Wisdom From James

I’ve been thinking a lot about James Allen this week.

James Allen was a British philosophical writer, born in 1864. I stumbled across him originally when I found a quote from him on the back of a Celestial Seasonings tea box. As I continued reading his work, I found that a lot of what he wrote resonates with me.

So, because I’ve been thinking about him and what he had to say, I’d like to share some wisdom from James with you. These excerpts are from his best-known work,  “As A Man Thinketh”:


There is no way to strength and wisdom but by acting strongly and wisely in the present moment, and each present moment reveals its own task. The great man, the wise man does small things greatly regarding nothing as “trivial” that is necessary.

Little kindnesses, generosities, and sacrifices make up a kind and generous character. Little renunciations, endurances, and victories over self make up a strong and noble character. The truly honest man is honest in the minutest details of his life. The noble man is noble in every little thing he says and does.
It is a fatal delusion with men to think that life is detached from the momentary thought and act, and not to understand that the passing thought and deed is the foundation and substance of life. When this is fully understood all things are seen as sacred and every act becomes religious. Truth is wrapped up in infinitesimal details.

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.

Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating towards perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful and pure thoughts. By pursuing this process, a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.

Here is the full excerpt from the quote I found on the Celestial Seasonings box.  I’ve already shared it in another post, but this particular excerpt means a lot to me, and I wanted to include it again.

As you think, you travel; as you love, you attract. You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you. You cannot escape the result of your thoughts, but you can endure and learn, can accept and be glad.

You will always come to the place where your love (your most abiding and intense thought) can receive its measure of gratification. If your love be base, you will come to a base place; if it be beautiful, you will come to a beautiful place. You can alter your thoughts, and so alter your condition. Strive to perceive the vastness and grandeur of your responsibility. You are powerful, not powerless. You are as powerful to obey as you are to disobey; as strong to be pure as to be impure; as ready for wisdom as for ignorance. You can learn what you will, can remain as ignorant as you choose. If you love knowledge you will obtain it; if you love wisdom you will secure it; if you love purity you will realize it. All things await your acceptance, and you choose by the thoughts which you entertain.”

Thank you, James.



  1. good quotes, my friend.

  2. Cool quotes! I had never heard of him, so thanks mucho for sharing your discovery!! My fav from above is the reminder to put useful seeds into the mind-garden…… (mine needs a good healthy dose of herbicide at the moment….LOL)

    Thanks for sharing!!

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Lynda K: I guess he’s not that well known, but I do very much like what he has to say. I think the garden of my mind has been run over by boll weevils or something. LOL I’m trying to talk myself into thinking more positively because I absolutely believe that your thoughts drive where you end up.

Speak Your Mind


Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.