals may discover that there is more to rejoice about if they change the nature of their ideas.

Anyone who tries to control his ideas can do far more than just getting rid of bad character traits. According to the author, an individual can achieve Divine Perfection by adequately focusing on his thoughts. In other words, a person can bring joy, strength, calm, and enlightenment into his life by eliminating negative or worthless thoughts.

Those are some tempting advantages! So why don’t you try mastering your ideas right now? After all, the alternative isn’t appealing. Hostile attitudes have the potential to damage the things you appreciate and love, and unmanaged thoughts can turn you into your biggest challenge.


Not only does this world shape us, but we shape it as well!

Have you ever failed terribly at something and blamed it on the weather, a particularly unpleasant phone call with your mother, or a highly traumatic childhood experience? We’re all guilty of blaming failure on circumstances outside our control. It may make us feel better, but it actually sets us back.

Our circumstances — that is, all the external pressures on our lives – are firmly bound to our character. However, they aren’t connected in the way you may think. It’s all too tempting to believe that our upbringing and living circumstances shape who we are. However, the truth is that we define our world as much as it defines us!

sephia photography of person

Rather than being a victim of circumstance, our character significantly impacts the types of situations we find ourselves in. So, if you wind up in prison, it’s not due to the outside world or fate, but your attitude and views about the outside world contributed to the events that got you into trouble.

Of course, it’s not always evident whether character or circumstance has the more significant impact on a scenario. We’ve all met people with golden hearts who are still dealing with hardships. We also know that many greedy and dishonest people live happy lives surrounded by money and admiration.

This means it’s impossible to determine someone’s character from their circumstances. Similarly, evaluating someone’s character does not necessarily allow us to forecast the circumstances in which they will find themselves. Many convicts have unfavorable characteristics. However, some of them have wonderful qualities as well.


By fostering positive thoughts, you can improve your health and achieve other goals:

Plenty of us ages gracefully, while others just don’t.  Bad habits, insufficient healthcare access, and unfortunate genes all play a part. But there’s one aspect we frequently overlook: our mindset. We’ve previously seen how strongly our thoughts affect both our character and the circumstances we experience. It’s no wonder, then, that our thoughts have an impact on our bodies as well. Negative thoughts come with a plethora of negative consequences, including a faster heart rate, poorer sleep, migraines, and, yep, wrinkles!

smiley paint on gray ground in front of people

Thinking ideas of joy, lightness, and vitality, on the other hand, is powerful enough to make us feel happy — and younger! So, if you want to feel better about your body in general, consider directing your thoughts in that direction.

If you want to attain any form of goal, you must be able to direct your thoughts. Whether you want to achieve new heights in your career, relationships, or spiritual practice, you won’t be able to do it until you concentrate your mind on that goal. This entails letting go of all thoughts that are diverting your attention away from your objectives. If you discover that a certain thought is getting in the way of your goal – for example, by making you fearful, cynical, or unsure – it needs to go. At first, this is difficult. But, like a muscle, your mind can be trained to think more effectively, constructively, and meaningfully with practice.


We are completely accountable for our own success, hence go crazy!

We’ve already learned that external causes aren’t to blame for who we are or what we do. However, this may appear to be a significant burden. Are we the only ones to blame for our misfortunes? This attitude does not appear to be particularly helpful, so let us shift our perspective. We are obliged to feel and act like victims if we believe we are being victimized, and we will continue to be oppressed. However, if we don’t allow ourselves to feel like victims, others will have a tougher time making us their victims. As a result, it’s critical that we recognize that we have the power to set ourselves free.

boy on ladder under blue sky

We must be faithful to our ideas and aspirations regardless of the circumstances. Our biggest ambitions — our dreams – provide us with the motivation to achieve our aims. That is why it is critical to maintaining dreamers in your life, as well as to keep your own dreams alive.

Our world would be a much less intriguing place without poets, painters, and composers. We can even discover new worlds by dreaming. After all, Columbus envisioned a new world. He would never have discovered it on his journey if it hadn’t been his dream.

If you control your thoughts, guide them to everything that you want to achieve, and open your mind to the dreams that inspire you, you will notice that life takes on a new quality: peace.

Those who have learned how to deal (and live with) their ideas achieved serenity.  It takes time to get there, but it is undeniably worthwhile.