‘For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.’

School Boy Reading at Home
‘”The aphorism, as a man thinketh in his heart so is he,” not only embraces the whole of a man’s being, but is so comprehensive as to reach out to every condition and circumstance of his life. A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.’  James Allen 1903

In his booklet “As a Man Thinketh”, originally published in 1903, James Allen (Allen, 2017) contended that our thought life forms our character, influences our circumstances, impacts our health, gives us purpose, brings success, creates our vision and brings us peace.

The saying “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he”, actually comes from Proverbs 23: 7 in the King James Version of the Bible. Life coach speakers such as Dr. Denis Waitley, Tom Hopkins and others, have taken this proverb on board and for years have encouraged their audiences to discipline themselves to daily visualise themselves being successful in order for success to become a reality in their lives.

We all know someone who thinks he will fail at performing a task and then proves to us that he is right because he goes on to fail. The failure began in the mind where the person imagined himself failing and became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Does this mean that we can succeed at everything just because we tell ourselves we will, whether the goal is realistic or not? Surely not. The Biblical proverb is referring to the motivation in our hearts which is reflected in our thoughts and is the true measure of who we are.

Do we have control over our thoughts? Absolutely! And it is largely what our minds feed upon that influences our thoughts. What about our children’s thoughts? Do we want their thoughts and characters to be moulded by the producers of video games and movies? Wouldn’t it be better for us to encourage our children to think about good things, read quality literature, and engage in conversation with us about things that matter?

Success is more than thought, it requires actions with purpose to bring it about. In the words of Tom Hopkins, author of “The Official Guide to Success”, (Hopkins, 1992):
“Success is the continuous journey towards the achievement of predetermined worthwhile goals.”

What are worthwhile goals for you and your family? Does your child have worthwhile goals to work toward? Do you help one another to achieve goals and celebrate together when they have been completed?

Try setting some goals together as a family this term and encourage one another to achieve them.


Allen, James, CornerStone Books, http://cornerstone.wwwhubs.com/framepage.htm accessed 24/01/2017
Hopkins, Tom, The Official Guide to Success, Grafton, 1992, London


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