"As A Man Thinketh: A Classic Essay on the Power of Positive Thinking" Book Summary

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"As A Man Thinketh: A Classic Essay on the Power of Positive Thinking" Book Summary

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Today, we will be discussing James Allen's book, "As a Man Thinketh." Allen was a renowned British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry. "As a Man Thinketh" was first published in 1903 and remains a popular self-help book to this day.

The book centers around the concept of the power of thought and how it can be used to overcome both positive and negative situations in life. Allen stresses the idea that a person can rebuild their life and change their circumstances by harnessing the power of their thoughts. In essence, the book serves as a guide to help readers help themselves and utilize the true potential of their thoughts.

"As a Man Thinketh" is divided into seven distinct chapters, each exploring a different aspect of the power of thought. Throughout the book, readers will learn how to properly use and harness their thoughts to bring about positive change in their lives.

Here are the chapters of the book "As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen:

  1. Thought and Character
  2. Effect of Thought on Circumstances
  3. Effect of Thought on Health and Body
  4. Thought and Purpose
  5. The Thought-Factor in Achievement
  6. Visions and Ideals
  7. Serenity

Each chapter delves into a different aspect of how our thoughts shape our lives, and offers practical advice on how to cultivate positive thinking habits and improve one's circumstances.

Chapter 1: Thought and character

Chapter 1 of "As a Man Thinketh" is titled "Thought and Character." In this chapter, James Allen explores the connection between our thoughts and our character, arguing that our thoughts shape who we are as individuals. He emphasizes the importance of cultivating positive thoughts and avoiding negative ones, as our thoughts ultimately determine our actions and behaviors.

Allen writes that "man is made or unmade by himself," and that our thoughts have the power to shape our destiny. He explains that negative thoughts lead to negative actions and outcomes, while positive thoughts lead to positive actions and outcomes. Therefore, it is crucial to be mindful of our thoughts and ensure that they align with the type of person we want to be.

The chapter concludes with Allen's assertion that we have the power to choose our thoughts, and therefore the power to shape our character and our destiny. He encourages readers to take control of their thoughts and use them to build the life they desire.

Chapter 2: Effect of thought on circumstances

Chapter 2 of "As a Man Thinketh" is titled "Effect of Thought on Circumstances." In this chapter, James Allen continues his exploration of the power of thought, focusing on how our thoughts influence the circumstances of our lives.

Allen argues that our external circumstances are a reflection of our internal thoughts. He asserts that our thoughts and beliefs determine our actions, which in turn create our circumstances. Therefore, if we want to change our circumstances, we must first change our thoughts and beliefs.

He explains that negative thoughts such as fear, doubt, and worry can create a negative cycle that perpetuates itself, leading to unfavorable circumstances. On the other hand, positive thoughts such as love, gratitude, and confidence can create a positive cycle that leads to favorable circumstances.

The chapter concludes with Allen's call to take responsibility for our thoughts and their effects on our circumstances. He encourages readers to cultivate positive thoughts and beliefs, and to trust in the power of their thoughts to create the life they desire.

Chapter 3: Effect of thought on health and the body

Chapter 3 of "As a Man Thinketh" is titled "Effect of Thought on Health and the Body." In this chapter, James Allen delves into the connection between our thoughts and our physical well-being.

Allen argues that our thoughts have a direct impact on our health and the condition of our bodies. He explains that negative thoughts and emotions such as anger, fear, and anxiety can manifest as physical ailments and weaken our immune system. On the other hand, positive thoughts and emotions such as joy, love, and peace can promote health and well-being.

He emphasizes the importance of cultivating a positive mental attitude and avoiding negative thoughts and emotions, as they can have a detrimental effect on our health. Allen also stresses the importance of proper nutrition and exercise, which can support a healthy mind and body.

The chapter concludes with Allen's reminder that our thoughts are within our control, and that we have the power to choose thoughts that promote health and well-being. He encourages readers to take responsibility for their thoughts and make choices that support their physical and mental health.

Chapter 4: Thought and purpose

Chapter 4 of "As a Man Thinketh" is titled "Thought and Purpose." In this chapter, James Allen discusses the importance of having a clear purpose in life and aligning our thoughts with that purpose.

Allen argues that having a strong purpose in life gives us direction and focus, and that our thoughts should be in alignment with that purpose. He explains that our thoughts can either support or hinder our progress towards our goals, and that it is important to cultivate positive thoughts and beliefs that support our purpose.

He emphasizes the need to avoid negative thoughts and emotions such as doubt, fear, and indecision, as they can undermine our purpose and prevent us from achieving our goals. Instead, he encourages readers to cultivate a positive mental attitude and to focus their thoughts on their purpose, which will help them overcome obstacles and achieve success.

The chapter concludes with Allen's reminder that our thoughts are the building blocks of our lives, and that by aligning them with our purpose, we can create the life we desire. He encourages readers to take responsibility for their thoughts and to use them to achieve their goals and fulfill their purpose in life.

Chapter 5: The thought factor in achievement

The thoughts of a person are the key determinant of their success or failure. An individual's qualities, whether good or bad, are their own and not influenced by external factors. It is only through self-reflection and effort that one can improve their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. Happiness and suffering are internal and depend on an individual's thoughts and beliefs.

A strong person cannot assist a weaker person in their growth unless the weaker individual is willing to change and put in the necessary effort to become stronger. To succeed, one must let go of selfish and animalistic tendencies and embrace self-control and serious responsibility. The ideas that one adopts have a significant impact on their potential for success.

The universe does not favour those who are greedy, dishonest, or vicious, despite appearances. In reality, honesty, generosity, and virtue are rewarded. To maintain success achieved through proper thought, an individual must remain vigilant and avoid complacency. Many people slip back into failure when they believe success is assured. Those who aspire to achieve great things must be willing to make significant sacrifices.

In summary, the power of thought is crucial in determining an individual's success or failure. One must be self-aware, embrace self-control, and adopt positive ideas to achieve greatness. Sacrifices are necessary to attain high levels of success, but it is a journey worth taking.

Chapter 6: Visions and ideals

Dreamers have a significant impact on the world by creating intangible ideas that lead humanity toward progress. Their inspiring visions provide nourishment for people, even in the face of hardships. It is crucial to remember and appreciate the dreamers of the past, as their ideals continue to shape our world today.

The after-world, or heaven, is made possible by the contributions of composers, sculptors, painters, poets, prophets, and sages. Their work has made the world a more beautiful place, and without them, humanity would be lost. We must value and honour the creators who shape our society.

Individuals who hold lofty ideals and beautiful visions within their hearts can bring them to life if they remain committed to them. Examples include Columbus’s discovery of a new world and Buddha’s attainment of a spiritual world. We must cherish our visions and ideals to make them a reality.

Those who lack understanding and insight only see the surface-level effects of events and circumstances. They attribute success to luck and fortune without acknowledging the hard work and sacrifices made by individuals to achieve their goals. The trials, failures, and struggles individuals overcome to gain experience are often overlooked.

These individuals are unaware of the dark times and complex journeys that successful people have faced. Instead, they focus only on the outcome, calling it “good fortune.” The visions and ideals we hold in our minds and hearts shape our lives, and we must hold onto them to become the best versions of ourselves.

Chapter 7: Serenity

Maintaining a calm mind is a valuable skill acquired through patient and persistent efforts in self-control. It is a mark of maturity developed through experience. Inner calmness allows one to interact with others harmoniously and adjust to situations with ease. This quality increases one's chances of success in life. Even in business, a composed and serene demeanor can improve one's trading prospects, as people prefer to do business with those who exhibit such qualities. Serenity and stability are highly respected, like a tree that provides shade in a parched land or a rock that offers shelter during a storm.

No matter the circumstances of life, moments of joy can be found, just like a sunny shore in the ocean of life. Self-control is the foundation of inner strength, proper thinking is the key to mastery, and calmness is the source of power. Therefore, one should speak to their heart and say, "Peace, be still!"


In conclusion, it is vital to recognize the value of a calm mind that is developed through patience and self-control. Calmness enables better interactions with others and brings success in life. Despite challenges, maintaining a positive outlook and composure is crucial. The ability to remain composed in challenging situations demonstrates strength, mastery, and power.

Hemant Singh

Hello friends, my name is Hemant Singh. I am the writer and founder of this blog, talking about education, I am a student of BBA. I love learning information related to technology and teaching it to others. Through this website, I share information about News, Educational Post.

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