As a Man Thinketh - James Allen

As a Man Thinketh - James Allen

Video Book Summary

Download all of the Mind Maps here.

Book Summary Notes 

As a Man Thinketh

“The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream."  

"The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs."

"Dreams are the seedlings of realities.”

Every great achievement was at first a dream..

Everyone you look up to in the world got where they are because they dared to dream!

Business Titans

Sports Stars

Amazing Parents

They all believe that they could succeed in the domain they've chosen. 

Often we for some reason believe that people were 'born' good at things.

The reality of course we know is much different. 

There is a great deal of hard work, luck and support involved in anyones success.

But in order to unlock all of those things, and become successful we first need to believe it's possible.

That's the dream (the acorn) and what we're going to explore in depth today.

Together we're going look into ways to define, crystallize and get clear about our dream. 

We're also going to explore the different ways James lays out to water that acorn! 

Making sure it grows up to be a grand oak tree!


“Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals." 

"Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.”

What is your true vision?

This might seem like an easy question on it's face.. 

  • We've all probably got 'goals' or 'plans' for our life. 
  • But this (like most of James writing) is much deeper than it might seem on the surface. 

There are a lot of external environmental factors that influence us on a daily basis.

  • Things like society, family and friends all want the best for us.. But often that means not following our true vision and ideals.
  • These external factors can lead us to setting goals, making plans or adopting something that seems true to us, but is in fact a compromise. 

I just love this one quote from Robert Fritz in his book the path of least resistance.

  • He says: "The human soul won't invest itself in compromise"
  • Essentially echoing what James says here.  We need to ruthlessly pick out what our true visions and ideals are and make sure we're not echoing those of our external environment. 
  • How might we do this? We'll get to some practical steps in a minute!


“Only by much searching and mining are gold and diamonds obtained, and man can find every truth connected with his being if he will dig deep into the mine of his soul.”

Love the mining analogy here!

Like we've already spoken about true visions and ideals are sometimes covered by external environmental factors.

  • Mining is the process of digging deeper into your mind/soul and getting progressively closer to your true vision. 
  • What do you true want out of this one experience we have called life?

What does mining your mind truly look like?

For me it's meditation (quiet time) in collaboration with thought provoking questions. 

Here is a quick list I've stolen from other books: 

  • What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
  • What did you most want when you were 13-16 years old?
  • If you only had 6 months to live what would you do?
  • Pretend you won the lottery, what would you do?
  • When you look into your Ikigai, what do you see?  (More on this in Ikigai book). 


“The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do.”

Now you're connected with your ideal.. 

Step one in accomplishing that ideal?  Belief.

  • Henry Ford: "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right!"
  • Belief is so important, that without it you literally won't even be able to get started!

Let's talk about belief, how can we cultivate it?

One great exercise I've picked up from Brian Tracy is mirroring. 

Can we find someone who's done what you're looking to do?  

Possibly even someone who's had a tougher road to success than you?

If you can, learn from that person.

What did their path look like?

What kept them going through the hardships?

Can you see a little of yourself in them?

If someone else has done it so can you! 


“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

After mining and springing, let's start actualizing!

What's the biggest contributor to success?

  • James says (like many other great writers) it's showing up! 
  • Getting started, and consistently putting in the work is going to lead towards the realization of your dream. 

How do you get started?

The best thing I think you can do to get started is to experiment!  

Step One: What is your dream?  The one thing you feel called to realize. 

Step Two: What's one small experiment you can run to test that.  (The very first step). 

Step Three: Run an experiment where you have nothing to lose!

  • Create a headline and sub headline for the book you want to write.  
  • Interview someone who you truly admire, how did they first get started?

How do you get consistent?

  • Daily rituals are important for consistency!
  • Three things I recommend you look into.
  • A Daily Habit Tracker: what 1-5 things can you measure that will let you know you're on the right path?
  • Morning Ritual: what does the start of your ideal day look like?  Hint: let's connect to our dream by writing it for 3-5 minutes. 
  • Night Ritual: the day starts the night before!  How can you set yourself up for consistent success?


“The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors; that which it loves, and also that which it fears." 

"It reaches the height of its cherished aspirations." 

"It falls to the level of its unchastened desires – and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own.”

What is your soul focused on?

That's going to be what is attracted to you in your life.. 

If you're tuned into negativity on social media all day long..  Guess what?  That's your life. 

So what should we tune into?

  • Let's tune into our ideals!  Who are we at our best?  
  • Look for love, abundance, beauty and gratitude in the world.  
  • Those are going to water you (the acorn) and turn your life into a big oak tree.
Back to blog