This week, Life Training Online is reviewing As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen, the sixth of fifty-two books in the 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks series.

Effect of Thought on Health and the Body

Can our thoughts affect the physical condition of our health? Nowadays we have seen science already prove this fact. Our ability to heal and fight disease has as much (if not more) to do with our state of mind and thoughts as our lifestyle does. In Allen’s time however, this wasn’t common knowledge.

According to Allen, disease and health are like circumstances — they’re rooted in thought. Have you ever noticed that those who think and worry most about sickness are the ones who get sick the most? “Sickly thoughts express themselves through a sickly body.”

On the other hand, strong, pure, and happy thoughts strengthen the body. You may be familiar with Norman Cousins who, after being sent home with a debilitating disease, went out and got a bunch of comedy movies and watched them all day long — lifting his spirits, laughing and healing himself in the process.

When you think positive thoughts – this goes beyond a Pollyanna theory – there is scientific proof that you will be healthier. “There is no physician like cheerful thought for dissipating the ills of the body.”

Thought and Purpose

Allen explains that the majority of people allow their thoughts to simply “drift upon the ocean of life.” This aimlessness of thought invites petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pitying into our lives which, if continued, lead to eventual unhappiness, loss, and failure.

What is the remedy? According to Allen, it is purpose. Until our thoughts are aligned with a purpose, we will never be able to make any real and lasting accomplishments in life. I tend to agree with this. I really believe that each of us has a definite purpose in life and we should all seek to discover it.

After you’ve discovered your purpose in life, Allen urges you to set out accomplishing it by making it the central point of your thoughts. This may be a spiritual idea or even a worldly object — dependent upon the “nature of our being” (level of consciousness). Whatever it is, if you can focus all your thoughts and mental faculties upon it — not allowing your thoughts to wander away — you will be able to accomplish it. Developing this kind of self control will enhance every aspect of your life.

“Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force: he who knows this is ready to become something higher and stronger than a mere bundle of wavering thoughts and fluctuating sensations; he who does this has become the conscious and intelligent wielder of his mental powers.”

As a Man Thinketh is the sixth of fifty-two books in Life Training – Online’s series 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks.

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