Motheba Mosiuoa – Assessments

As A Man Thinketh
Assessment by Motheba Mosiuoa (Lesotho)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea that the author is trying to portray in this book is the power of thought and how one can apply his/her thoughts to his/her daily life decision making and how they can be productive. It also portrays the concept of the Law of Attraction. Just like the law of gravity, the law of attraction affects us despite the way we choose to think. Our thoughts become reality as time goes by according to the law of attraction.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

i. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he

This idea portrays clearly that our thoughts and emotions from heart are exactly what we are. One cannot think of bad things and yet do well instead we give what we have be it good or bad. Our actions are portray our thoughts.

iii. Man’s mind may be likened to a garden…

Man’s mind can be both positive and negative just like a garden which can have weeds or either a beautiful bed of roses. Weeds can grow even on the sidewalk they do not to be watered and same thing happens for negative thoughts being planted in our minds. They don’t need to be encouraged at all but with roses and positive thoughts one has to fully feed both healthy nutrients that can help them grow even better.

iv. The soul attracts that which it secretly harbors…

A cherished thought eventually becomes an action for its what the souls longs for, meditates on and they mind is always on it. Every thought that is allowed to come in to mind will eventually grow there like a seed planted and ready to sprout to full live. Things that are happen now in our lives are the circumstances of our past thinking about certain things that we dwelled on. As James Allan states, “the outer world of circumstance shapes itself to the inner world of thought and both pleasant and unpleasant external conditions are factors, which make for the ultimate good of the individual.”

v. Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.

With the law of attraction obeying us at every cost, the circumstances of the present are simply our thoughts put into action and showing or portraying to us what we have given to our thoughts as what we desire and decided to think about. And the circumstances can never be changed unless there are positive thought conditioners we follow and guide ourselves on.
vi. The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good.

Serenity gives one a good heart and above all a balanced life for one starts seeing beauty and small things. Small things matter the most and they give a much more fulfilling sense of serenity. Even a simple person who understands the power tranquility has is able to prosper fully in his life as they develop a greater sense of self-control and leading is their main goal not just bossing others around.

vii. The dreamers are the saviors of the world.

If you don’t dream and have better visions for your life, someone is definitely going to hire you to dream and make those dreams come true for themselves. An ambitious person can dream and follow their adventures in life as they continue to dream and have goals they want to achieve. Just like Allan states, humanity cannot forget its dreamers; it cannot let their ideals fade and die; it lives in them; it knows them as they realities which it shall one day see and know. Men like Einstein can never in a millions be forget for they had dreams and the world got to know about it. The intriguing part also on the vision and ideals sub topic is that “whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your thoughts, your Vision, your Ideal. You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration: in the beautiful words of Stanton Kirkham Davis: “you may be keeping accounts and presently you shall walk out of the door that for so long has seemed to you the barrier of your ideals, and shall find yourself before an audience the pen still behind your ear, the ink stains on your fingers and then and there shall pour out the torrent of your inspiration. You may be driving sheep, and you shall wander under the intrepid guidance of the spirit into the studio of the master and after a time he shall say, I have nothing more to teach you. And now you have become the master, who did so recently dream of great things while driving sheep. You shall lay down the saw and the plane to take upon yourself the regeneration of the world.”

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

Achievements, success and failures are said to all be linked directly to our thinking. One cannot force a horse to drink even though they can drag it to the well same applies to helping a person who doesn’t want to be helped. Unless one wants to accept the changes and be helped, all we for them cannot happen at all.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

These ideas and lessons will help me in my daily in having positive thought conditioners I could follow because I would want to attract good and that requires good thoughts thinking. And since we cannot fully monitor our thoughts it’s wise to check them against our emotions and by use of positive statements so I attract what will be productive. The happy and sad circumstances in my life are just my thoughts put into action and I would like to have more happy than sad meaning I should think positive than negative at all costs.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

“Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results.”

Just like in real life this statement is very true yet we tend to ignore or choose to forget it more times than we could ever count. You can never out into the soil carrots seeds and hope that when they grow they will be either spinach or tomatoes. That is not just impossible but rather very ridiculous. Since we understand this concept in the natural world, why is it so hard to follow and understand it in the mental and moral world?

“The circumstances, which encounters man with suffering, are the result of the individuals own mental in harmony. The circumstances, which a man encounters with blessedness are the result of his own mental harmony.”

Allan describes blessedness as the measure of right thought not material possessions while wretchedness is measure of wrong thought not lack of material possessions. However both terms can be linked with riches and being poor even though they do not mean the same thing rather just interdependent. A whining man usually ends up being wretched because all his energy is shifted into complaining and nagging. On other hand, a man that stops to whine and revile has enough energy to use in searching for the hidden justice which will definitely regulate his life and for him obviously this mean less or rather no regrets at all.

“Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.”

If there is one thing most man fear in their lives is being alone and their own presence! They would rather resort to their gadgets not enjoy being alone and reflect on their lives. Only people who practices meditation can sit alone and enjoy it without complaining about it. For most of us, it is such torture to just sit and do nothing, by the looks of it our happiness and fulfillment in life is attached to others or certain things. Being alone teaches how to be calm, respond rather than reacting to situations as they happen to us or in our lives. One can fully govern and control him/herself only after adapting to the idea of being alone and in silence. Socrates says “Know Thyself” and this is the idea we should practice and adopt if we ever want to be wise and calm.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and if so, why?

Unclear or statements that I disagree or question are: The book did not contain any exercises that I had to complete however it was generally clear and helpful to me. It would me a while though to get a grip at it due to the British English used but since I had an audio on it was easier to follow after listening to that audio.

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

None.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

Since the book is focused the law of attraction and addressing the fact that our thoughts put into action are the circumstances right now, suggestions or exercise goals would have been more than handy. It is with practice and testing that we learn how far we have achieved in our lives.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 8
B. How helpful were the contents? 10
C. How easy was it to understand? 8
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 10

 

 

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Assessment by Motheba Mosiuoa (Lesotho)

1. What is the main idea that the author is trying to convey in the book?

The main idea that the author is trying to portray in this book is the idea of self-perfection using the character of a bird that is bored with “regular/normal” day to day activities according to the seagulls’ society. The seagull by the name of Jonathan Livingston had to grow out of his comfort zone to avoid living in the moment instead explore his additional abilities which were all concepts of flying and for that he got mocked even by his family and eventually he became an outcast. However at the end Livingston met other birds with the same visions as his and he could finally share the breakthrough and many other lessons he had discovered while practicing flying while the Breakfast Flock (his flock) was reserved to seashore and fighting for food and did not at all find flying necessary rather they said it’s a sign of being irresponsible and breaking of the brotherhood.

2. What were the seven ideas which were personally most important to you and why? List these seven ideas followed by an explanation after each one as to why it was important to you. Use personal examples from your own life.

The seven ideas that I found personally important to me due to their reliability and connectedness to my life are:

i. To stall in the air is for them disgrace and it is dishonor.

In our society certain things (teenage pregnancy) are considered as disgrace to the community and families of the affected two people and it is in rare cases whereby there is support and strength like that of Jonathan Livingston to be unashamed and try again instead of giving up and saying something is not for me simply because things didn’t go well the first time.

ii. Out of box and ambitious thinking is not a way to make one’s self popular with other birds (people).

When one has vision and is determined to break away from the old way of thinking they are quickly dismissed and labeled and eventually no one would want to associate with them. This is because people fear change and especially fear of failure or success due to changing certain habits they had. They want to believe that they should stick to a certain rule or habit simply because it worked well in the past even though it has its own shortcomings. Change is something that scares people and they never want to taste.

iii. But victory was short-lived.

Nothing is this world is permanent be it failure of success. A merry-go-around of spinning wheel can be used to describe life and Livingstone experienced this too after setting a world speed record for seagulls! For a moment victory and celebration was his but then when he began his pullout things changed and he smashed into a brick-hard sea.

iv. “I am a seagull. I am limited by my nature. If I were meant to learn so much about flying, I’d have charts for brains.”

Just like Livingston humans beings are born with negative thoughts when things don’t go well or totally fail all the hope and hard work. There are days when giving up feels like the best option and for the weak or my weak moments I opt for it and start giving excuses and justifying with statements like “I am not good enough,” “oh well this things have their people who can do better on them.”

v. Such promises are only for the gulls that accept the ordinary. One who has touched excellence in his learning has no need of that kind of promise.

After trial and error Livingston wanted to give up yet after a reflection he had don while enjoying the loneliness he felt he decided to give it a go and start practicing and enjoying what gave him peace of mind and what he truly loved and made his life worth living. Even for the successful and rich people, negative thoughts creep into their minds for a while but eventually they recover from the blow of the loss they had just incurred. When truly has passion and a certain thing is a lifetime goal, giving up can never be an option but yes negativity will knock in.

vi. You don’t love hatred and evil

Even though the mob of birds tried killing Livingston he did not give up on them and still believed that there is good in them, that they just need guidance. Everybody deserves a second chance or more than that. There is still good in people they do bad things due to emotions clouding their judgment.

vii. The crowd grew larger every day, coming to question, to idolize, to scorn.

In life there are people who will bring us down even when we do our best and there are those that will support us no matter what and this was the same for Livingston when he started meeting with people that had same views as him about flying. All that can help us grow into better and greater people if we learn to respond not react to situations when then happen to us or around us.

3. How will these ideas or lessons help you in a practical way, both in your daily personal life and in helping you to create a better world? If so, how?

These ideas and lessons will help me in my daily life by serving as a reminder and guide in my decision. From this novella I have learned that Jonathan Livingstone Seagull was very passionate and nothing could beat his perseverance when it came to choosing what he felt would work better for me rather than just following what other seagulls had adapted to. After he left his flock, the flock he grew up with and had spent most of his livelihood with, he still continued to pursue learning and understand the concept of flying. I trust I am now capable to stand firm on my beliefs and dreams even when those around me find me crazy or maybe too ambitious or just another big crazy dreamer. If at the end Livingston got followers and was able to share his passion with other birds this means there are people in this world who share the same views as me just that it will take a while for us to discover each other. So giving up is not option at all!

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention? If so, please quote them and comment as to why they were important to you.

“Of course, he thought, the Breakfast Flock this morning: they saw the Breakthrough! But I want no honors.”

In this era the best people do after touching others’ lives is praise or after some discoveries they await to be recognized. After making such amazing breakthrough Livingston only wanted to share and give promise to his flock for years to come. This was a very genuine and bold move that only a few can make. He had no wishes to be a leader or be honored rather just simply show the newly discovered horizons ahead for the benefit of the flock.

“Violating the dignity and tradition of the Gull Family…”

I am one to believe certain things like tradition and dignity are overrated! Certain things yes, they can be rules but happened to exceptions? Evolution means not just discovery of a certain concept rather how one can put it to good use and let it be innovative and productive to his/her life. We cannot continue to be the society that complains about implementation of email address because it means one losing his/her job at post office. Question is, so all those important deals should never be made because the letter was lost in the mail?

“One school if finished, and the time has come for another to begin.”

There is just so much to discover out there. Learning does not end in a classroom with somebody telling us facts or helping us solve a math or science equations. Learning is much more broad than that and lucky are those who have passion for reading for they can truly learn and pick up positive and great habits that will most definitely be life improving and perfecting.

“You are pretty well a one-in-a-million bird.”

“It always works, when you know what you ‘re doing”

These are just normal words to an ordinary person but not for one who fully understands the law of attraction and wants a healthy and better self-development which needs to be watered and taken care of daily just like a bed of roses. You cannot give what you don’t have in life and therefore meditation to help respect and discover the potential one has requires this words to be used as a daily mantra throughout the day. This statement can be very uplifting if it is said from the bottom of our hearts not matter the circumstances, all we have to do is say it over and over again until we truly absorb and feel it in our bones. The latter quote emphasizes more about goal setting! Its only when a goal and its sub-steps are written down and clear one can follow and achieve them. You cannot take a journey without a destination! What will a point of it? Driving around in circles?

“To fly as fast as thought, to anywhere that is, you must begin by knowing that you have already arrived.”

Knowing what you want can make easier to have a clear direction and help one avoid saying they didn’t have enough time! Yes we will get just 24 hours in a day and it’s more than enough if there is a set direction to follow.

“Couldn’t I? Don’t you think there might be other flocks, other Fletchers, that need an instructor more than this one, that’s on its way toward the light?”

Livingston was more about helping more than one Flock instead he wanted to touch more lives and share his breakthroughs with other several flocks. He didn’t want to own the legacy alone and these are qualities of a leader, a true leader.

5. Is there anything in the book that you do not understand or are unclear about, or are there ideas which you disagree with and if so, why?

“Forget about faith!” I take a leap of Faith in dark days even Blind Faith is what I settle for, understanding the concept and why part will follow after for me. Well maybe the elder, Chiang used this statement to help Livingston to prepare his mind for going an extra mile but for me it’s the concept I doubt I will give up on for Faith is more just a feeling its actions too!

6. Did the book contain exercises for the reader to complete? If so, did you complete all of the exercises and did you find them helpful?

The book did not contain any exercises that I had to complete however it was generally clear and helpful to me. All the ideas that were presented came across very vivid and worth putting into practice.

7. Was there anything you read in the book that you would like to comment on that was not covered in the previous questions? If so, please comment.

This was a good, short and helpful read and one can easily go over it again. However I feel a prologue and epilogue would have made it easier to understand. Apart from that I really enjoyed it.

Please rate the following questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten is good and one is poor.

A. How interesting was it to read? 8
B. How helpful were the contents? 7
C. How easy was it to understand? 9
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 8.5