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4.6 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 March 2014
James Allen (who died in 1912 aged only 48) was a British writer who became known for his inspirational books. He was a pioneer of the self-help movement. As a Man Thinketh, published in 1902, is his most famous book. More modern inspirational writers have often used it. His thesis is that our thoughts make or break our lives and that high ideals, great thoughts and the capacity for self-sacrifice create success and contentment. It is this strong moral foundation that makes the book's ideas so powerful. It seems to me that some more modern positive thinking books make our thoughts into a magical force that somehow attract whatever we want to us, without asking us to examine the morality behind our desires.
I enjoyed this book. Like many other older inspirational books about positive thinking and success, it is full of commonsense, without hype or magic. Although Allen seems to be very much a humanist, in that he makes it clear that man is his own saviour and there is no other, there is much in this book that people of all religions and none can agree upon. In fact, it reminded me a lot of the kind of 'muscular Christianity' espoused by Victorian adventurers and soldiers, and of the ideal of the 'English gentleman'. This is a great heritage and one that, sadly, is fast being forgotten in our age.
As most self-help books seem to do, it does omit one important point. Other people have desires and dreams and they may well clash with ours; in fact, they may not be moral at all. Hitler dreamed of a Third Reich with no Jews. Saddam Hussein dreamed of making his regime an absolute nuclear power. These thoughts and dreams affect people. often in terrible ways, and there are many lesser examples. We do not have control over this, so we can never have complete control over the outcome of our own lives. Only in a fairly stable and prosperous country could people possibly have the illusion that their thoughts and desires alone can control their destiny, or even that getting wealth and success is a possibility. It is a luxury to be grateful for!
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on 26 January 2014
Don`t be fooled by the small size of this book - it contains more valuable writing than volumes of others I could mention . If you can live by the philosophy of this book you can be lead to a way for being a happy man / woman.
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on 12 October 2013
The book has an overall message which is powerful and worth reading if you are exploring self development.

I found the writing style hard to stick with, which lessened the enjoyment of the read. However if you enjoy an older writing style, or can persevere with it, then the message is strong and worthwhile. The book doesn't take too long to read, and definitely provides food for thought - maybe one to re-visit to re-enforce the ideas.
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on 1 September 2012
I initially had some reservations about ordering this book for my Kindle as, despite the fact that it was free, I was concerned that given its age the language would make it quite an inaccessible read. Also I am new to this genre and have found other philosophy-type books (Nietsche etc) very hard going as a 'layman', to the point that I have usually been unable to continue beyond the opening chapter or so without a migrane through perseverence.

However I found As A Man Thinketh extremely refreshing in this regard as Allen's arguments are so easy to follow, it left me wondering why other authors over-complicate things so much, if only to deliberately exclude the masses, so to speak. Though I am sure that those more familiar to the subject may find the book rather too basic, it met my current level of knowledge perfectly and I can't recommend it strongly enough to anyone who is in a similar position.

A concise and excellent read.
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on 19 February 2013
Lots of timeless wisdom and advice packed into this book. I would recommend this to anyone seeking to improve their life by changing their thinking.
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on 13 March 2015
This is powerful book geared towards understanding self and our fellow man, and also the circumstances we experience daily. I gave it 5 stars because for as long as this book was written, the principles are still relevant and stand true today.

Also with a background in description, the words come off the pages and make clear how the suggestions of a fulfilled life can be achieved.

I would recommend this 52page book to young teens who need guidance in understanding peers and situations to come. I would recommend it also to anyone in a rock and a hard place. This could be the light at the end of your tunnel. Also, it is a book I think persons that do motivation, guidance and counselling, child care and teaching should invest time in reading...since the book is free.

It will be impactful on your continued growth and journey. I'm already looking forward to reading it again later in the year.
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on 10 March 2014
Awesome book ; packed with substance, loaded with universal truths, thoroughly inspirational, thought provoking and ultimately life-changing. Highly recommended by me.
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on 4 January 2016
This book featured such an intriguing concept, that of a man's thoughts are what he becomes, I personally have to agree. Mr. Allen writes, ' As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.'

But then as I was reading it, I adapted the habit of evaluating Mr. Allen's beliefs: for example if man's thoughts are what build his character, then surely a man's thoughts should be held accountable for man' actions, how exactly does one go about punishing one's thoughts?

Then there was the idea that circumstances are of little importance, they only assist one in learning about oneself- circumstances reveal your true nature. I agree with this, but not completely. For, if this were indeed true then one would assume that man does not learn from circumstance, and that circumstances have no role in shaping man. This is erroneous, if we are to judge on the basis of experience. To learn from our experiences, we are required to reflect on our past circumstances.

Despite this, I enjoyed the book: it certainly got me thinking and that is the most beautiful gift any book can provide. I plan to read it again.
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on 11 June 2014
What a powerful message, in so few words!

The power of the human mind is amazing, and when it is used correctly, it can be life changing.

This book should be compulsory for everyone on how to get the best out of life, especially followers of Jesus.

This is a MUST read!
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This is one of the foundational works of the self improvement sector made popular over the last 20 to 30 years by men like Tony Robbins.

It's an area I have mixed feelings about. I accept thoughts are important but I've always argued for the importance of focused actions.

This book is hard to read. The language is old fashioned, the vocabulary is quite complex and the sentences are long. Some will also find the references to God and spirit uncomfortable.

I'd hoped it was going to help make me more of a convert but the format isn't for me.
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