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As a Man Thinketh by James Allen (Book Summary)

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen is a timeless piece, that is still just applicable now as it was in 1903 when it was first published. This very short and easy read will help you to understand one of the most basic and important principles that any person can learn:

You are in complete control of your thoughts.

The book is broken down in to just Seven chapters:

1. Thought and Character

2.Effect of Thought on Circumstance

3.Effect of thought on health and the body

4.Thought and purpose

5.The thought-factor in achievement

6.Vision and Ideas


The problem with trying to summarize this book is that it has so many great little sentences in it that each person will take something completely different from it. I compared my highlights in this book to my wife’s and while many over lapped there were lots of differences and we learned different lessons from the book.

That’s why I’m not even going to attempt a chapter by chapter summary for this book. What I will do is to give you some of the most insightful James Allen Quotes from the book so you can think about them for yourself and draw you own conclusions:

As a Man Thinketh Quotes:

“A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.”

“Man is made or unmade by himself; in the armory of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.”

“Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so many a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts. By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul, the director of his life. He also reveals, within himself, the laws of thought, and understanding, with ever-increasing accuracy, how the thought forces and elements operate in the shaping of his character, circumstance and destiny.”

“Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit.”

“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore fore remain bound.”

“A particular train of thought persisted in, be it good or bad, cannot fail to produce its results on the character and circumstances. A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.”


“Until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment.”

He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure.

ALL that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.

“He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.”


“You can not travel within and stand still without.”

Self control is strength; Right Thoughts is mastery; Calmness is power. Say unto your heart, “Peace, be still!”