Articles with in-text jump links:
- 9 Core Behaviors of People Who Positively Impact the World – Kathy Caprino at Forbes
- Killing The Negativity In Your Life And Proven Ways To Be Happy – Noam Lightstone at Light Way of Thinking
Blog Note: I just recently finished As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. As part of my program to use what I learn, I decided to write down some of my strongest reflections on this work, some of what I have been doing or getting out of it. I share that content as a blog post below, but I also have created a “prettified version,” a PDF, as well. If you prefer the PDF, you can find it here or on my Books Page on this Scholar for Life blog. I welcome any thoughts you have on Thinketh or my booklet.
J. Lynn Ralston
This is not the first time I read As a Man Thinketh, nor will it be the last. The first time I read it, years ago, I wasn’t ready for it. The second time I was laying the ground work without realizing it: I had already been changing myself and seeing and feeling the differences. This book helped me understand why my efforts were working and encouraged me to stay on the right track.
That is why I want to share with you what I learned. I hope this blog post (or booklet) will inspire you to read the original work (which can be found here on Project Gutenberg), and hearten you if you do not see immediate impact. Instead, keep working on yourself and return to Thinketh again, and like me, you may be surprised to see what wakes up inside you.
Let me know how it, and this booklet, works for you by commenting on this blog post!
Central Idea of Thinketh
So here is the main point of the book: Your conscious and unconscious thoughts shape your character, circumstances, and even physical health. By working on your thoughts, you can change yourself; you can become what you want to be and have what you want to have.
This is not an easy process. It involves controlling your thoughts and paying attention to their impact on your life and on the lives of others. After all, as the book points out, you get out of life what your efforts earn.
Here are few efforts, pulled from the book and reflected upon, to reap positive results from your life:
- Input positive things into your life.
- Think good, positive things, and your life will change because of them, for they influence your actions and your circumstances.
- Have visions for different areas of your life, and focus on them so they guide your life.
These three points will be explored in separate sections below.
Quote: “To take action, you have to begin somewhere, and setting goals is the best place to start.” (Julio Melara, It Only Takes Everything You’ve Got!)
Thought: Action begins with a goal. Set one and see where it takes you.
Quote: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” (Theodore Roosevelt)
Thought: Belief is the first step that makes the rest easier. Take it.
A few days ago, I finished a great book, one that focuses on hard work to create success and motivates you to do just that. It Only Takes Everything You’ve Got!: Lessons for a Life of Success by Julio Melara.
Yes, there is a nice sense of completion from finishing a good book and learning from it.
But part of learning is doing, especially for me, as an ADD/ADHD person. Some things stick through reading–
More through taking notes, especially by hand–
Even more by sharing the information–
But most comes from using the knowledge gained.
This weekend, it’s time to review my notes and start making an action plan. After all, you can have a million ideas (my favorite part), but you need a few “dos” or your ideas won’t take you far.
Quote: “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” (Norman Vincent Peale)
Thought: What you see is what you get. Face the world with a positive attitude, and you will find positive things in life, even in problems. Face it with a negative attitude, and the world will confirm your perspective.
Quote: “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” (George S. Patton)
Thought: You can never achieve success if you don’t get back up from a fall. So, bounce back from mistakes; don’t stay down.
Quote: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” (C. S. Lewis)
Thought: It’s never too late! Just start today.
In wake of my decision to make November my Motivational Month, not a Novel Writing Month, I’ve decided to try to reduce the pressure I put on myself.
Some lessons learned from around the web about this topic.
“8 Powerful Ways to Release Pressure from Your Life” suggests you “focus on the process, not the outcome.” Being ADD, this appeals to me. Long-term goals are incredibly hard for me to follow through. I need results fast. But then again, I dislike “no gains”; I like closure. I think the trick will be two-fold: first, finding out where my interest flags even for projects I’m passionate about, and second, making sure some kind of important closure (and reward) occurs at that point in time.
“14 Things That Happen When You Put Way Too Much Pressure on Yourself” (warning: language) – This one shows me I’m not alone. I don’t resonate with every reason on this list, but I resonate with the emotion beneath them. Pressure on yourself has to be reasonable. But what is reasonable? Probably I should keep exercise in mind. Instead of trying to be an American Ninja Warrior, I need to be able to commit to walking a mile a day first.
“How to Relinquish Unrealistic Expectations” talks about unrealistic expectations. Better than that, it gives tips on how to let go of them. I’m not so good at asking myself if I would hold others to the same standards. I usually try to find excuses for others, and that’s a bad habit to fall into: being excuse-centric. But I do like the idea of considering whether or not you have control over the situation. Once you take on a more realistic view of that, I think it’s easier to regain your footing when you see too-much-to-do or failure dead-ahead; stopping to consider what is under your control let’s you see what you can do.
So what did I learn from these three articles?
One, consider what you have control over and what is outside your control. Then figure out what you can do to change where you are.
Two, goals are like physical fitness: they are built on a lot of steps and reps.
Three, reward the steps and reps to keep motivation going. You have to have the long-term goal in mind, but it can also be discouraging. To fend off impatience, you have to have short-term goals, real ones that are entire within themselves, complete with closure and rewards.
In a blog post on the 48days.net community, I shared my feelings about NaNoWriMo this year. My confidence and motivation to write fiction this month are in the negatives, in other words. But my desire to be confident and the ability to write fiction (amongst other things, like motivational writings) are definitely not. That’s my finish line for the month, not 50,000 words of fiction, but a new, positive outlook with a burning desire to get things done. I’m going to post about what I learn and do during this month long journey. So stay tuned to this blog and my 48days one.