When I am not training or spending time with the family, one of my favorite pastimes is reading books and analyzing the message contained within their pages. One of my favorite book's is a small yet wonderful book titled “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen. It is a literary essay published in 1902. The title is influenced by a verse in the Bible from the Book of Proverbs chapter 23 verse 7. You don't have to be of religious nature to appreciate the quotes and passages that the book contains. This is a book I tend to re-read every year to help get my head straight which helps me accomplish any new goals I set for the year.
The book opens with the statement:
Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes, And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills, Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:Environment is but his looking-glass. What this means is that our thoughts control our actions.
And one of my favorite quotes is as follows:
“As the physically weak man can make himself strong by careful and patient training, so the man of weak thoughts, can make them strong by exercising himself in right thinking.”
How easily does this quote transcend into our martial arts training and character development. It is for this reason I have posted an entire PDF version of the book under the students page tab. I highly recommend it to all my students, as I always say “Martial Arts is more than just punching and kicking”.