Considered the pioneer of modern inspirational thought and motivation, James Allen (1864 - 1912) published As a Man Thinketh in 1903. This is a powerful little self-help treatise, which essentially discusses how, by adjusting the way we think in response to external circumstances, we can shape our lives, personally, professionally, physically, and psychologically, towards the ultimate goal of inner peace and serenity.
James Allen came from a working-class background. His father was murdered whilst looking for employment and his mother could neither read nor write. These difficult circumstances forced James to leave school at 15 to help support his mother and younger brother. He became a private secretary, and eventually earned his living as a reporter and journalist. His wife, Lily Oram Allen, wrote of him, "He never wrote theories, or for the sake of writing, but he wrote when he had a message, and it became a message only when he had lived it out in his own life and knew that it was good. Thus he wrote facts which he had proven by practice."
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