Shaping Your World by Thought
There’s no end to the number of motivational speakers and self-help “gurus” who make a name for themselves by re-hashing old ideas. But there is truth to these ideas, and I especially wanted to share one of the ideas from the great-grandfather of self-help, James Allen.
Allen’s treatise, As A Man Thinketh, was first published at the turn of the twentieth century. His central notion is that our thoughts are under our control, and that they in turn determine our emotions, our health, and even our circumstances.
“Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself. No such conditions can exist as descending into vice and its attendant sufferings apart from vicious inclinations, or ascending into virtue and its pure happiness without the continued cultivation of virtuous aspirations…
“And you, too, youthful reader, will realize the Vision (not the idle wish) of your heart, be it base or beautiful, or a mixture of both, for you will always gravitate toward that which you secretly most love. Into your hands will be placed the exact results of your own thoughts; you will receive that which you earn, no more, no less. Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal. You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.”
This goes hand-in-hand with Henry Ford’s wise saying, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t – you are right.” And there is no end to the number of sources that make the same claim – that by dedicated thought and action, you can achieve anything.
Movies like “Rudy” and “Miracle” show us the true stories of sports legends who made their dreams come true. “Homeless to Harvard” details the true story of Liz Murray, who went from living on the streets to getting a scholarship to Harvard. “October Sky” follows Homer Hickam’s ascent from poor boy in a West Virginia mining town to NASA engineer.
I’m grateful for inspirational films and books that remind me of the unlimited potential each of us shares. I hope you’ll continue to mentally construct the world you want to live in, and the successes you want to see.