Not too long ago, I used to think that my life was controlled by outside forces.
It was only until I came across a gem of a book called As a Man Thinketh did I get the mental equivalent of a 2×4 smack across the head.
Simply stated: your thoughts create and control your reality.
Sort of a “derr” realization…but it has a lot more significance than can be comprehended at first glance. The power of thought has the ability to make empires rise and fall, markets crash, and people live or die.
If it has that much effect on a macro level, imagine how much would it have for you and your life?
Why think powerful thoughts
Your life will be a reflection of your inner world. You aren’t responsible for everything that happens in your life, but you sure as hell are responsible for your reactions to it. This is a very Stoic worldview.
If you want to kick ass at life, you need be prepared to win, expect to win, and fight to win. You can only do these if you think powerful thoughts. Thoughts about strength, about becoming the best version of yourself.
As a man trying to rise up in the world, you’ll have tons of external forces that will try to take you down and talk you out of doing anything constructive. The only way you’ll be able to stem the tide of these forces is to think in a super positive and powerful manner.
Here’s what you’ll get out this article:
- Insightful quotes from As a Man Thinketh
- The power of your subconscious mind and it’s inescapable influence
- The truth about the mind
- How to think in powerful thought patterns
Mental Frameworks, “Set Points” and Patterns
You have a mental framework that is responsible for how you interact with the world. This is your way of experiencing, internalizing, and making sense of the world.
If you didn’t have a mental framework, you would literally go insane and be placed in an institution.
Your mental framework comprises what you’ll eat, what you’ll wear, the route you’ll take to work, your self-image…
You were most likely given a mental framework on how to navigate the world by your teachers, your parents, and your peers. That means, you had no real say in what you truly believed in.
You were probably told who to and who not to hang out with, what to and not to wear, what to and not to believe in…etc…etc…etc.
The problem arises when the mental framework you operate off of does not correspond to who you are as a person.
Another phrase for these? Self-limiting beliefs.
Many of us are going off of mental frameworks that don’t serve us anymore.
These were most likely frameworks we adopted as children to safeguard from the hurt of the world.
Well, you’re a big boy now. Thinking that you can’t touch the rim of a basketball hoop even though you’re 6’4” makes no damn sense (unless you can’t jump).
Your mental framework is constricting you from playing it big and doing the things you know that you need to do.
“Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.” – James Allen, As a Man Thinketh
Subconscious Mysteries and the Power of Thought
Think of the subconscious as an iceberg with the conscious mind only visible at the tip.
The thinking you do with your subconscious mind is so sharp, so razor fast, that you don’t really have the ability to question it. If I throw a baseball at your face, what are you going to do? Duck, obviously. Was that a conscious decision? I hope not.
The mental framework is part of your subconscious mind. It operates automatically. It operates to how it’s programmed.
I’ll give you an example of how powerful this programming is:
When I was in high school, I used to have the underlying belief that everyone was out to get me (boo-hoo).
I always thought somehow, someway, someone was going to make a fool out of me.
So overtime, I created an automatic mechanism to be as avoidant as possible. Whenever someone would invite me to a party, I would turn it down. I didn’t even think about it. I just turned it down and made some excuse.
Eventually, the invites stopped coming. Then, the crazier part is… I made an insane rationalization about why I wasn’t getting invited. I thought it was because people hated me.
The truth was, I was one of the most beloved people in my class but people thought of me as “hard to know”.
So it was – I was avoidant because I thought people were out to get me. Because I was avoidant, I didn’t really socialize. Because I was antisocial, I became more avoidant.
It’s a negative feedback loop.
It was only until I managed to read As a Man Thinketh and adjust my mental framework was I able to change my outside world through thinking powerful thoughts
The truth about the mind
A key factor in recognizing change is realizing that the mind is not the brain. The brain is a physical entity, the mind is an intangible concept. Think of it like this: when you mentally picture a dog, you will think of and “see” a dog.
But if someone put you in an fMRI machine and started scanning, they would only see the electrical impulses of brain activity. They wouldn’t see the dog.
When you start to comprehend this fact, you’re able to more deeply understand the inner workings of thought and think powerful thoughts.
You can see that your predominant mental attitude and the thought patterns you hold are not up to “chance” or “genetics”. You have the power to…change your mind.
Changing the Framework and Your Predominant Mental Attitude
“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. 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.” – James Allen, As A Man Thinketh
Your predominant mental attitude is the combination of the subconscious thoughts that you have internalized.
Ever notice how some people have a tendency to be bitter and complain even when their circumstances aren’t that bad? That’s because that is their predominant mental attitude, based off of their framework of life.
“A particular train of thought persisted in, be it good or bad, cannot fail to produce its results on the character and circumstances.” – James Allen, As A Man Thinketh
James Allen called the mind a garden. If that’s true, then bad thought patterns can be uprooted – just like weeds. You can then plant powerful thought seeds and see them develop.
This is only done through changing the overall framework, instituting a new paradigm, and thinking in new patterns.
Negative thoughts are weeds. They serve no purpose in your life. Negative thoughts at the very antithesis of power.
Quick exercise – what do you feel when you think of these words?
You feel disgust, right? They just don’t…feel good. These are the opposite of feeling strong, confident, and powerful.
Your framework can be adjusted to think powerful thoughts through three specific ways:
The first one is something you do to yourself, the second is something that is a visual variation of the first, and the third is something that happens to you.
All of them are all powerful in their own different ways.
And it’s not just a one time thing… These are constant practices. Repetition makes the difference.
Negative or positive thoughts are a habit.
Here’s how to use these three tools to think in a more positive manner:
Pick a powerful phrase and use it in the present tense. Pick something like “I am incredibly confident and I overcome obstacles with ease”. Say it over and over again as often as you can, as long as you can, and as many times as you can.
Visualize yourself acting confident. What do you look like? What do you sound like? How do other people react to you? Feel yourself as confident and powerful. Visualization is creative thinking.
Bring both of these into “the real world”. Act like how you visualize yourself to be.
What was the end result?
You may find the final aspect of “experience” to be difficult to put into practice. It’s like trying on a new pair of shoes. They aren’t going to fit extremely snug the first time around. Keep wearing them until they fit juuuust right.
It’s the same thing with “trying on” a new mindset. It’s not going to be comfortable at first. Keep wearing it until it is.
These three together are a tool called “mental rehearsal”. This is a technique used frequently by some of the best and brightest minds in sports and high performance activities.
If they can use it to become better players, why can’t you use it to become a better person?
As a man, taking control of your thoughts is how you build up a rich inner life that will shine outwards.
If this all sounds like “the law of attraction”, that’s because it pretty much is. Thinking thoughts of positivity and power is the real “secret” that’s hidden in plain sight. No wishy-washy New Age stuff required.
If you think powerful thoughts, you will be powerful. So start today. There’s no better time than now.