Category Archives: James Allen eMeditations

Cherish your vision

“She who cherishes a beautiful vision, a lofty ideal in his heart, will one day realize it.” – As A Man Thinketh

Several weeks ago I shared with our readers the story of Anne Jensen, a California woman, who celebrated her 80th birthday in a very special way — skydiving for the first time in her life.

Several months ago I told readers about Doris Eaton Travis, the last of the Ziegfeld dancers. She just celebrated her 102nd birthday and later this month will continue her annual tradition of dancing on Broadway.

Anne and Doris are just two of many examples of people who believe it’s never too late to live your dreams.

Most of us give up on the dreams that are important to us far too early. We think of all the reasons why we’ll never reach our dream (age, lack of money, lack of time, lack of education, etc.) instead of all the reasons why it’s important to us. Doris and Anne have at least two lessons for us:

1. Age and time are our own self-imposed limits and barriers,
2. At some point we must act, even if the odds appear to be against us.

Bob Proctor likes to quote Napoleon Hill when teaching in this area: “What a different story people would have to tell if they would adopt a definite purpose and stand by that purpose until it had time to become an all-consuming purpose.”

Breathe some new life into that big dream you’re about to let die. Fall in love with it again and become an obsessive lover of it. As Bob says, “You’re not on this Planet to live someone else’s dream.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

The 52-word formula for success

“He conceives of, mentally builds up, an ideal condition of life; the vision of a wider liberty and a larger scope take possession of him; unrest urges him to action, and he utilizes all his spare time and means, small though they are, to the development of his latent powers and resources.” – As A Man Thinketh

Read carefully those 52 words and you will find the keys to success in any endeavor.

Allen is describing a young person who is unschooled, mired in poverty and working in unhealthy conditions. He goes on to write that the young person follows the formula above and becomes a person of “world-wide influence and almost unequaled power.” He finishes the story noting that “He has realized the Vision of his youth. He has become one with his Ideal.”

It’s a formula for success that’s so simple that most people might overlook or discount its effectiveness. And it’s built around one guiding principle — what Napoleon Hill called “a definiteness of purpose.” That’s what creates the unrest that moves us to action; that’s what gives us the energy and drive to spend our spare time and means in developing ourselves to achieve at levels we’ve never reached before.

One prominent study found that 94% of the 3,000 people interviewed had no definite purpose for their lives. Is it any wonder then that so many people reach their twilight years feeling like life has passed them by.

We have the choice to live our life on purpose or without a purpose. Life doesn’t make the distinction, it simply rewards our choice. And the rewards may not always be what we had hoped, as this old poem from Think and Grow Rich illustrates:

“I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.

For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

The secret is beginning

“A beginning is a cause, and as such it must be followed by an effect, or a train of effects, and the effect will always be of the same nature as the cause. The nature of an initial impulse will always determine the body of its results. A beginning also presupposes an ending, a consummation, achievement, or goal.” – Byways of Blessedness

Just like me, you’ve probably heard it a million times — the first key to all success is getting started…taking the first step. James Allen gives us even more reason in the verse above when he explains that getting started on a goal or objective unlocks what Brian Tracy calls the “Ultimate Law” — The Law of Cause and Effect.

In my own experience I have always found that even the tiniest of first steps is likely to cause an effect that leads me to take another step. I know intellectually that one of the big “secrets” to achieving just about anything I want is simply to take the first step. It’s been successful too many times in my life.

So what keeps me from taking the first step EVERY time? That’s a question I’ve pondered for a long time.

I think I’ve found the answer from both Allen and Napoleon Hill, author of the classic Think and Grow Rich. Hill said that desire is the beginning of all achievement. What he described as a “white-hot” desire. Allen wrote that “belief always precedes action.”

So when I can’t seem to get started on something I want to do, I take a look at my desire and my belief. It’s likely that one or both of those two is holding me back. I then go to work on intensifying my desire and strengthening my belief until I can take the first step toward my goal.

And then again, sometimes I’ve found the best thing to do is to use another enduring principle — the “sink or swim” principle. It’s amazing how strong my desire and belief can get when I just throw myself into the water.

The most important advice is also something you’ve already heard a million times — stop thinking about it and just do it! As Georges Bernanos wrote, “A thought which does not result in an action is nothing much, and an action which does not proceed from a thought is nothing at all.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

Be not anxious

“No person can be confronted with a difficulty which he has not the strength to meet and subdue…Every difficulty can be overcome if rightly dealt with; anxiety is, therefore, unnecessary. The task which cannot be overcome ceases to be a difficulty and becomes an impossibility…and there is only one way of dealing with an impossibility – namely to submit to it.” – Byways of Blessedness

Most people who read these eMeditations probably think that I write them for others. The truth is, I write them for me 🙂 I need them as much or more than the folks I write for.

Several days ago when I started this I was confronted with a difficulty that I allowed to fill me with a great deal of anxiety. It’s not a new difficulty or even a totally unexpected one. But I was faced with a decision that will have long-term ramifications. One of those kind of decisions that we’d rather not make – one of those decisions that makes you want to pull the covers up over your head in the morning.

James Allen’s words are so incredibly penetrating on this subject because he’s basically saying that there’s no problem that we should be anxious about. We can either solve it or it’s impossible to solve. Kind of reminds you of the Serenity Prayer doesn’t it? “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the Wisdom to know the difference.”

I once heard Rita Davenport give some great advice on handling most of the problems in our life: “If money can fix it, it’s not a problem.” Well that’s great, you say, but I don’t have the money to fix it, so I’ve got a problem. Wrong thinking.

Because the truth is you’re only one idea away from obtaining whatever amount of money you might need. So instead of focusing on the money you don’t have (which will almost surely result in you attracting more lack into your life), focus on ideas, ideas, ideas. As Bob Proctor says, “you’re either living in the problem or you’re living in the solution.” So start living in the solution.

There’s also another great reason not to be anxious about the difficulty you’re facing today – it contains a lesson. And once you master it, you will be much more stronger and wiser. My long-time hero, Emmet Fox, wrote, “It is the Law that any difficulties that can come to you at any time, no matter what they are, must be exactly what you need most at the moment, to enable you to take the next step forward by overcoming them. The only real misfortune, the only real tragedy, comes when we suffer without learning the lesson.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

There are always two sides

“Your difficulty is not contained, primarily, in the situation which gave rise to it, but in the mental state with which you regard that situation and which you bring to bear upon it.” – Byways of Blessedness

It is one of the most difficult lessons to accept, understand and learn.

Circumstances are not negative or positive, circumstances are neutral. It is our thinking, our mental state, our perspective, that makes a circumstance positive or negative.

Bob Proctor does some of the best teaching on this subject, using a universal law he refers to as the Law of Polarity.

“Everything in the universe has its opposite. There would be no inside to a room without an outside. You have a right and left side to your body, a front and a back. Every up has a down and every down has an up. The Law of Polarity not only states that everything has an opposite — it is equal and opposite. If it was three feet from the floor up to the table, it would be three feet from the table down to the floor. If it is 150 miles from Manchester to London, by law it must be 150 miles from London to Manchester; it could not be any other way.

“If something you considered bad happens in your life, there has to be something good about it. If it was only a little bad, when you mentally work your way around to the other side, you will find it will only be a little good.” Using Bob’s example, when I find myself in trying circumstances I put the circumstance in the middle of a circle. I then mentally walk around the circumstance until I’m on the other side. Then I let my mind go to work examining things from that perspective. And I’m never disappointed at what I find.

During a tele-seminar I conducted with Randy Gage, he used a very good example of this. While the flat tire you have seems to be a negative circumstance to you, it’s a very positive circumstance for your local tire dealer. Looking even further it’s possible that while changing the tire the dealer discovers a much more serious problem that would have cost you a large sum of money if discovered later.

So it’s even more clear from Bob’s teaching that every circumstance can be viewed two ways. It’s the way we view a circumstance that determines it’s impact on our thinking and mental state. And we know from James Allen’s teaching that that determines the quality of life that we live.

No matter how bad the circumstance appears to be, taking another look, from another perspective, reveals to us the good. Or, as Napoleon Hill, author of the classic Think and Grow Rich, wrote, “Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.”

And that’s worth thinking about.