Category Archives: James Allen eMeditations

Belief precedes action

“The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do.” — As A Man Thinketh

What James Allen means here is that we won’t attempt something unless we have the belief we can accomplish it. He says as much in his book, Above Life’s Turmoil, where he writes, “Belief always precedes action.”

Have you ever had a goal that you just couldn’t get started on – or you got started on it but you couldn’t maintain consistent action towards the goal?

About seven years ago I was living in some very trying times and struggling for some big goals that I’d set for myself. But I just couldn’t seem to stay focused and as time passed by and I’d missed a goal, I’d get more frustrated and start over because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. I repeated this cycle several times and I became a basket case of emotion because I couldn’t get anywhere.

Wayne Dyer, writing in You’ll See It When You Believe It, says, “Your behavior is based upon your feelings, which are based on your thoughts. So the thing to work on is not to change your behavior, but those things inside of your consciousness that we call thoughts. Once your thoughts reflect what you genuinely want to be, the appropriate emotions and the consequent behavior will flow automatically. Believe it, and you will see it!”

As always, it’s our thoughts that are in control and we won’t have the “will to do” until we have the “belief to do.” I’ve had a lot of success in this area using positive visualization and affirmations. In fact, for one extended period of time I told myself several hundred times a day while thinking about a particular goal, “I can do this and I know I can!” It took me a while, but eventually I had enough belief to go for the goal and achieve it. Even now when confronted with a challenging situation I’m likely to hear myself saying, “I can do this and I know I can!”

How powerful are your thoughts of belief? Dr. Maxwell Maltz said, “Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your beliefs.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

What are you telling yourself?

“Before a person can accomplish anything of an enduring nature in the world she must first of all acquire some measure of success in the management of her own mind. If a person cannot govern the forces within herself, she cannot hold a firm hand upon the outer activities that form her visible life.” — The Mastery of Destiny

Rob Bremer asks a very important question: “If you had a friend who talked to you like you sometimes talk to yourself, would you continue to hang around with that person?”

How about this thought: What would you do to someone if they talked to your children the way you talk to yourself?

I am constantly amazed at what people say about themselves. I wince when I hear someone I care about say things like, “I’m so stupid” or “Sorry, I’m always late,” because I know it only reinforces a deeply held belief (whether it’s a conscious or subconscious belief). I wince even more when I catch myself saying those kind of things because I know the damage they do. As F.F. Bosworth said, “A spiritual law that few realize is that our confessions rule us. What we confess with our lips dominates our inner being.”

What are you telling yourself? What does that little man (or little woman) on your shoulder say to you? Is that who you really want to be?

In our phenomenal Conquer Fear Tele-Seminar, Lisa Jimenez taught a technique that I think has application here. For the next couple of weeks wear a rubber band on your wrist. Every time you catch yourself saying something to yourself (or about yourself) that is not in keeping with who you want to be, stop whatever you’re doing immediately. Then CONFESS the Truth about you while you’re snapping the rubber band on your wrist.

For instance, if you catch yourself saying, “I’m always late,” stop and say to yourself “I am thankful that I am becoming more conscious of the importance of being on time, and I am improving every day” (snap the rubber band). Do it several times to reinforce the affirmation.

Read the following words everyday until they are ingrained in your soul. Then you will be diligent about what you say to yourself. They’re from Napoleon Hill, writing in the classic Think and Grow Rich: “It is a well-known fact that one comes, finally, to believe whatever one repeats to one’s self, whether the statement is true or false. If a man repeats a lie over and over, he will eventually accept the lie as truth.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

Look inside for the solution

“The circumstances which a person encounters with suffering are the result of his own mental inharmony. The circumstances which a person encounters with blessedness are the result of his own mental harmony.” — As A Man Thinketh

It’s amazing that when we are in dire straits the first place we look is always the last place we should look. And the last place we look is always the first place we should try.

Stop and think about it. If you’re like me, don’t you always look for the cause and the solution outside of yourself? When you start making changes to try and cure the problem, don’t you always try to change the things outside of yourself?

Go back and read the first line of James Allen’s wisdom again. The problem is our “own mental inharmony.” The problem is inside, not outside. And that’s the first place we always need to look.

Try this exercise we taught in the As A Man Thinketh Study and Act program: Identify one type of habitual thinking that you have. For instance, do you habitually think you won’t have enough money to go around…or….are you always thinking that you never have enough time to get all the things done you need to do. After you’ve identified the thinking pattern, take a 3×5 card and write out the OPPOSITE of your habitual thinking. For instance, “I am surrounded by abundance. I always have enough money and enough of everything I need.” Put the card in your purse or pocket. For the next week, be alert to every time you fall into the old, habitual thinking. Take out the card and read it — and, if possible, read it aloud with MEANING. Do it for a week and I promise you’ll be happy with the results.

William James, the great psychologist of the early 20th Century knew the solution is always to go inside: “There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man’s lack of faith in his true self.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

Count your blessings

“The poor man only descends into wretchedness when he regards his lot as a burden unjustly imposed.” — As A Man Thinketh

My friend, Steve Siebold, says that the fastest way to move from a “middle-class consciousness” to a “world-class consciousness” is through the use of the power of gratitude.

Now most of us have heard our entire lives about how important it is to “count your blessings.” I certainly have. But for most of my life I did just the opposite — I focused on the lack in my life. I know it won’t surprise you if I tell you that the more I focused on what I didn’t have, the more of the same was attracted into my life.

After I began to study the principles of James Allen, Napoleon Hill and the other great classic writers, I adopted a habit of opening and closing each day with a “gratitude period.” That period may last for just a few minutes and it has even lasted for hours. But the effect in my life has been extraordinary.

Back when I never expressed thankfulness for anything I had, I would pray fervently to my Creator, asking for all the things I thought I needed. At one point there was such great (perceived) lack in my life that we were evicted from our home and I lost the only automobile I had left.

Now that I try to focus on all of the things that I am thankful for, I NEVER pray for anything for myself (I still ask for blessings for others). Yet today, I enjoy incredible abundance and harmony in my life, and it seems to be growing at an increasing rate.

Orison Swett Marden, writing in the 100-year-old classic, How to Get What You Want said, “People who take life sadly, who see nothing “to rejoice and be glad” about, not only lose a tremendous amount of pleasure and real enjoyment, but they seriously cripple their ability and impair their success. They are not normal, and, therefore, can not reach their maximum of strength and efficiency.”

And that’s worth thinking about.

A commitment creates magic

“Resolution is the directing and impelling force in individual progress. Without it no substantial work can be accomplished.” — Above Life’s Turmoil

The esteemed philosopher Goethe wrote, “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.” There are so many opportunities that could make our lives better if we’d only make the decision (resolution) to pursue them. Whether it’s fear, doubt or some other insecurity that holds us back, these missed opportunities keep us from living the life of our dreams.

In 711 a North African warrior, whose army was backed up to the Mediterranean Sea, gave the unthinkable order to his men to “burn your boats,” thus taking away his army’s only means of escape. Faced with certain death unless they were victorious, his army routed their opponents even though they were outnumbered five to one. When we are likewise resolved, we too can conquer all the obstacles in our path.

Don’t worry about “how-to-do-it.” One of my early mistakes was trying to figure out how I was going to do something before I’d get committed to do it. Now I think about all of the great inventions of our time, and I wonder if we’d have any of them if the inventor had waited to make his commitment until he knew how he was going to do it. Making the decision (the resolution) to do it is the most important part of any undertaking. As W.H. Murray wrote, “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

If you don’t feel like you have enough information to make a decision, then by all means, get the information. But don’t put off getting the information as a means to put off making the decision. And don’t think you have to have ALL the information that’s available — you only need ENOUGH to fully evaluate and decide. “Paralysis by analysis” has killed many a dream.

Any decision is almost always better than no decision as it puts into play some powerful forces. As Goethe also told us, “Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”

And that’s worth thinking about.