As a Man Thinketh: Book Summary by Indu Balakrishnan

As a Man Thinketh Summary: 5 Best Lessons from James Allen

  • Our thoughts are seeds that create our world.
  • Our circumstances are shaped by our character.
  • Our desires direct the world we create around us.
  • We must earn things, not just wish for them.
  • Our thoughts even affect our physical health.

Do you remember what Dumbledore said? ‘Just because it isn’t happening here doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.’ James Allen takes this saying to a whole new level by stating that the key to mastering your life is harnessing the power of your thoughts. It helps you cultivate the philosophy and attitude of a positive, successful person. 

The Garden of Thoughts 

In simple words, A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. And it’s a brilliant thought at that. We have come to believe that we are a victim of circumstances. In reality, our thoughts and actions tend to create the circumstances that we dislike. The ideal way would be to cultivate better thoughts like a garden. 

To quote the author, As the plant springs from, and could not be without the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them.” 

Thoughts Build Character 

This is because thinking becomes the soul of the person. Being a total of all thoughts, Allen states that man has the power to make his own way and create his fate by changing his very thought process. 

Thoughts Impact Circumstances

By changing your thoughts, you could change your circumstances. The mind is like a garden that can be either intelligently cultivated or overrun by weeds. The logic cannot be ignored. You plant valuable thoughts, the results will be fruitful. If you don’t, the useless weeds take over and spoil the garden. 

Thoughts affect the Garden 

Don’t miss the analogy that the garden here also refers to the body and health. The body is the servant of the mind. The art of positive thinking is an age-old and time-tested saying. Allen vehemently believes in it. For instance, if you are craving sugar and would like to stop, just tell your mind to. And voila. It almost sounds too simple, doesn’t it? 

Thoughts Create Purposes 

It is easy to fall prey to worries and fears. There is no simpler way of saying it. Until thoughts are linked with purpose, there is no intelligent accomplishment. This purpose gives you the ability to focus and bring self-control. And the power is in your thought. 

Thoughts bring Achievements

A man’s weakness and strength, purity, and impurity, are his own, and not another man’s; 

they are brought about by himself, and not by another; 

they can only be altered by himself, never by another. 

Thoughts visualize Ideals

The dreamers are the saviors of the world. Ask Martin Luther King. What we wish to be our future, we dream of it, and we work towards it. As we dream, so shall we become. A twist to the previous saying. But it does apply, doesn’t it? 

Thoughts bring peace of mind

“Self-control is strength; 

Right Thought is mastery; 

Calmness is power. 

Say unto your heart, “Peace, be still!”

The Dalai Lama said, “To find inner peace, be still the mind and let go.” So did Master Oogway in Kung Fu Panda. And James Allen. 

This is a self-help book, an essay, and a classic. It shows that each man holds the key to every condition, good or bad, that enters into his life in these thoughts. Rethink your thoughts and you could transform your circumstances, and thus your life. 

Thank you for the book, Vivek Venugopalan.


  1. Great way of concluding, this book stays relevant as always.
    As we move on in life, one could also realize that ‘self control’ gets replaced by ‘flow like water with ease’, and time will help us reach there and more.

    Liked by 1 person

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