Nouoma Cyrille Kablan – Assessments

As a Man Thinketh

Assessment by Nouoma Cyrille Kablan (Ghana)


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

The author idea in the book is that thoughts are the genetic made up of our life styles. It forms the essence and direction of our lives. The basics of our identity. He exposes the meshwork of events nurtured silently in our hearts and how we harmonize with them in reality. As he puts it, we attract that which we are. The writer, then expresses these condensed stable perspectives in three thematic areas.

He begins by expounding the reality of our being- Character. We have, over the years, unknowingly put the piece of our growth together and as such carved a niche for our behavior and character to be made visible through the thoughts we fathomed in our mind. These were not fashioned by the universe to suit our case due to chance, however, they were drawn to us by the indestructible force of cognition. From birth, we have establish that force to attract relevant circumstances to upgrade our growth. These elements of thoughts as such sublimes into a virtue which later crystallizes into a corresponding circumstances. As such, we learn that we can create, and indeed, desire the kind of circumstance that befall us, like a medicine for dissipating ills, good thoughts are essentials for our psychological state. Its activities our coordinated and innervate every cell of our being. As such, though ignorable as we are were in the past, we learn that our character and behavioral attitude expressed is not due to luck but the magnitude of the thoughts we appreciated.

 The writer then continues another thematic aspects on the mastery of thought. He highlights the role play of thought element in our achievement and purpose driven life. In other words, there is no better motivator than the thoughts we nurture. As the proverbial puts it: “if you don’t know where you are going, every road will take you there.” Rather, I learn that aimlessness is a panacea for destruction to him that thread on an unknown route. We have the potency to build the future we desire through a zealous approach by thoughts. For these thoughts harmonize with our being to crystalize into the circumstance we dream of. And as such, its realization is by focusing our thoughts. Our convictions for the greater good will dictate the pace of our thoughts. And through these, the thought resolution and energy produced will accomplish our tasks. Mastery, of course comes through constant errs and corrections. And when attained- mastery, produced tremendous achievement. Basically, extraordinary comes from the word ordinary and as such, all we got to do is lifting up our thought above the ordinary man and establish an equipoise of sacrifice and achievement for therein lies the path of greater achievement.

Finally, the writer closes on another dimension of possibilities of our thoughts and personality. The mastering of thoughts, he continues, have the propensity to create new worlds to the dreamer. Scientists have it that every human has a unique thumbprint, as humans our ideals becomes our distinct feature. We slowly resonate towards those lofty ideals through varied doors of opportunities. Nurtured thought are the fundamentals element that harmonize us to the outside world. Our zealous aspirations connected to our convictions dictate our thoughts synthesis to realise our objectives. Here, change is not a panacea to success but the magnitude of efforts we generate. And these efforts when adequately generated have an impact on our personality. And it is this personality that becomes the epitome of success. This stage also helps us keep track of our character. Our ability to be adaptive, displays self-control and honesty are the results of crystallize thoughts. And in this dimension of thoughts, everyone admire such nature and tends to learn from it. Simply put, mastery of thought in us a humble personality, well learned and resourceful to all.

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. Man is always in harmony with himself and his physical environment.

This fact is striking as we, once in a while, fail to acknowledge that we get attracted to that which is essential to our growth. We surround ourselves with the necessary ingredients for our survival. Sometimes, we make big plans and they never materialize after the deadline. This is not, as I have learnt, because we were not committed to its cause but rather were not in harmony with the subject.

ii. Circumstance is the means through which the soul expresses itself.

It’s imperative to appreciate the useful of the issue than to thwart our own growth. Over the years, I have seen myself face one kind of a challenge different than the other. Especially with virtues, as I imbue one virtue for some time, I see myself challenged with another. And each, I believe culminate to make me better while exposing my weakness. Indeed, circumstances are platforms for the souls to challenge itself for the better.

iii. I come to appreciate the perspective that I am made by the thoughts I encourage. I am the master of my thoughts.

To some extent, though I can’t really tell when I do synthesize those thoughts, I have become aware that, most often, I do think of the events that befall me. Sometime, it looks subtle an idea to perceive but plays a role in major events days later.

iv. Thought is the fount of action and the will to do.

Of course, there is no better motivator than self. We gradually and consciously nourish the thoughts we process, we correspondingly begin to be in harmony with our environment. We slowly gravitate towards its implementation and success. It also pre-informs that our success in the field of work is purely based on the thoughts we synthesized.

v. Nothing comes off deliberate.

The word luck plays an insignificant role on the ladder of success. For a cause to be established, efforts, sacrifice and commitment plays key role. We are to consciously exert a force for the resultant energy to produce a resultant output. Like a race, athletes seriously trains for the events and winning is never based on luck.

vi. Extraordinary is a derivative of ordinary.

To be ahead of the masses, we need different thinking and this the writer puts it as lifting up our thoughts. We cannot continue the old practices that consistently yields no result. Usually, like New Year resolutions, each month presents itself to me as an opportunity to impact those few in my sphere of contacts. It is just awesome to see yourself do things differently.

vii. Dreams are the forces that underpins the growth we desire.

This is vital an idea as I need focus and purpose in my career. I find myself in a world full of various needs, and as such, when I have a dream or a purpose, I only not become useful to society but rather focus to maximize the best for society.

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

I feel privilege to have learnt these at these critical stages of my life. A period I just graduated from the university. These ideas, I have given much thoughts to them. They are becoming the fibers that interconnects my day to day activities.

Firstly, I have revisited my goals and lofty dreams I have planned years back since I became conscious that I attract that which I am. It is this dream that defines me and groom me for serenity. The genetic make-up of our existence and our attractions in this physical world is solely based on the harmony of our inner self and its surrounding. Knowledge is power not because it gives you an edge but rather it makes you appreciate the unforeseen consequences of an event. To every circumstance that befalls me, I have taken a keen interest to appreciate its cause, implications and have a positive perspective about it. In harmony with those, I believe I can carve the niche for the optimum growth of my thoughts and its lofty dreams.

One big experience during this report is my ability to concentrate my thoughts to accomplish the targets I set for myself. Previously, I was lazy with writing or say procrastinate a lot when it has to do with articles or report. Thus, knowledge and experience of the impacts of thoughts being the fount of our action is being really instrumental during this period. I have tried to take away this habit by constant practice and discourage the lackadaisical attitude. I have to exert a new form of energy to realize my aspirations and unto this I have become committed through constant practice. And as such, can depend on the resultant of the energies combined over time to excel.

Finally, I have come to appreciate that thought is the magic wand to personal growth. Virtues, character or aspirations can be built when I become familiar with the kind of thoughts I encourage. For in harmony with those I can materialize my dreams. And mastery of thoughts, as I have learnt can be achieved by constant application, sacrifice and self-analysis-these I hope to imbue gradually in my personal development.

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

“Until thought is linked with purpose, there is no intelligent accomplishment.”

This statement begins with the word “until,” meaning acknowledgement is made silently to the fact that we have to endure and pass through challenges to have our thoughts focused on a target. Definition of our thoughts, perhaps, should have a strong convictions as its drive to make our purpose resilient- basically something that keeps up going no matter what. Hence, through trials we become better.

Our thoughts must be linked with purpose. This phrase calls on all dreamers to build policies, ideologies on purpose. Our convictions should be the driving force for our growth. It even challenges us to the quality of thoughts we have to encourage and its impacts on our self, society and the world at large. Of course quality is emphasized.

This statement hold a key ingredient to the reason why we have to grow our personality to another dimension. Our stance will be remarkable, when we become purposeful, and stand out remarkable. Our intelligent accomplishment becomes the best symbol of guidance to all.

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

Of course, the writer exposed to me the unseen and unmatched power of thought. From the very first page to the last, Thought is known to fuel our actions, stir up our emotions and create our world. To put it more succinctly, every activity we undertake is based on a thought processed silently in conscious mind and nurtured unconsciously.

But one thing I found worrying are the periods through which those thoughts are synthesized and express itself in nature. At what time do we know we are synthesizing thoughts of lofty perspective? Is the thought made at dawn? The one made at the beach or during fun day? Or is it the ones made during crisis? At every point in time, we have our mind busy working on an issue. Even in dreams at night. So the issue here is which thoughts do we value as significant or insignificant? And how do we control the billions of thoughts our mind works on every seconds. At the turn of the retina of the eye, a new idea crops up.

I am of a different perception about thought. I think not all thoughts leads to productive or destructive effects. Or not all thoughts have consequences on us. I see that when we are making resolutions, we spent a lot of time focusing our mind to reason beyond capacity. Our nerves and our sensory system mutually respond to this state and enables us to stretch out the best of ideas we can think of. Contrary to this, some thoughts are produced for the thoughts of it and have no locus on our character or self. These I call temporal thoughts. With time, they fade. Each one of us, sometimes don’t remember things that did happen, even the day before at a particular moment.

Hence, I have been thinking after reading the piece, at what time of the day are we nurturing thought of change, progress and achievement? How do we control our subconscious mind to be in harmony with our self? Or can we draw a correlation between time and thought?

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 silently spoke on some fundamental activities to do. Those were practical stuffs which were needed at every point in time. First of all, I was taking cognisance of the fact that thoughts is the energy of our growth. I became very conscious of the circumstances that occurred in my life and how to direct my thoughts and tried to find it cause. Was there any role of thoughts in those? And the answer was a simple truth, thoughts played a role. In other words, it made me increase my homework. I have now come to cultivate the habit of controlling my thought daily and assess myself weekly if I am made any improvement. As human as I am, I have become aware that malice and impure thoughts have grave consequences. Hence, I am being watchful how I perceive people.

Finally, I am encourage to dream big dreams, basically, by lifting up my thoughts above the ordinary. To be self-aware that I am my motivator for success.

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

The book made highlight to key components of human development. How to master our thoughts, be in control of our character and source of inspiration to others. However, I believe this piece was silent on how we compose ourselves in an emergency state, or during an event we have no control over. This are circumstances generated outside the scope of our thinking; natural disasters. In those situations, our decisions have grave consequences. They can either put us in the limelight or a public derision. These are moments that really matters. In a split of seconds we make decisions to portray a significant and inner character. In a crisis, when everything is at impulse, how do we display our noble and bestial character? At those times, usually, we become motivated by that which we see and our emotions.

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

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

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Assessment by Nouoma Cyrille Kablan (Ghana)


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


The main idea conveyed by the author is about “understanding our limitless nature” as living organisms. He exemplifies our limitation being self-inflicted, though our atmosphere and self is nothing more than thoughts. There is more to life than the conventional and routine lifestyle that rocks our atmosphere. As beings, there is a direct correlation to a better life in the future and that lived in the past. As the writer puts it, we choose our next world through that we learn in this one.


The writer share a view non illusionary of the brighter self we so desire in the character Jonathan. By brighter self, I mean self-fulfillment, joy, excellence in our field of expertise. This nature come slowly through constant practice and understanding. It comes at a price of sacrifice. Eradicating all forms of nuisances even when it has to do with family, friends or societal norms. Indeed it is the gull that fly highest who sees farthest.


Moreover, the writer explains another factor of growth of our self. He highlights these virtues as key elements to our senses of purpose and direction. That is we need to be committed, zealous and humbled. These virtues indeed were factors for Jonathan ever improving flight skills.


Finally, the writer touches on our essence as beings. To give back to society the knowledge we acquire. We cannot aspire of a brighter tomorrow when we fail to see ourselves as agent of change. We need to pay our quota to societal growth as Jonathan did to Fletcher. Above all, that is what Love is.


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. Master courage to confront societal norms.


Coming from a background with so many superstitions, it quite frustrating at times to have ideas or interventions being kick off. Hence like Jonathan, you become an outcast if you do not obey the societal norm. Hence, to master courage and be zealous to the dream at hand is the first step to success, I have learned.


ii. Be always ready to learn


 This one priceless standpoint I learned. It does not matter who is teaching or the format it is taking. All that matters is that it should be in the direction of your goal. Every little bit of information count and it is priceless when its needs arises.


iii. Practice Makes Perfect.


As humans we become more relevant and respectfulthrough the errors and challenges we face. When we constantly practice, we unlock better understanding and skill. As a trained biomedical scientist, I am obliged to practice regularly so as to sharpen my skills.


iv. Be ready to explore limitless opportunities.


I have learned not to be content with the skills I possessed. It’s like being an under-graduate, it is more than possible to enter graduate school. And as such, as we dream to unlock our hidden best potentials, we rather make the earth a safe and better world to be.


v. Knowledge is power


Like Jonathan Seagull, his knowledge made him a masterpiece, mistakenly referred to as a god. With Knowledge with become alive with our environment, we clearly understand the routine phenomenon that confronts us and how to adapt in strict conditions. As a young scientist, I know that understanding the mechanisms by which living things work allow us to know what goes wrong in disease and provide a rationale scientific basis for its treatment. And this is the essence of knowledge … to make health care better.


vi. Be ready to teach others.


For out of this, we also build a better generation than us. We were once recipients of the vast knowledge from the older generation. And in impartation, not only do we educate others, we become cognizant and attained a comprehensive nature. Volunteering as a teacher is one of my best days. It makes me relieve and important to society.


vii. Limitation is self-inflicted. 


Funny enough, I have over the time said I am a poor writer and I will take eternity to finish this report. True as it is, I could not beat the one month deadline. We are made of the thoughts we encouraged and as such have inflicted and thwarted our progress with a poor, ignorant and destructive thought. Our limitations we behold are mere thoughts and I have learnt to use my thoughts for motivation than define my limitations. Like Jonathan, what that matters most is being there that is true perfection.


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


I believe the writer exposed to me goldmines in his book. These ideas are vital for young people to meditate. It explicitly highlights the significance of those core values.


These lessons are lifeguard to my personal development. For every task or activity that befalls me, failure is a stepping stone for me to reveal and redefine my personality. Constant practice, as I have learnt is a key to success. No matter how many times failure defeat me, I have come to learn that it is only a reminder to say I have not practice enough and corrected my errors to excel.


Secondly, these ideas will help me become more useful to society. Being ready to learn and teach others are perfect keys to human growth. I have learned every opportunity is perfect to grasp a little concept. All information is vital. As such, cognizant of this fact put away self-inflicted limitations. Knowledge is power and the key to unlock wealth. By wealth, I mean peace, prosperity and support from men. Hence, building my knowledge base and being useful to society by imparting it to the younger generations will make me more useful to society.


Finally, these ideas are keys for me to live beyond the ordinary- to behold lofty ideals. It has taught me how to nurture those dreams and develop it with time. For constant practice of the task at hand will aid in my understanding of the concept which will give me a better insight. And these are based on the magnitude of the thought I encourage. For good virtues will translate to its corresponding circumstances.


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


This statement from Jonathan got my attention: “There is a reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill.”


This piece from Jonathan was a result of series of flights revelations he had and was willing to share with the flock. However, upon landing, he was invited into the council and the news got him banished.


This piece tells me that there is so much to learn in our field of specialties. “We are not robot to continually produce the same knowledge generated thousands years ago. The reason to our living exceeds the routine checks. We have to dream new paths to thread. Of course, with the power of thoughts.”


Thinking beyond the imaginable we can unlock that treasure that so await us making society better.


The second phase of Jonathan phrase reminds me that it will take more than glorious achievement to change the thinking of the masses. Our achievement will be instantly rejected if we fail to add the golden touch of love. Later in the scripts, Jonathan was admonished to keep working on love. And to me it makes perfect sense. We cannot distant achievement and societal impacts from Love. Love should be the core principle that binds our motives. We must thrive to love so as to build a society for all to cherish.


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


During Jonathan last training Jonathan got to know that the trick was to know that his true nature lived, as perfect as an unwritten number, everywhere at once across space and time. Well, I think this phrase was quite fictional. It was expedient, perhaps for Jon story but not in reality.


As humans, I find it far fetched to be everywhere at once across space and time. Even the elder admonished Jon to forget about faith. How possible can perfection be to become invisible and be visible in milliseconds again?


Does that mean as we thrive in our disciplines, perfection will translate us into a different being with superpowers? Though the mind finds it difficult to fathom, is it really a possibility?


I think juxtaposing that virtue to human life, outside fictional codes, will be unrealistic. To put it more succinctly, there is none human being perfect. We are affected by family, friends, emotions and many other significant factors in our day to day activities and as such make it, arguably for man to be perfect.


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? 


No. the book did not contain any exercise for the reader. However, it spelt out some virtues worth noting over time. Reading this piece, I appreciated the effort of commitment to a specific task. It really brings out the best in us. To have a sense of purpose to be more than ordinary and a directional code is vital to my improvement in my discipline. 


Secondly, this piece reminded of a phrase in Junior High School. It reads “information is Vade mecum for survival..” The Latin word which means a guide constantly kept at hand for consultation. The key to personal development is to be humbled to learn at all times. Even, when we excel, it is an opportunity for us to learn a particular skill. For unto every activity calls a glorious moment in the life of a learner. And Jon made it happen. As such, I have re activated my Vade Mecum perspective unto education.


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


The writer gave a picture of serenity; a state of perfection as vanishing when Elder Chiang and Jonathan had to vanish on separate occasion. The level of their knowledge was quite remarkable and they proved the principle of love among their folks.


Did that meant that every seagull that uncovers the secret and joy of flights vanish while the others die?  I was a bit quite confused why they seagulls, instead of teaching the colleagues how to fly opted to vanish. Was it really the true definition of love they imparted to their mentee? Moved out when the environment is over favorable to you instead of impacting it.


This part of the story leaves much to ponder. I believe Chiang and Jonathan should have stayed and helped elevate the status of their colleagues. No matter how slow thy respond, surely they might have bought the concept later.


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

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