Emmanuel Chukwu – Assessments

As A Man Thinketh
Assessment by Emmanuel Chukwu (Nigeria)

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

The main idea the author seeks to convey is the effectiveness of our thoughts over our lives; “As a man thinks, so is he.” This is a given reality of the individual as the architect of his/her dream, born out of a pattern and directed life in the ambience of the cognitive faculties as the foundation to the entire mastering of our lives, manifesting in lived experiences through time.

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. The mind as a garden.

As the human mind is a complex information processing means, equating it to a garden denotes my expectations to result from my input because it is impossible to sow bad seeds and reap good fruits. Also, nothing in the universe would trouble me incessantly than my own views, presumption and over time thoughts to a given existence. So what I plant in my mind (negative or positive) yields within a space of time to a circumstance that shapes my life. Being the master gardener of my totality, I am inspired by this mind-garden comparison to conceptualize the nature of my garden, by feeding positive thoughts to my mind and consequently turnout abundant harvest for me.

ii. Thought and Character

Every occasion of our living involves thought to action (negative or positive) because of the relationship between the inner man and the outer man. Thought and character are inseparably linked to portray inevitable change in humanity. It is pertinent to say that the circumstances of this relationship are not absolutely justified at every moment given that the problem of appearance and reality has been an unresolved dispute in the world; but doesn’t abolish every character from having at least a minute link to the inner man.
The law of our nature gives us a place in the world through our nature and in the agreement plan of our existence, there is no component of odds because of the definite mandate of human reality in time. With this, I have further learned that my action springs from the latent seeds of every thought I engage in. Nonetheless, my quest for growth must be purpose driven and if I do witness my desired fruit then I must undergo thorough thought evaluation and purification of intentions. As the making of my being is incomplete without my character, I have also learned to modify my totality by the thoughts I harbor; and as my experiences affects my character and every effort I demonstrate towards it changes my mentality because my capability to rise and also fall lies on my ability to manage the law of change through positive thoughts.

iii. Thought and Purpose
Thought and purpose are two double-edged phenomenon, intertwined with precision as its working mechanism by a complimentary flow; whereby a lack of one renders the other ineffectual. The technicality of thoughts allied with purpose suggests a stronger creative force in the universe. Therefore, our potentials are realized only when we can admit this realty that most people are not purpose driven and this is often the development mark most persons miss out in life. The journey to find our purpose with fitting thoughts means to acknowledge a burning zeal and live in its existential parameters. The quality of our thoughts reflects on our approach toward this reality, and it is rightly intended that the more definite our thought is on the chart of realism, the better we can adapt to the enigmatic surrounding of our potential. Notwithstanding the function of our thoughts is to further apprehend agreement that guide our behaviors. Hence, the existing map of the human person is therefore serviceable to our individual reaction and response to the real world. The momentary tragedy we experience is when we forget our purpose when we find ourselves in a certain place and suddenly forget the reason why we are there in the first place.

At this time, we struggle with our thoughts to rekindle the purpose why we were there. Engaging this process would most times take us back to our initial position, where we can have reminiscence of the purpose. This happens to all of us at different phases of life. A purpose is always specific to avoid a nebulous goal, and the exactitude of every goal easily softens the steps to achieve it. Another point to highlight in thought and purpose is while on thoughtful moves, we have to verify the reality of the purpose, if it can be met with or achieved because a purpose focused and clearly stated can be accomplished when we supply the right thoughts required. But unreasonable purpose meets a death blow periodically.

As a complimentary phenomenon, purpose aids us to concentrate properly on our thinking. Nonetheless, every intelligent accomplishment is not devoid of thought linked with logical comprehensive purpose. Therefore, I am challenged to always conceive a veracity purpose and set out to accomplish it by making it the central point of my intellection and thus jealously guide it against ephemeral ties. By doing so, I cultivate sobriety and concentration on my thoughts. However, I have learned that thoughts of doubts and fear never accomplish anything tangible, and I wouldn’t lack the right thoughts to accomplishment if my purpose is specific and realistically underpinned. Obviously, thought and purpose are enigmatic for individual progression.

iv. Thought factor in Achievement

The human person is distinct with internal diligence for accomplishment of varied perspectives and guarantee. Failures for these attainments are rooted in our individual thoughts. The result of our efforts towards any achievement marks our being. This is evidenced that “as a man structures his thoughts, so he is”, and as he continues to think, so he shall remain. So we transcend on the condition of lifting up our thoughts, and our inability to transform withholds our growth to success. If we can absolutely control our thoughts, then we can be positioned to competently control affairs and embrace to maintain deliberate responsibilities. Thus, our limitation to our choices of operation falls on the level of our chosen thoughts. The strength of one’s effort is the measure of the result under the supervision of rightful thoughts applied in all human proceeding. Tremendous victory is also customarily born of immense sacrifice and is never the consequence of selfishness. I have further understood that there can be no stride, accomplishment without sacrifice. Any type of achievement is the crown of resilient and thoughtful effort. And the victories achieved with appropriate cognition can only be protected by keenness of purpose. However, a definite and well directed thought procures all achievements of any hue and cry.

v. Vision and Ideals

This presents the reality that a committed personality that treasures fascinating vision and a soaring ideal within, shall definitely realize it someday. When we honor our visions and ideals in the rightful manner, it facilitates the advancement of engaging conditions that will at last build the world of our own. One’s perception is, therefore, the assurance of what they grow. And our growth is the direct revelation of what we shall at last unveil. All these gratifying attainments were at first and for a particular time a dream we nursed gratuitously. Nonetheless, every dream of the human person is vehemently the seedling of one’s reality through time. I have further risen to consciousness that I will always gravitate towards the vision I secretly exalt in my mind, the ideal I willfully establish in my heart which will unavoidably build my life by and thus characterize my humanity.

vi. Serenity

The calmness of the human mind is one of the hallmarks of serenity whereby someone is calm in the criterion he understands himself as a transformative being-in-the-world. This insight entails the perception of others as the reaction of thought, and as one establish a right understanding, and further examine the subjective relations of things following the process of cause and effect, they refrain from confusion to absolutely surrender to being steadfast and serene. Now, with the impact of self-control and mastery of right thought, calm personalities are knowledgeable in possible ways to adapt themselves to their surrounding and they, in turn reverence his/her positive energy with the feeling that they are reliable. I have learned that the more mild a man becomes, the greater is his success, his leverage and capacity for good. Nonetheless, every firm and calm personality is always loved and admired subsequently to his greater self control and composure because the society seeks to trade with a man whose disposition is solidly composed. So achieving this incontrovertible state of mind means to me that I won’t feel very troubled by the tragedy of the world; and also, it further helps me to stay calm and true to myself by maintaining such great auras of peace of mind.

vii. Weakness and Fear

Weakness and fear are two opposing delays in the process of every accomplishment. This has been defeated by all successful individuals in different walks of life. Anyone who entertains weak thoughts and rapid fear is not fit for success and for one to transcend, those barriers of success are walked over by strategic and rightful thoughts. I am encouraged to conquer weakness of thought and fear of purpose, by consistently aligning my thoughts to positive spheres to enable me achieve exploits in my transitional dealings.

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?

I have greatly benefited from the tremendous concepts of this book “As a man Thinketh” by James Allen. It is armor of success. “As a man thinketh” enables me to take charge and evaluate my thought development and forward them to achieve my goal as a purpose driven personality. Living in a world of influence, we conglomerate with innumerable positive and negative thoughts and our choice to a particular school of thought defines our being. The ideas in this book also uncover the relationship between our thoughts and the world in which we live; the result to welcome in adopting positive thoughts and the abiding consequences of negative thoughts.

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.

“And the higher he lifts his thoughts, the more manly, upright, and righteous he becomes, the greater will be his success, the more blessed and enduring will be his achievement.”

This quote is an inspiration to me. It outlines the advantage of good and rising mentality. With this, I am inspired to continually lift my positive oriented thoughts to excel.

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?

No. I couldn’t find an idea to disagree with

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 to complete.

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.

No. No; the book is a progressive, inspiring literary piece.

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

 

Jonathan Livingston Seagull
Assessment by Emmanuel Chukwu (Nigeria)

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

What the author seeks to convey is self-actualization and emancipation by overcoming multifaceted hindrances of self-expansion for concrete realization, while considering oneself an essential icon of the universe. Jonathan Livingston Seagull firmly admit that there is more to life than momentary pleasure and as such, subsumed with a deep longing to become and emerge greater heights because most seagulls don’t bother to transcend more than the simplest facts of flight and for Jonathan Livingston Seagull, eating doesn’t matter but flight does matter, more than anything else. Jonathan’s dream of fulfillment and the custom of the flock of seagulls clashed to exempt Jonathan Livingston Seagull from the flock of seagulls to launch him to self-actualization through rigorous processes that abound periodically. Sullivan Seagull highlighted this “a life after a hundred lives until we began to learn that there is such a thing as perfection and flaunt it as it lasts. Marked with the zeal to succeed, as an exceptional seagull, Jonathan Livingston manifested unflinching determination to live the life of his dreams.

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. Jonathan Livingston Seagull’s experience embodies a range of important ideas for my development.

His demonstration of substantial individualism is anchored by a purpose driven passion. I have learned various ways of understanding firm individualism and its workability. This is crucial for a purpose driven personality pursuing individuation. In past times, I was accustomed to a seeming rule for measure of value and diligence, while I am passionate to transcend. I couldn’t reconcile the prospect of balancing both extremes of conforming and my desire to evolve. I committed to further steps of hard work that changed my life which I didn’t regret; and becoming a conformist never remained on the list of what I could consider any longer.

This buttresses that substantial individualism is inseparably linked to transformative hard work. The underpinnings of the 19th-century philosopher Soren Kierkegaard lend more credibility on Jonathan’s act of real individualism which holds the sole responsibility of the person to make its life meaningful and passionately live it out sincerely through time; irrespective of unfathomable turbulent experiences of our corporeality. This instability challenges our visionary tenacity for transformative purposes and the ability to rise above these degrading spots for excellence were the undertakings flaunted by Jonathan Livingston Seagull. My motivation never drops to continually uphold real individualism in my sojourning.

ii. Ostracizing Jonathan Livingston Seagull from the flock of seagulls, availed him immunity with responsibility in his solitary engagement to excel.

It is pertinent to say that the positive outcome of freedom depends on the participatory individual in such privilege, as freedom is at the service of responsibility and irresponsibility. Nonetheless, freedom sequentially exposes the deposit fact of a being. Jonathan Livingston Seagull lived in full manner or degree of responsibility in the unsolicited prerogative granted him by the flock of seagulls. If, at such state of living, Jonathan is not opinionated with a victorious force; it will remain absurd for his freedom utility when the passion for wholeness has driven him out of the flock of seagulls. I have learned the impact of freedom with responsibility because it paves a way for safe landing of my humanity.

iii. Extraordinary determination is one of the cardinal points in Jonathan’s success story that motivates me to make progress.

Most times I experience fluctuation to make informed decisions because I was not determined to carry on the task. Through this mechanism, Jonathan Livingston Seagull was remarkably determined to start and vividly responded to the events of his autonomous action with a pace of self-procedure and psychologically empowered in a parallel way which points to his goal by absolute possession of his own life to achieve exploits. His primary concern is not even the routine flight and scuffling for food rather to daily push his limits in a corresponding trail of hard work, by practicing obscure twists and turns which he realized with a complete confidence.

iv. Jonathan Livingston Seagull always long for a meaningful approach of living.

This manifested in his exclamation “we have a good cause to experience freedom to discover and learn.” The rationale of his curiosity and zeal to elevate is an alibi for progression, championed by strenuous undertaking of personal flight practices. This also highlights that as we live in a world of opportunities and possibilities, every purpose driven personality is credited with enabling qualities of innovation. We can further know what we can do when everyone is given a chance to manifest and harness one’s ingenuity because excessive adherence to monotonous patterns limits our possibilities.

v. The resilient effort of Jonathan Livingston Seagull is a crucial attribute of transcendence.

Having been directed to live on the rocks in a distant terrain away from the flock of seagulls, which seem to be the end of his life but became a foothold of his development; Jonathan remained positive for his hope. Adapting to his way of life availed him opportunity also to care for himself at ease and to change approaches to live the life he ever longed for. This stage in Jonathan’s experience is a learnable trait and an obvious feature of improvement in the absolute phenomenon of gradual changes. I have learned, adjusting to varied moments is a fitting ground for growth.
As a teen, it took me a long time to adjust to another type of living. My parents constantly emphasize the necessity to adjust well to any condition I find myself and also make good use of such periods of time to build myself for a better placement, I gradually adhered with their encouragement and my efforts, though it wasn’t easy for me at the time; but I succeeded and today I am always on the lookout to experience different sides of life in our ever-changing world.

vi. There is no way we can pursue our dreams in the company of our own without the involvement of perseverance.

There is no genuine attainment, irrespective of its degree, that doesn’t include perseverance because perseverance is a crucial element unavoidably needed to comply to the good cause of high level of excellence; and persevering to the end for the glorious crown is heroic sign and virtue worthy of emulation, whereby a liberated mind seeking for success perseveres through the required thick and thin processes. Jonathan Livingston Seagull ceaselessly persevered for success on his journey to wholeness. I have learned that the condition to achieve our dream is to persevere. In the world, we are surrounded with varied circumstances that tirelessly challenge us to give up our dreams; and to guard against such agents of denial is to be steadfast to obstinately refuse giving up amidst what we encounter on our everyday sojourn, because the rationale of our dream is incomparable to the opposing stance of our success. Therefore, moments of perseverance are an enduring phase, if we are conscious that we are our own motivation to triumph.

vii. As a dedicated learner, Jonathan’s encounter with Chiang Seagull “the elder” benefited him immensely to heighten and master different ways of flying as never before; sequentially demonstrating willful flight skills.

When Jonathan Livingston Seagull developed, Chiang Seagull “the elder” took his leave, leaving Jonathan Livingston Seagull to be a teacher. This medium served Jonathan a fertile ground to show leadership qualities. This was effective in his association with fellow outcasts to lead and train them with ideals of good leadership.

This brings to my understanding that there is so much for me to learn as an emerging leadership coach to enable me to be effective in my future leadership placements. There is a Latin quote which says “Nemo dat qoud non habet” which means no one gives what he does not have. This was clear in Jonathan’s former life, even as he was never satisfied with what is offered to him in the old flock of Seagulls, he had nothing to offer but remained eager to transcend because there is so much to learn.

Presently living a fulfilled life of exploits with another flock of Seagulls where Chiang “the elder” was the head; and despite being kicked out from the flock of Seagulls. Jonathan Livingston mercifully forgave them the calumnies he suffered and generously offered to share what he acquired in his years of exile on rocks. I am encouraged greatly to emulate this virtue to forgive and liberate my oppressors from their ignorance. Periodically, Jonathan Livingston Seagull took Fletcher Seagull under his wings, teaching him flight skills; while creating opportunities for other Seagulls to benefit. However, every one of the flock of Seagulls is astonished by this voluntary and legendary display. This attracted other Seagulls from his former flock of Seagulls to join flying lessons. I have learned from Jonathan’s voluntary engagement for constant transformations.

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?

These ideas are great and beneficial to me because it serves a gadfly in my development by awakening in me the necessity to continually form myself positively. I believe there is no end to what I can make if I have a willing mind to transcend. These ideas also present me for the conscious knowledge to encourage myself to perpetrate greatness, and I have also learned that giving up is never a way forward in chaotic and depressing situations rather to remain decisive.

4. Quotes: Are there any statements which the author made that particularly got your attention?

“We have a reason to live, to learn, to discover and to be free.”

I have learned that if human beings can decide their right path in life, then there is a reason to live because the intent of our lives is to be meaningful and in line with the words of Aristotle that says “an unexamined life is not worth living”; motivate me to arrange my life to be purpose driven to be dispensable in the world. As a being-in-the-world, I have learned to continue to be intentional to learn and improve in diverse ways

“There is so much to learn.”

The first time I saw this quote about Jonathan’s vision, I told myself there is so much to learn from this book. However, I have learned that anyone who tolls the path to the transformation must own an engaging will and open mind to broaden their horizon for positive utilities. This idea inculcates in me the willpower and readiness to grow through the constituents of evolution because our character is not so often formed from our daily small choices but also by a few crises we meet in life, especially when there are great stakes.

“You have to practice and see the real gull, the good in everyone and to help themselves.”

Most times in our different encounters, we hide the reality of our failings by being indistinct since it is our responsibility to continue to make up our shortcomings. This denotes to me that constant practice improves one’s capabilities for the benefit of oneself and the larger society. When I struggle to develop, I will be able to also reach out to people in a way that enhances their lives by relating with them as an end in themselves and not as a means to an end; thus equipping them with significant requirements of their progressive advancement.

“I don’t mind being bone and feathers Mom.”

All Jonathan thinks about is to reach the zenith of success and nothing more because when we are so convinced about our dreams, our emotions automatically tend to be vehement in carrying out the actions that makes us achieve it. In other words, is success oriented and therefore wouldn’t mind enduring whatever he may encounter. I have learned to stay focused with a dogged spirit to accomplish my dreams amidst the glaring difficulties involved.

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

I do not endorse the constant use of perfection to align with what we can do because we are finite beings. Only God is perfect (Dei perfecta est). Any alibi for mortals to meet perfection bestows supremacy on beings to count equality with God, an impossibility to behold. Therefore, perfection is a flawless pattern to emulate by achieving wholeness and not what we can achieve.

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 to complete.

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.

No; the book is a highly progressive, literary work of art.

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? 10
B. How helpful were the contents? 9.5
C. How easy was it to understand? 10
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 10