Sunday, April 11, 2010

As a Man Thinketh...

A forwarded email from a friend this week discussed and reminded me of one of the most powerful books I read as a young man, James Allens "As a Man Thinkieth". The premise of the book was based on one of the most powerful Biblical passages from my upbringing..."As a man thinks in his heart, so is he"...and also one of my top three lifetime quotes from James Allen's book, "All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts." I have found a free digital download of this book online at THIS LINK, and have also reordered the book in print from the same source for only the $3.99 shipping charge. I recommend anyone who can use a little inspiration and additional motivation in life to read this book...even if you have read it before.

I probably don't need to expound much on the meaning of these sayings or quotes, but I can comment on some contemporary applications that I find meaningful. I strongly believe we are living in crucial times of challenge and change within the human race. For all our modernization, industrialization, education and technological advancements...our existence is in many ways threatened by conflicts among ourselves, our continued decimation of the environment we live in and our blind trust in institutions and leaders who continue to lie and cover-up the realities of our conditions. There are fewer absolutes outside of ourselves to help us determine our way and most people consider themselves helpless to turn the tide in their favor. This is not an era advantageous to blind followers.

Not too many generations ago, life was a lot simpler when it came to ideals. Sure, life was tougher in many ways without the technologies and modern conveniences that offer those who can afford them an easier, softer lifestyle. Long hours of heavy labor are not the reality for the "haves" in this day and age. The haves have a lot more leisure time than previous generations. The internet brings instant gratification in gaining information or insight on most any subject in the world. Those who "have" should have no excuse for NOT thinking through issues and being self determined...or "self actualized"... the scientific term I learned at University. :) Yet, somehow with all these benefits of modern conveniences, most of us humans have lost our direction, our confidence, yes, even our souls. The masses are easy adopters of the latest "pop" movement of thought or attitude. They read or listen to the media with mindless acceptance of what they hear or see. While some may question something that is being shoved down our throats by the proverbial media and powers behind them...very little action is taken to enter into the fray and try to reveal the wizards of spin or their ultimate ulterior motives. Most people now live in fear: fear of others (races, religions and creeds), fear of rejection (for speaking up and being heard) and ultimately the fear of being truly free and the cost associated as discussed previously in THIS BLOG.

At the root of all this disconnection is our loss of solid reasoning...thinking. Most of our world problems simply extend from wrong thinking. We THINK we have a corner on the pursuit of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". We THINK that guns are more secure than dialogue. We THINK in unreasonable deadlines and only about ourselves with little concern about future generations. We THINK negatively and fatalistically. We THINK small instead of big. We THINK only within or about ourselves...with little consideration of objectivity. At the end of the day, most of us use less than 25% of our mental or physical capacities...and we don't THINK much about expanding them.

The power of this subject is that the secret to our survival and success relies primarily within our own minds. Our thoughts determine our actions...and our actions determine whether we have a chance at our goals or not. While we continue to blame everyone else for our failures or lack of success, however we define that, we truly only have ourselves to blame for our circumstances. While "luck" can be a factor, such as being born with good looks or lots of money, many people born with luck lose their way and lose everything. On the other side of that, life is full of great examples of people who overcame poverty, handicaps both physical and mental, and created from nothing a life full of meaning and success. This is the thinking we all must emulate if we are to see change and improvement in our lives. Those who are born with advantage have no excuse at all.

Here are the top 10 excuses people THINK that keeps them from their potential:

I am too old
I am too young
I am too tired
I don't have the time
I'm not qualified
I don't have the money
I don't have the connections
I don't know how
I'm not lovable
I don't CARE

My responses to the above are:

Many of the world's most famous success stories were failures or mediocre until in their 50s or 60s.

You are never too young (or old) to dream and start PURSUING your dreams. Everyone sets their own timetables in their heads. The younger you are, the more "time value of money" can play a role in your success.

Tiredness often comes from too much stress or continually doing the same meaningless jobs or actions that make us too tired to spend any energy towards what we really want in life.

The one thing we are all born equally with is having the same amount of time to "spend". YOU determine how you spend your time...unless you are somebody's slave.

Being "qualified" is often an acceptance of false criteria. If the definition of "qualified" is externally driven by false or unreasonable expectations, don't wait for the approval of others. If you don't have enough information or experience, pursue it with focused resolve. Sometime you have to "fake it" until you know it.

There are many ways to make or "find" money. If you need more of it, think within yourself how you can realistically obtain it. One of the keys is usually not SPENDING as much of what you take in. Saving and sacrificing for an objective is a dying art. Most people seem bent on flaunting what they have...while wisdom would suggest HIDING what you have as much as possible.

Connections can be critical in life, but by developing interpersonal skills and being willing to risk rejection...the connections we need can be made.

The HOW of most pursuits are easily discovered by a simple internet search. Research the HOW and execute a plan.

Self esteem and respect is often the biggest hurdle for us. Most of us have been programmed from childhood with negative self thinking with others always setting our boundaries/limitations for us. It is time to throw off those shackles of mind and emotion...and renew our THINKING based on our own ideals and pleasure.

Until we CARE enough, we will not change...ourselves or anyone else.

Sure, I understand that many of these phrases are easier said than done. I know that erasing bad programming and starting new approaches to life can be time consuming and excruciatingly painful. Yet the longer we wait, the longer our list of excuses grows. When our regrets of the past overcome our vision for tomorrow, we are done growing and excelling as a human being.

I hope no one reading this is living that life of regrets...but if you are, no matter how old, ill, hurt or scarred you are...your mind is still more powerful than YOU think. To start making it work better, it will probably require some changes. You might have to consume less alcohol or other substances that slow down or make foggy your cognitive potential. You might have to withdraw from negative friends or even family who are always downing you or telling you what you CAN'T do. You might have to spend less time sitting in front of the TV or other wasteful media, and more specifically pursue reading or listening to sources that will be more productive towards the changes you want to make in your life.

Our success starts within our own reasoning minds. You can have all the money in the world and still be a shriveling failure. It's what we do with what we have at our disposal that makes all the difference in the world. Once we get our own thinking in order, we can then have a chance to change the world by affecting the minds of others through education and sharing what we have learned and accomplished. Its the power of ONE. It starts within us. Lets think about changing the world. It needs some reform.

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