Book Review: As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

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James Allen’s book, As A Man Thinketh, explores the idea that our thoughts have a significant influence on our personalities, circumstances, and overall well-being. 

By learning to control our thoughts and focus them on our goals, we can improve our lives. The book delves into the power of positive thinking and the benefits it can bring.

This book review provides an overview of everything you can learn from it.

Let’s get started without further ado.

Key Insights

Lesson 1: Mastering our thoughts is the first step towards changing our lives.

Our actions often stem from the thoughts that cross our minds, forming patterns that eventually define our character. This implies that every personality is, in fact, a product of an individual’s thought process. Understanding this connection between our thoughts and actions is crucial.

Consider someone you know who constantly gives up on relationships or projects and maintains a negative attitude. It becomes clear that our attitudes and actions are intertwined. People who underachieve typically struggle with low self-esteem, leading to disappointment and other negative outcomes. However, the good news is that by altering our thought patterns, we can change our character for the better. Even pessimistic individuals can find more joy in life by consciously adjusting their thoughts.

Mastering your thoughts offers benefits beyond simply eliminating negative traits. The author suggests that it’s even possible to attain “Divine Perfection” by actively nurturing your thoughts. By removing negative or unproductive thoughts, you can experience joy, strength, peace, and wisdom in your life.

Don’t let these incredible benefits slip away! Conversely, if you fail to manage your thoughts, they can become a significant obstacle. Negative thoughts have the potential to damage the things and people you cherish most. By recognizing the power of your thoughts, you can take control and ultimately transform your life for the better.

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Lesson 2: We shape the world we live in, but the world shapes us, too.

Have you ever experienced a failure and found yourself blaming the weather, a tough phone call with a loved one, or even a distant childhood memory? It’s not uncommon for us to point fingers at external factors when things go awry. While it might provide temporary relief, doing so only hinders our personal growth in the long run.

We are undoubtedly connected to our circumstances, or the external factors that influence our lives. However, these factors may not affect us in the way we often assume. It’s easy to believe that our experiences and living conditions define our identity, but the truth is, we both shape and are shaped by the world around us.

In reality, it is our character, not our circumstances, that often determines the situations we find ourselves in. This means that it isn’t some predetermined fate or external force that lands you in a particular predicament, like prison, but rather your own thoughts and attitudes towards the world.

However, the influence of character and circumstances on any given situation isn’t always straightforward. Kind-hearted individuals can face terrible adversity, while others with questionable morals may lead successful lives filled with wealth and admiration. This makes it difficult to draw conclusions about a person’s character based solely on their circumstances.

Similarly, we cannot accurately predict the outcome of someone’s life based on their character alone. For instance, although there might be negative traits associated with individuals in prison, some of them possess admirable qualities as well.

Lesson 3: Fostering a positive mindset aids achieving health goals.

Aging is a natural process that affects everyone differently. Some people seem to age more gracefully than others, and this can be attributed to various factors such as lifestyle choices, access to healthcare, and genetics. However, there’s another crucial element that can influence how well we age: our attitude and thoughts.

Our thoughts can significantly impact our character, the situations we face, and even our bodies. Negative thoughts can lead to physical problems such as increased heart rate, poor sleep quality, headaches, and wrinkles, among other adverse effects. On the contrary, cultivating positive thoughts, focusing on joy, light, and energy, can help us feel happier and even more youthful. So, if you want to improve your self-image and feel better, think positively about your body and your abilities.

To achieve your goals, whether they are related to work, relationships, or personal growth, it’s crucial to focus your thoughts. Success in any area of life depends on your ability to concentrate and maintain a positive mindset. A key strategy to reach your goals is learning to let go of distracting and unproductive thoughts. These may include feelings of fear, pessimism, or uncertainty, which can hinder your progress.

Training your mind to think more positively, clearly, and purposefully might be challenging initially, but remember that your brain is like a muscle. With consistent practice and effort, you can develop the mental strength needed to overcome negativity and distractions, allowing you to age gracefully and achieve your goals. So, prioritize nurturing a positive mindset and watch how it transforms your life for the better.

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Lesson 4: It is up to us whether we succeed, so dream big.

Taking responsibility for our actions and mistakes can be a powerful realization. While it might feel intimidating at first, shifting our perspective can lead to personal growth. When we avoid playing the victim role, we become less susceptible to being victimized by others. Ultimately, we are in control of our own freedom, and by embracing this, we can thrive.

Living in alignment with our values and ideals is essential, regardless of the circumstances. Our dreams act as powerful motivators that encourage us to transform our aspirations into reality. By surrounding ourselves with other dreamers, we can nourish our own dreams and remain inspired.

The world is a more vibrant and exciting place thanks to the dreamers among us, such as poets, painters, and composers. These individuals remind us that dreams can lead to the discovery of new realities, much like Columbus, who ventured beyond the known world in search of something greater.

Developing the ability to control our thoughts and concentrate on our goals can significantly impact our character and life circumstances. Maintaining an open mind towards new possibilities paves the way for a deeper sense of peace and serenity. Although it requires time and effort, learning to live in harmony with our thoughts is a worthwhile endeavor. Those who achieve this balance often exhibit a calm and peaceful demeanor, reflecting the inner tranquility they’ve cultivated.


1. Straightforward and Powerful Message

The premise of the book is simple – our thoughts determine our destiny. James Allen emphasizes that our thoughts create our reality, and if we can learn to control our thoughts, we can create the life we desire. This straightforward message makes it easy to understand and apply in our lives. The power of our thoughts is evident throughout the book, and Allen makes it clear that if we change our thoughts, we can change our lives.

2. Timeless Wisdom

As a Man Thinketh was first published in 1902, but the wisdom contained within its pages is timeless. The author’s insights into the human mind are still relevant today. Allen explains how our thoughts impact our actions, which in turn shape our character and ultimately determine our destiny. The book’s message is still as relevant today as it was over a century ago, making it a timeless classic that can be read and reread for years to come.

3. Concise and Re-readable

One of the best things about this book is that it is concise, coming in at just under 60 pages. Despite its brevity, the book packs a powerful punch. The simple and straightforward message makes it easy to read, and the concise nature of the book means it can be read in one sitting. However, the brevity of the book is not a drawback but rather a strength. Its short length makes it an easy book to reread, allowing readers to delve deeper into the message and apply it in their lives.

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1. Archaic Writing Style

One of the biggest cons of As a Man Thinketh is its archaic writing style. The language used in the book is old-fashioned and can be challenging to interpret. The book’s style makes it difficult for some readers to engage with the content, making it less accessible to a modern audience. While some may appreciate the book’s old-fashioned style, others may find it too difficult to read.

2. Repetitive Content

Another downside to the book is that it can be repetitive in its content. The book’s message is clear, and while there are valuable insights to be found throughout the book, the author tends to repeat the same concepts over and over. While this repetition may help drive the message home, it can also make the book feel like it is dragging on unnecessarily.

3. Lacks Modern-Day Examples

As a Man Thinketh was first published over a century ago, and as such, it lacks modern-day examples to illustrate its concepts. While the book contains valuable insights, it would be more relatable to modern readers if it included contemporary examples of people who have applied its principles to achieve success. This would help make the book’s concepts more tangible and easier for readers to understand.


“As A Man Thinketh” is a fantastic book to explore the power of the law of attraction and manifestation. It’s an especially good choice if you’re into meditation, as an open mind is essential for fully appreciating the book’s wisdom.

Every word and sentence in “As A Man Thinketh” carries deep meaning, helping readers understand that they are responsible for their lives and how they respond to circumstances through their thoughts. To truly benefit from this book, it’s important to integrate its philosophy into your daily life.

While some people may easily grasp and retain the book’s message from just one reading, more analytical individuals may need to read it multiple times to fully internalize the ideas. Remember, our thoughts have a significant influence on our lives, and we have the ability to control and direct them within our subconscious.

A helpful practice to complement your reading of “As A Man Thinketh” is meditation. Try listening to a guided meditation before reading the book, and then meditate again once your mind is calm. This approach can help you absorb the book’s insights and make them a natural part of your thinking, ultimately leading to a more intentional and fulfilling life.

About The Author

The British author James Allen is best known for his theories about the power of thought. Generations of self-help writers have been inspired by his classic work, As a Man Thinketh.

Buy The Book: As A Man Thinketh

If you want to buy the book As A Man Thinketh, you can get it from the following links:

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