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As a Man Thinketh
by James Allen
About this title: This brief but revered self-help classic was written by a 19th-century Englishman who devoted his later years to contemplation. Allen borrowed the title from the Biblical verse, "As a man thinketh, in his heart, so is he." In a clear and accessible argument, Allen builds on the idea that one's thoughts shape one's character, and also one's circumstances, environment, and destiny. Allen's practical philosophy stresses responsibility: "Man is made or unmade by himself." But he also clearly values those who are dreamers, and he sees the ultimate goal of his spiritual practice to be serenity.