Thursday, May 31st: “As a man thinketh” … Today celebrates WHAT YOU THINK UPON GROWS DAY. Originally sponsored by Stephanie West Allen, 2002, this is “A day to remind people of the power of positive thinking.”

While certainly not a new concept, the power of positive thinking is a popular mantra for many.  Allen uses the acronym WYTUG for ‘What You Think Upon Grows’.

Allen states, “Our thoughts are very powerful; they are our mental magic wands. What we dwell upon becomes our reality. This simple fact is what makes our thoughts so powerful. If you cast your attention upon poverty, you will attract poverty into your life. If you think about illness, you will get sick. No matter what the situation — health, wealth, peace, happiness — thinking about the negative side will get you more of the negative; concentrating on the positive will get you more of the positive.”

Many writers over the years have written on this principle, including Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Louise Hays, and probably the most well known, Norman Vincent Peale. Peale’s popular book, The Power of Positive Thinking, was first published in 1952 and stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for 186 consecutive weeks. It has since been translated into 15 languages and sold millions of copies.

For several good books about positive thinking, check out this list: http://affirmations.gems4friends.com/articles/7-positive-thinking-books.html

Prior to Peale’s bestseller, James Allen published a literary essay As a Man Thinketh in 1902. His title was influenced by a Bible verse, Proverbs 23:7. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

The full passage, taken from the King James Version, is as follows: “Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.”

As a Man Thinketh opens with the statement:

Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: —
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.

Some quotes from As a Man Thinketh follow. Profound thoughts from 110 years ago, and they still ring true today.

  • Men do not attract what they want, but what they are.
  • A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.
  • 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 conditions, all heavenly environment, of these, if you but remain true to them your world will at last be built.
  • The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors, that which it loves, and also that which it fears. It reaches the height of its cherished aspirations. It falls to the level of its unchastened desires – and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.
  • Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves, they therefore remain bound.
  • Every action and feeling is preceded by a thought.
  • Right thinking begins with the words we say to ourselves.
  • Circumstance does not make the man, it reveals him to himself.
  • You cannot travel within and stand still without.
  • As the physically weak man can make himself strong by careful and patient training, so the man of weak thoughts, can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking.
  • Every man is where he is by the law of his being; the thoughts which he has built into his character have brought him there, and in the arrangement of his life there is no element of chance, but all is the result of a law which cannot err

Allen writes, “Too simple, you say? It may be simple but it is not easy. Watch your thoughts for a half day. How often do you think of the good and the positive, and how often of that which you fear or do not want? Many of us think much more about the bad things in life and imagine these fears coming to pass. Not a good move! Fearing a thing invites it to become manifest in your life. Think miracles instead. Wonderful, enchanting, golden miracles.”

Here’s to miracles in your life!


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