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Thought & Purpose, by James Allen

UNTIL thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent
accomplishment. With the majority, the bark of thought is allowed
to “drift” upon the ocean of life. Aimlessness is a vice, and
such drifting must not continue for the person who would steer
clear of catastrophe and destruction.

They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey
to petty worries, fears, troubles, and self-pityings, all of
which are indications of weakness, which lead, just as surely as
deliberately planned sins (though by a different route), to
failure, unhappiness, and loss, for weakness cannot persist in a
power evolving universe.

A man should conceive of a legitimate purpose in his heart, and
set out to accomplish it. He should make this purpose the
centralizing point of his thoughts. It may take the form of a
spiritual ideal, or it may be a worldly object, according to his
nature at the time being; but whichever it is, he should steadily
focus his thought-forces upon the object, which he has set before
him. He should make this purpose his supreme duty, and should
devote himself to its attainment, not allowing his thoughts to
wander away into ephemeral fancies, longings, and imaginings.

This is the royal road to self-control and true concentration of
thought. Even if he fails again and again to accomplish his
purpose (as he necessarily must until weakness is overcome), the
strength of character gained will be the measure of his true
success, and this will form a new starting-point for future power
and triumph.

Those who are not prepared for the apprehension of a great
purpose should fix the thoughts upon the faultless performance of
their duty, no matter how insignificant their task may appear.
Only in this way can the thoughts be gathered and focused, and
resolution and energy be developed, which being done, there is
nothing which may not be accomplished.

The weakest soul, knowing its own weakness, and believing this
truth that strength can only be developed by effort and practice,
will, thus believing, at once begin to exert itself, and, adding
effort to effort, patience to patience, and strength to strength,
will never cease to develop, and will at last grow divinely

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.

To put away aimlessness and weakness, and to begin to think with
purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones who only
recognize failure as one of the pathways to attainment; who make
all conditions serve them, and who think strongly, attempt
fearlessly, and accomplish masterfully.

Having conceived of his purpose, a man should mentally mark out a
straight pathway to its achievement, looking neither to the right
nor the left. Doubts and fears should be rigorously excluded;
they are disintegrating elements, which break up the straight
line of effort, rendering it crooked, ineffectual, useless.
Thoughts of doubt and fear never accomplished anything, and never
can. They always lead to failure. Purpose, energy, power to do,
and all strong thoughts cease when doubt and fear creep in.

The will to do springs from the knowledge that we _can_ do. Doubt
and fear are the great enemies of knowledge, and he who
encourages them, who does not slay them. thwarts himself at every

He who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure. His
every, thought is allied with power, and all difficulties are
bravely met and wisely overcome. His purposes are seasonably
planted, and they bloom and bring forth fruit, which does not
fall prematurely to the ground.

Thought allied fearlessly to purpose becomes creative force: he
who knows this is ready to become something higher and stronger
than a mere bundle of wavering thoughts and fluctuating
sensations; he who does this has become the conscious and intelligent
wielder of his mental powers.

Resources That Can Help:

7 Golden Secret To Knowing Your Higher Self

Life Purpose Course: The Roar From Within

About Asoka Selvarajah

Dr. Asoka Selvarajah is a writer and teacher of personal growth and spirituality, and the author of numerous books and courses. His work helps people achieve their full potential, deepen their understanding of mystical truth, and discover their soul’s purpose. Subscribe to the Aspire To Wisdom list to receive more articles and resources to your inbox.

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  1. Quote for Thought: So, in seeking security and safety, you actually distance yourself from the Freedom you want…
    James Allan: To put away aimlessness and weakness, and to begin to think with purpose, is to enter the ranks of those strong ones..
    Ahh the eternal dance.. Action versus surrender. To prevent Action being a snare to catch us up in unending action I think we need to be in touch with the inner purpose through surrender.
    The James Allan quote is a call to action – a very western approach to life. Does the rest of the book talk about cleaving to Inner Direction which is a more eastern metaphysical inclination?
    I used to be outer – action directed. I an still action oriented, but through review of my experience I have come to belive that selecting an aim based only on desire or duty led me to waste a lot of my life. I think the action for action’s sake approach keeps us busy and out of most mischief, but in the end just fills time and leaves us in the endless loop of karma. It like a pair dance with only one partner. The other partner (Ishwar) must be invisibly there or the duet lacks fulfillment.

  2. the article is just what I believe in doubts fears & apprehensions don’t take us far the kill all aspirations. We have to kill them before they grow & enslave us. Your article on Happiness was excellent
    Thank you

  3. you’re doing a pretty goodwork by encouraging peopple to look inwards and believe in themselves the article is quiet good but i expect we should be able to get some of your books free for those of us that are in africa and students.thanks

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