I love old school wisdom! So many new ideas are actually just rediscovered wisdom from the ancients. One of my favorite books is As a Man Thinketh by James Allen. I've read it more than an hundred times. Here is just one page of my copy that I've underlined again and again.
The book was first published in 1903 and itself flows from the the work of Emerson, the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, the writings of Rumi, and of several Greek philosophers.
Allen introduces several big ideas in just the first chapter. Here are just a few:
Actions flow from thoughts, like day follows night. Every action, both premeditated and spontaneous, has its genesis in our thoughts. It may take time, but our thoughts will inevitably manifest themselves in actions–benevolent thoughts leading to charitable actions and groveling , codependent thoughts to unhealthy, subservient actions.
You are what you think. Your being or character is the sum of all your thoughts–your conscious and subconscious assumptions, beliefs, mental models, ideas, decisions, and plans. The Law of the Harvest applies to thoughts as well as seeds, your character being the plant that grows from the seed of your thoughts.
Joy and sorrow are the inevitable result of thought and action. Bliss and happiness are not capriciously bestowed, they are but the final effect of our thoughts. If you are unhappy, look no further than your own thoughts and actions. And if you think your happiness is dependant on someone else, see the next idea.
You are the master of yourself. We have absolute control of your bliss, no one can confer it on us or take it from us. You have agency to think what you will and thereby are in complete control of the peace and joy you experience. Take control of your thoughts, discover and eliminate your faulty beliefs, and fill your mind with all that is good. Self-mastery will enable your best self and offer all the fruits that being your best brings.
Be the conscious master! Patient, persistently, and humbly search for and reflect on all that is true about your being and bliss with be the final fruit. Actively engaging in your self-mastery is not easily, it will take lifetime of effort, but remember the truth “seek and you will find.”
My experience is that these ideas are always TRUE. They have become more than just ideas, but laws that are always in effect.
I have also come to realize through my study that it is only when we fully embrace an idea that it influence us and becomes a source of power.Do you believe these big ideas? There may be some you may deeply believe while there are others that you understand, but do not deeply accept.Carefully reflect on each big idea and look for situations in your own life where you’ve seen it work. Linking each idea with your own experiences will go a long way towards making these ideas your beliefs. Journals are great for organizing our thinking.
Enjoy the journey...