As A Man Thinketh

As A Man Thinketh

About the Author

James Allen (1864-1912), was born in Leicester, England into a poor working class family.Orphaned as a young child, he had to work and educate himself. As an adult he earned his living in clerical and administrative work. Allen was an avid reader and studied the works of the great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, as well as the new studies in science by Charles Darwin, and others of his generation. He immersed himself in reading about religions – not only his own Christian faith but also the Eastern religions Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism.

Allen completed nineteen inspirational works before his unfortunately early death at age forty eight. He published his famous work From Poverty to Power, a deeper reflection on the theme of self-development in 1901, and his most famous writing As a Man Thinketh in 1902, a source of inspiration to who’s-who self-help authors. Allen opened the door to what is now called the human potential movement, and although he never achieved great fame or wealth, his works continue to influence people around the world, including the New Thought movement.


Each one of us has the power to form our own character, and to create and achieve the experiences we desire to have in our lives. In this classic book on thinking and the creative potential of the human mind, Allen illustrates the use of the power of thought to increase personal capabilities, which he proved through personal experiences. Allen’s writing is motivated by the Book of Proverbs (23:7), which states that “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” In essence, our thoughts create our reality as we become what we think about. The choice is ours. We can either master our thoughts to create the life we want or remain in frustration and failure.

In this early writing on the power of thoughts, As A Man Thinketh reveals how our thoughts determine our character, life’s purpose, circumstances, health, and achievements. We have the power to use our imagination to create what we want in our lives. We always attract into our lives whatever we think about and focus on, strongly believe in, expect to have at the deepest levels of our being, imagine most vividly, and feel most passionately about. Allen shows how our dreams, ideals, and thoughts, represent circumstances, events and conditions that we will one day experience in our objective reality. Calmness of mind is advanced as one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom, the result of long patient effort in self-control, and a valuable resource in creating and achieving our desired results.

One of the most beautiful truths pertaining to the soul and the power of thoughts, which Allen highlighted, is that each of us is the master of our thoughts, the molder of our character, the maker and shaper of our condition, environment, and destiny. Many of the concepts in this book are as meaningful today as they were when he wrote them over one hundred years ago. In all human affairs there are efforts and there are results, and the strength of effort is the measure of the result. This is not mere chance. “Gifts,” powers, material, intellectual, and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort. They are thoughts completed, objects accomplished, visions realized. Allen provides a practical formula for gaining mastery of our thoughts and achieving a better life as well as practical steps from which to begin.