Soaring thoughts

Every action and feeling is preceded by a thought, wrote James Allen in his best-seller, As a man thinketh. The same idea is emphasised by several other great thinkers. In fact, for those who are familiar with the Bible, a verse in it, with an identical message says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” A mere thought can make or mar a person.

Narrow-minded thoughts of hatred, jealousy, anger, selfishness, conceit, and despair can restrict a person regardless of his brilliance. On the contrary, broad-minded thoughts of love, charity, patience, forgiveness, and prayer can open avenues of progress, despite other shortcomings. It is true that “today man is where his thoughts have brought him and tomorrow he will be where his thoughts take him.”

Great achievements and unparalleled developments the world over originally started as a single thought.  If ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, a thought is the basis of any action. Discoveries, innovations, modernisations, advancements and revolutions all started as mere thoughts. From a solitary thought was born the automobile, mighty skyscrapers, the television, telephone devices, computers, social networks, charitable  organisations and a hundred other ‘man made wonders’ that make our world, a paradise here on earth. However, it was also a thought that brought wars, destructions and afflictions upon people and nations. “Men do not attract what they want, but what they are,” is the fundamental truth about man’s existence.  Where men think prosperity, they see prosperity; when they fear disaster, failure comes knocking; peace-seekers enjoy peace but for the hostile ones, animosity breeds in abundance.

Man being a sum of all his thoughts, thus needs to discipline his thoughts. Just as the weak body can be made strong by regular exercise and healthy food, a feeble mind can be disciplined to cultivate good thoughts by persistently thinking good thoughts.

James Allen, puts it nicely, “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.”

To the old adage, “Practice makes a man perfect,” can perhaps be added, ‘Thinking makes a man perfect.’ Conditioning our minds to think effectively at all times will take us from being mediocre to achieving eminence. Living by the guidance of positive thoughts rather than spending our lives in thoughtless activities will help us soar through life. As the American theologian, Tryon Edwards, in his compilation, A dictionary of thoughts, has entered, “Thoughts lead on to purpose; purpose go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.”

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