Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Last and the First

Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results. - James Allen

Today is the last day of the year. While we have an opportunity every day to stop and rethink who and what we want to be, there are days like this where tradition puts more emphasis on that simple yet important exercise. A year ago you anxiously looked forward at the then year ahead with high hopes and dreams for better times – take a moment now to look back and assess whether what you hoped and dreamed for then came to be.

Today’s quote is by James Allen (1864 – 1912) who was a British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry. His most famous book, As a Man Thinketh, was published in 1902 and is now considered a classic self-help book. Its underlying premise is that noble thoughts make a noble person, while lowly thoughts make a miserable person. Now apply that premise to the concept of a New Year’s resolutions: noble is better.

Of course it’s not that simple – just having noble thoughts is only half the formula for being a noble person. You must also then act with nobility, and humility, and integrity, and dignity, and decency, and creativity, and generosity, and hope, and joy, and openness, and honor, and good humor, and dedication, and clear vision, and inspiration, and perspiration. And then, if you’re lucky, combining all of these lofty attributes with noble thoughts will lead you to being a noble person. That’s a worthy goal that may be a good New Year’s resolution!

You must be generous, and magnanimous, and serious with and about your resolutions if they’re going to be all that you wish them to be for you and your family, colleagues, friends and community. And while any or all of this may not be so simple or easy, it’s a framework for the belief that next year we each might be more and better than we are today or were this past year. That’s what a New Year’s resolution is.

This coming year be joyful in your efforts, and peaceful in your manner, and clear in your thinking, and just in your actions and noble - and see if right results come your way. Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. As a Man Thinketh is a great book. If your readers are interested, they can read or listen to it at

    James Allen wrote a whole library of great books. You can find more information on him and his works at