“We do not attract what we want, but what we are.”
James Allen

This quote is taken from Allen’s masterpiece “As A Man Thinketh.” The title was taken from a verse in Proverbs chapter 23 verse 7 “as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is” This book has had a large impact on my life and in how I wish I could approach it. I carry it everywhere with me to read in case I need a pick me up, and I am overcome with negativity. The main point of Allen’s book is a man is literally what he thinks. This concept is right in line with the theory that if you think positive thoughts then positive things will be drawn to you, and if you think negative thoughts negativity will come to you. I am of the group who thinks you should plan for the worst and hope for the best. I am aware this frame of thinking will only attract negativity, but for some reason it is difficult for me to hold onto the positivity.

I want to attract many different virtues to try and become a better person, but in reality I am only attracting what I currently am, and what I currently am is nowhere near what I want to be. Allen says we are anxious to improve our circumstances, but we are unwilling to improve ourselves and because of this we remain bound. This is why I am taking therapy so seriously. I want to improve myself so my life, thoughts, and actions are those of a virtuous man. I have a picture in my head of what I want to become. This is almost the identical image I have had for years, yet I am unable to achieve it. I may have a great week or month, but then I slip into what I am. My issues and my thoughts were not taking care of, and as a result I end up losing the positive me.

I need to fill my mind with positive thoughts. Allen tells us every action and feeling is preceded by a thought. Everything we do is because of a thought. If we are able to fill our thoughts with positive virtues then logically we will make virtues decisions. These thoughts are fueled by positive self talk. If I allow negative self talk such as worry or anxiety to take over then I will be consumed with the negative. If I can fill my days with positive self talk; I in theory will yield positive results. When it comes to an anxiety or panic attack I struggle to find this right thinking. I often times get sucked into the moment and everything seems to spiral out of control.   

This book makes me think about my journey into living a Tao centered life. I want all these great lessons to become a part of my life and ultimately who I want to be. I want this, but it is just not who I am. According to Allen I can change this by thinking positive things at all times, and in the process work towards improving myself. One lesson from the Tao I always carry with me is this; first you need to learn it, think it, and then you live it. I suppose I am in the beginning stages of each step. This book gives me the hope that with enough hard work and enough positive thinking I will one day turn my life around to what I think I am into what I want to become.

James Allen  (November 28, 1864–1912) was a British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry. His best known work, As a Man Thinketh, was mass produced since its publication in 1903 and has provided a key source of ideas to countless bestselling motivational and self-help authors of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. As a result he is considered the pioneer of the self help movement. As with many of Allen’s works, the book’s launch was quiet and its full impact was not felt until after his passing.

  1. Nicole says:

    That is why they call it “FAKE IT TIL YA MAKE IT” positive self talk is something that can be difficult, but the more you force yourself to do it and argue out the negative thoughts, the easier it becomes. It truly amazed me, during a very trying time in my life, how much it works. The positive energy that you will find yourself in when you think positive caring thoughts. You find yourself feeling so much more in control of your life. It was not easy to do at that time as i was filles with such pain and sadness and thought that nothing could hurt worse or be worse than what was going on at that time, but I forced myself to do it and it changed me forever. I try to find the glass half full in any situation everyday, its not alwasy easy but its possible. As I honestly believe life is all about choices, we make positive ones, then positive actions will result, we make negative ones, negative actions will result. Louis C.K. says it best “GRRRR I HATE VERIZON” 😉

  2. DP says:

    Seems like I’m on the same page. I always plan for the worst and expect the worst… I work in finance and it’s difficult to stay positive at times.

    On a side note, I also used to write a ton of poetry back in school (with well over 99+ poems).. Well, I suppose that breed died off in me as well though I often read them and ask myself wtf I was thinking.

    the spaceman

  3. DP says:

    I’ve just subscribed to your blog as well, good to know some people still really express truth.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Welcome to the community.
      It is hard to stay positive in the world we live in today. It is hard when you look at the world to have hope in the human race. I understand about the poetry. I am currently trying to work on a set list for when I start doing readings. I have been forced to go back and read some of my published books and I have read somewhere I honestly can’t believe I published them.

  4. The “think good thoughts and good things will happen to you” mentality can, at times, be good advice, but I think it is overly simplistic. In my mind, there is no question that we shape some of our own karma, but certainly not all of it.

    Proof of this is that incredibly BAD things can happen to good people and fantastically GOOD things can happen to very evil people. So, attitude is but one piece to a very large puzzle.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Very true. I do not believe if you think positive than your life will just be fine. I think the book and the concept is a way for people to stay positive through adversity.

  5. chava8503 says:

    “As A Man Thinketh” is one of my favorite books, along with my number one book-Think and Grow Rich

  6. wanda.hudson@knology.net says:

    I think I see the problem. If you think: “I want to think positive thoughts” what materializes is the wanting. Instead think, “I am a positive person. I am grateful for ____. The sun feels good on my skin. I am having a great day. I am working toward and will soon have my perfect job.” State it like you already are/have or that you soon will be/have the things you desire. The exact thought is what materializes. Leave off the words “I want.”

  7. Bridget says:

    I have the exact same issue!

  8. David Garray says:

    I know so many people who work very hard and diligently and sacrifice greatly in an effort to create wealth. But they haven’t changed who they are, and until they begin to think and act like wealthy people they’ll never attract the wealth they seek >>> VERY IMPORTANT: Wealthy people don’t think and act the way they do because they have wealth. They have wealth because they think and act that way.

    To get what you want, you change who you are, and you change who you are by simply changing the way you think and act. And one technique for doing that which is promoted by a lot of wise teachers is to “act as if.”

    Hope this helps 😉

  9. Julie Bryer says:

    I am happy to hear that you were not successful in your suicide attempt. My husband killed himself and I know he was suffering and in a very dark place, but I also have been in that dark place and have realized that everything is subject to change from one second to the next and you have so much to say and share it would be sad to lose you.

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