36 James Allen Quotes

James Allen (1864-1912) was probably the first writer of a self help book, As a man thinketh (1902). Today, this is by far the most famous and probably the most read book on self development.

The following quotes have all been taken from this one book, though he has written other books as well. His books are freely available on the web as well as in commercial outlets.

James Allen Quotes are all about thought and action. He describes how thought affects our life and how combining action with right thought leads to success.

As the book was written more than 110 years ago, some of these quotes had to be rewritten in modern English. I hope these James Allen Quotes inspire you to change your thinking for a better life.

James Allen Quotes

  • By virtue of the thoughts, which men and women choose and encourage; that mind is the master-weaver, both of the inner garment of character and the outer garment of circumstance, and that, as they may have hitherto woven in ignorance and pain they may now weave in enlightenment and happiness.

  • A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.

  • As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them.

  • Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits.

  • 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.

  • That he is the maker of his character, the moulder of his life, and the builder of his destiny, man may unerringly prove, if he will watch, control, and alter his thoughts.

  • Man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; if no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.

  • Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts.

  • Thought and character are one, and the outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state.

  • Every man is where he is by the law of his being; the thoughts which he has built into his character have brought him there, and in the arrangement of his life there is no element of chance, but all is the result of a law which cannot err.

  • As a progressive and evolving being, man is where he is that he may learn that he may grow; and as he learns the spiritual lesson which any circumstance contains for him, it passes away and gives place to other circumstances.

  • The soul attracts that which it secretly harbours; that which it loves, and also that which it fears.

James Allen Quotes (contd.)

Image of James Allen, from whose book "As A Man Thinketh", have been taken the James Allen Quotes.

  • Every thought-seed sown or allowed to fall into the mind, and to take root there, produces its own, blossoming sooner or later into act. Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit.

  • The outer world of circumstance shapes itself to the inner world of thought.

  • Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.

  • Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.

  • At birth the soul comes to its own and through every step of its earthly pilgrimage it attracts those combinations of conditions which are the reflections of its own purity and, impurity, its strength and weakness.

  • 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.

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

  • Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results.

  • 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 Law of his being.

  • Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life.

  • Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance.

  • A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.

James Allen Quotes (contd.)

  • Thought is the fount of action, life, and manifestation; make the fountain pure, and all will be pure.

  • If you would protect your body, guard your mind. If you would renew your body, beautify your mind.

  • Until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment.

  • A man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart, and set out to accomplish it. This purpose should become the central point of his thoughts. The purpose may be spiritual or material; but whichever it is, he should steadily focus his thought-forces upon the object.  He should make this purpose his supreme duty, and should devote himself to its attainment, not allowing his thoughts to wander away into ephemeral fancies, longings, and imaginings. This is the royal road to self-control and true concentration of thought. Even if he fails again and again to accomplish his purpose, the strength of character gained will be the measure of his true success, and this will form a new starting-point for future power and triumph.

  • All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.

  • A strong man cannot help a weaker man unless that weaker man is willing to be helped.

  • Victories attained by right thought can only be maintained by watchfulness. Many give way when success is assured, and rapidly fall back into failure.

  • He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.

  • Into your hands will be placed the exact results of your own thoughts; you will receive that which you earn; no more, no less.

  • Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal. You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.

  • In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result.

  • Self-control is strength; Right Thought is mastery; Calmness is power.

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