Saturday, December 11, 2010

"As a Man Thinketh" Quotes

As A Man Thinketh, by James Allen is a vary slim book, almost a pamphlet, but it is full of good gems like these:

"You are a maker of yourself by virtue of thought - the thoughts that you choose and encourage."

"The Mind is the master weaver both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstances... Weave in enlightenment and happiness."

"Every action is preceded by a thought." This one I have been taught my whole life.
In fact, in the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 4:30 it says, "But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not."

Anway, back to more quotes from As a Man Thinketh:

"Right thinking takes continued effort the effect of long-cherished association with God-like thoughts."

"Man is made or unmade by himself."
Paraphrased the next part talks about the armoury (place where weapons are made) of thought forges the weapons to destroy himself or forges the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.
I love the imagery of our thoughts making weapons to destroy ourselves or making tools to build ourselves, our character and our heavenly mansions.

"Man is the master of thought
the moulder of character of character
and the maker and shaper of condition,
environment and

I'm not sure if this is a direct quote or paraphrased in my notes:
"Man is a being of Power,
& Love,
& Lord of his own thoughts,
& holds the key to every situation,
& contains within himself that transforming and regenerative agency by which he may make himself what he wills."

"To become a conscious master, directing his energies with intelligence - Man must discover within himself the laws of thought; which discovery is totally a matter of application, self-analysis and experience."

"You are the maker of your character the moulder of your life and the builder of your destiny."

"If man will watch, control and alter his thoughts, tracing their effects upon himself, upon others, upon his life and circumstances, linking cause and effect by patient practice and investigation."

"Utilize every experience"... "as a means of obtaining that knowledge of himself - Then he will have Understanding, Wisdom and Power and find every truth connected with his being."

"The mind is like a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild. Whether cultivated or neglected, it will bring forth if no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will fall therein, and continue to produce their kind."

"We are here to learn and grow. We can command the hidden soil and seeds out of which circumstances grow."

"So true is this that when a man earnestly applies himself to remedy the defects in his character and makes swift and marked progress, he passes rapidly through a succession of vicissitudes." (I admit to looking up the word vicissitude. It means an irregular, unexpected, or surprising change.)

"The soul attracts that which it secretly harbours; that which it loves, and that which it fears."
It has an analogy here of a person who fears getting cancer, eventually gets cancer. We don't need to fear anything. Fear is the opposite of faith. It also kind of reminds me of Ghostbusters, when Gozer tells them to choose what will destroy them, so they try to clear their minds and think of nothing, but Peter says, "I couldn't help it. It just popped into my head...I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never ever possibly destroy us. Mr. Stay Puft!" O.K. that was a little off the topic, but it's just an illustration of how we need to control our thoughts.

"Circumstances does not make the man; it reveals him to himself."

"Not what he wishes and prays for does a man get, but what he justly earns. His wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonize with his thoughts and actions."
Can't pray for one thing and have your actions make that thing impossible to happen.

"Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves, they therefore remain bound."

"Suffering is always the effect of wrong thought in some direction. It is an indication that the individual is out of harmony with himself, with the Low of his being. The sole and supreme use of suffering is to purify, to burn out all that is useless and impure. Suffering ceases for him who is pure."

"Blessedness, not material possessions, is the measure of right thought... blessedness and riches are only joined together when the riches are rightly and wisely used.
Indigence and indulgence are the two extremes of wretchedness. They are both equally unnatural and the result of mental disorder."

"A man only begins to be a man when he ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for hidden justice which regulates his life. And as he adapts his mind to that regulating factor, he ceases to accuse others as the cause of his condition, and builds himself up in strong and noble thoughts; ceases to kick against circumstances, but begins to use them as aid to his more rapid progress, and as a means of discovering the hidden powers and possibilities within himself."

"A particular train of thought persisted in, be it good or bad cannot fail to produce its results on the character and circumstances. A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances." Whatever our internal dialog, becomes reality.

"Strong, pure, happy thoughts build up the body in vigor and grace."

"Clean thoughts make clean habits."

"...To think well of all, to be cheerful withall, to patiently learn to find the good in all - such unselfish thoughts are the very portals of heaven; and to dwell day by day in thoughts of peace toward every creature will bring abounding peace to their possessor."

"Until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment.
Aimlessness is a vice, and such drifting must not continue for him who would steer clear of catastrophe and destruction.
They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to worries, fears, troubles, and self-pityings, all of which are indications of weakness, which lead, just as surely as deliberately planned sins (though by a different route), to failure, unhappiness, and loss, for weakness cannot persist in a power evolving universe."

"A man shall conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart, and set out to accomplish it. He should make this purpose the centralizing point of his thoughts."

"Slay doubt and fear or thwart yourself."

"Strength can only be developed by effort and practice." I think this is true whether it be physical, mental or spiritual strength. When our lives are too easy or we don't challenge ourselves, then we don't get stronger.

"Begin to exert yourself and add effort to effort, patience to patience, and strength to strength; never cease to develop and at last grow divinely strong.
Exercise yourself in right thinking. Put away aimlessness and weakness, and begin to think with purpose - that is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment; who make all conditions serve them, and who think strongly, attempt fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully."

"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."

"There can be no progress, no achievement without sacrifice."

"Eat, Pray, Love" Quotes

This is a great quote about happiness from the above titled book by Elizabeth Gilbert:
"...People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments."

Actually, there are parts of that quote that I like and parts that I don't. It almost makes it sound like you have to work so hard for happiness that I picture someone gripping onto a rope of happiness, hanging in the air and holding on with all their might. Frankly, the thought of working so hard to be happy doesn't sound very happy-making to me. I don't think it's that hard to be happy, if you have peace in your heart.
I suppose sometimes we might get ourselves into a situation which is causing unhappiness (like Gilbert in her many relationships) and then we have to WORK to change the situation in order to be happy again. We can't just think happiness will come from an external source, although unhappiness can in which case, sometimes, we have to remove ourselves.

But, I think if we are making morally right choices, then happiness is pretty easy.
Or maybe I just have an easy life with the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ, so it's easy for me to be happy.

Anyway, I like some of Gilbert's quotes about prayer:
"Of course God already knows what I need. The question is - do I know? Casting yourself at God's feet in helpless desperation is all well and good- heaven knows, I've done it myself plenty of times-but ultimately you're likely to get more out of the experience if you can take some action on your end." (Here is the joke about the guy who fervently prays to win the lottery only to get a response from God that he needs to buy a ticket first.)

"Prayer is a relationship; half the job is mine. If I want transformation, but can't even be bothered to articulate what, exactly, I'm aiming for, how will it ever occur? Half the benefit of prayer is in the asking itself, in the offering of a clearly posed and well-considered intention. ... Prayers can become stale and drone into the boring and familiar if you let your attention stagnate. In making an effort to stay alert, I am assuming custodial responsibility for the maintenance of my own soul."

If she doesn't feel sincere in her prayers, then she stays there until she does.

Also, this quote about destiny is good:
"Destiny, I feel, is also a relationship - a play between divine grace and willful self-effort. Half of it you have no control over; half of it is absolutely in your hands, and your actions will show measurable consequence. Man is neither entirely a puppet of the gods, nor is he entirely the captain of his won destiny; he's a little of both. ... I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I eat and read and study. I can choose how I"m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life - whether I will see them as curses or opportunities (and on the occasions when I can't rise to teh most optimistic viewpoint, because I'm feeling too [] sorry for myself, I can choose to keep trying to change my outlook). I can choose my words and teh tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.
This last concept is a radically new idea for me."

The last concept is not a new idea for me. I think I've been taught that my whole life, but I think it has more power than we sometimes realize, which will be part of my next post.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Diamonds Under Your Nose

I like this article by Oliver DeMille.

It's about the power of doing the little things.
Here is a good quote from it:
"Find the little things in your life, the things too small to demand your urgent attention, the ones that too often go undone because they are so easy to dismiss. That’s where your power is. That’s the “tipping point” in your life. List them. Do them. Watch your life drastically change."