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A Man Thinketh, By James Allen
dreamers are the saviors of the world. As the visible world
is sustained by the invisible, so men, through all their
trials and sins and sordid vocations, are nourished by the
beautiful visions of their solitary dreamers. Humanity cannot
forget its dreamers; it cannot let their ideals fade and
die; it lives in them; it knows them as the realities which
it shall one day see and know.
painter, poet, prophet, sage--these are the makers of the
after-world, the architects of heaven. The world is beautiful
because they have lived. Without them, laboring humanity
He who cherishes a beautiful
vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realize
it. Columbus cherished a vision of another world and he
discovered it. Copernicus fostered the vision of a multiplicity
of worlds and a wider universe, and he revealed it. Buddha
beheld the vision of a spiritual world of stainless beauty
and perfect peace, and he entered into it.
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.
To desire is to obtain;
to aspire is to achieve. Shall man's basest desires receive
the fullest measure of gratification, and his purest aspirations
starve for lack of sustenance? Such is not the Law. Such
a condition can never obtain: "Ask and receive."
Dream lofty dreams,
and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the
promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the
prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.
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 a soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings
Your circumstances may
be uncongenial, but they shall not remain so if you only
perceive an ideal and strive to reach it. You can't travel
within and stand still without. Here is a youth hard pressed
by poverty and labor. Confined long hours in an unhealthy
workshop; unschooled and lacking all the arts of refinement.
But he dreams of better things. He thinks of intelligence,
or refinement, of grace and beauty. He conceives of, mentally
builds up, an ideal condition of life. The wider liberty
and a larger scope takes possession of him; unrest urges
him to action, and he uses all his spare times and means
to the development of his latent powers and resources. Very
soon so altered has his mind become that the workshop can
no longer hold him. It has become so out of harmony with
his mind-set that it falls out of his life as a garment
is cast aside. And with the growth of opportunities that
fit the scope of his expanding powers, he passes out of
it altogether. Years later we see this youth as a grown
man. We find him a master of certain forces of the mind
that he wields with world-wide influence and almost unequaled
power. In his hands he holds the cords of gigantic responsibilities;
he speaks and lives are changed; men and women hang upon
his words and remold their characters. Sun-like, he becomes
the fixed and uminous center around which innumerable destinies
revolve. He has become the vision of his youth. He has become
one with his ideal.
And you too, youthful
reader, will realize the vision (not just the idle wish)
of your heart, be it base or beautiful, or a mixture of
both. For you will always gravitate toward that which you,
secretly, most love. 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
The thoughtless, the
ignorant, and the indolent, seeing only the apparent effects
of things and not the things themselves, talk of luck, of
fortune, and chance. Seeing a man grow rich, they say, "How
lucky he is!" Observing another become skilled intellectually,
they exclaim, "How highly favored he is!" And
noting the saintly character and wide influence of another,
they remark, "How chance helps him at every turn!"
They do not see the trials and failures and struggles which
these men have encountered in order to gain their experience.
They have no knowledge of the sacrifices they have made,
of the undaunted efforts they have put forth, of the faith
they have exercised so that they might overcome the apparently
insurmountable and realize the vision of their heart. They
do not know the darkness and the heartaches; they only see
the light and joy, and call it "luck." Do not
see the long, arduous journey, but only behold the pleasant
goal and call it "good fortune." Do not understand
the process, but only perceive the result, and call it "chance."
In all human affairs
there are efforts, and there are results. The strength of
the effort is the measure of the result. Change is not.
Gifts, powers, material, intellectual, and spiritual possessions
are the fruits of effort. They are thoughts completed, objectives
accomplished, visions realized.
The vision that you
glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your
heart--this you will build your life by; this you will become.