Master Key Experience – Becoming Self-Directed


I’ve had the opportunity to be introduced to some tremendous books during the Master Key Experience and the journey of becoming a true self-directed thinker.  One of those books is As A Man Thinketh.

Written by James Allen in 1902 it is short in duration, 68 pages, but it definitely packs a powerful punch.  The simple summary would be that it comes back to the saying “what you think about grows” but it’s so much more than that.


The book highlights the importance of thoughts being tied to a purpose, fitting perfectly with the MKE where early one identifies and defines a Definite Major Purpose (DMP).  The DMP as I’m discovering is definitely where it is at baby.

“Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force”

James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

On the other hand,

“thoughts of doubt and fear can never accomplish anything. They always lead to failure”

James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

Now I don’t know about you but if I had a choice of which path to take, and we all have that choice every day, I’d choose to align my thoughts with a purpose.  One of the big steps to stepping outside the social conditioning approach of “go with the crowd” and embarking on the forging your own path.

Helping Others

Allen also touches on the importance of responsibility and helping others.  This is super important when it is so easy to implement excuses when something doesn’t go right in life.  Instead of placing blame on circumstances, environment, other people, etc , what he points out is that,

“A man’s weakness and strength, purity and impurity, are his own and not another man’s.

James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

Ninety-two years later Deepak Chopra powerfully highlights this with his Law of Least Effort, actually taking it a little further in part two:

Having accepted things as they are, I take Responsibility for my situation and for all those events I see as problems. I know that taking responsibility means not blaming anyone or anything for my situation (and this includes myself).

Deepak Chopra, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

The importance of helping others can’t be stated enough, as it’s been a fabric of society since the beginning of time.  Yet in today’s world perhaps an aspect of helping others is being missed.  Groups and politicians pushing for assistance or highlighting situations that haven’t improved over the years while putting forth a narrative that possibly enough was done in the past miss an important point.

“A strong man cannot help a weaker unless that weaker is willing to be helped” 

James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

Hero’s Journey and Self-Directed Thinking

In fact James Allen highlights an important aspect of success and how thoughts being aligned with purpose helps to accomplish becoming self-directed in one’s thinking. This really fits and jives with something that I’m learning on my Hero’s Journey as part of the Master Key Experience,

“There can be no progress nor achievement without sacrifice, and a man’s worldly success will be by the measure that he sacrifices … and fixes his mind on the development of his plans, and the strengthening of his resolution and self-reliance”

James Allen, As A Man Thinketh

Just think this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this powerful and short book that touches on character, circumstances, health and body, purpose, vision, ideals, and serenity. Important aspects of being a self-directed thinker. Aspects that I may cover in some future posts.

If you’ve read the book “As A Man Thinketh” what did you think?  And if you haven’t when are you going to?

  1. Laura Hitt says

    Great summary! Love the quotes you pulled from here. The one on sacrifice was helpful to me now. (Letting go of what’s good to make room for what’s great.) Great reminder to “fix my mind on the development of my plans, and the strengthening of my resolution and self’-reliance.” Great post, thank you!!!

  2. Lisa Sicard says

    Hi Brad, I love the quote especially about not blaming others and taking responsibility for yourself, a message that is very much needed today! I may have to grab a copy of the book!

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