Emmanuel Okoth – Assessments

As A Man Thinketh
Assessment by Okoth Emmanuel (Uganda)

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

The main idea of this book is the emphasis on the power embedded in the mind. This is manifested through our thoughts.

Quoting from Jane Allen’s words: “mind is the master power that molds and makes, and man is mind, and evermore he takes the tool of thought, and shaping what he wills, brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills; He thinks in secret and it comes to pass; environment is but his looking glass”

His quotation really speaks it all because as someone one day said that “the greatest wealth on earth is but lying in the grave”

To this statement I conquer because many of us go through life without having exploited our potential to the full. This is because many of us never know the capacity of our minds have that we cannot fully explore its depths. As a result of this, we end up living far below what we can achieve and we end up regretting at the end of our lives. Those who but recognize the potential they have, and go on to explore it becomes exceptional from them and we term them as geniuses because they exploit what every individual has.

The greater inventors of this world, did but explore a little of these resources and the fruits of their invention are greatly adored. The inventor of little pig sausages was for long in dire poverty being a farmer who worked tirelessly for years and attained peanuts. He put his physical energy into use and it ripped peanuts. He was fade up of this situation and because he did not his wealth of the mind into use, the situation persisted. As old age creeped in, he was struck by paralysis and hence was rendered bed ridden. For years he spent his time on his bed thinking and as a result his mind was in action therefore the power of his thought was yet to be manifested. He cane up with the idea of little pig sausage that for so long had been hidden in the deep resources of his mind. In a trickle of an eye, the tables turned and he became wealthy and died a wealthy man , because the power of thought was exploited. This man was called Milo. C. Jones of Fort Atkison.

The power of thought is also significant because it shapes character and because thought is the back bone of character. This is true even according to Paul “He encouraged us to keep on renewing our minds”. We learn to control our thoughts in the right direction then will our character be modeled in the right path. Thought not only influences our character but it as well influences our circumstances, health’, purpose and general out comes of lives. Therefore our thought are the core of being and as a result take root in every situation of our lives.

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 are most significant to include the following;

i) The power of thought on character.

The power of thought on character is really significant in our lives. like it says a man is literally what he thinks, his characters being the complete sum of all his thought. One can’t doubt this fact because what so ever a man thinketh so he is as well as what so ever he is to speak. And what so ever you confess so you become.

In my high school, hated the fact that leaders in my class never excelled as it was expected and some reached the extent of repeating advanced level.

I figured this out before I became one, and I made up my mind despite the previous results of other candidates I would excel on to of my class.

At the beginning of it was really tough that my first results were really disappointing and it clearly indicated a was following the same trend. Because I had made up my mind for excellence I became excellent and the one who was once characterised as a failure became an excellent student. I the best that year in my class. This was achieved through having to focus my thoughts towards excellence no matter the out come and it worked for me.

ii) The effect of thought on circumstances.

This really significant to me in a way that it shows me my stand in influencing the circumstances I go through in life.

In this I am able to know and predetermine any circumstances that I want in life because like from the text “Just as a gardener, cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and giving the flowers and fruits which he requires so may a man attend to the garden of his mind, reaching out to all the wrong, useless and impure thoughts and cultivating towards perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful and pure thoughts. By pursuing this process a man sooner or later discovers that he is the master gardener of his soul, the director of his life. He also reveals within himself, the laws of thought forces and destiny.

Every thought seed sown or allowed to fall into the mind and to take root there, produces its own blossoming sooner or later into act, and bearing its own privilege of opportunity and circumstances. Good thoughts bear good fruits, bad thoughts bear bad fruits. The outer world of circumstances shapes itself to the inner world of thought and both pleasant and unpleasant external conditions are factors which make for the ultimate good the individual.

I am now 20 years old, and for the little years I have lived on earth I am grateful because in all the circumstances I have gone through if I scrutinized cause and effect I would end up having a hand in then. This may also be true for any parents because before I was formed in my mother’s womb, God knew me, and set me a part. This therefore to me proves that in this circumstances circumstance as well I have a part to play because any purpose on earth would only be fulfilled through the family I have been brought up in.

Off the record, I refused to be in luck, therefore I focused my thoughts towards the brighter side and you know what I have seen it works for me because in every circumstance that I need money, it always finds its way in my pocket.

iii) Effect of thought on health and mind.

The significance of this lesson to me is really applicable to my life. Like the text says “The body is the servant of the mind. It obeys operations of the mind, whether they be deliberately chosen or automatically expressed. Disease and health, like circumstances, are rooted in thought. Sickly thought will express themselves through a sicky body.

There the application of this idea to my life is that I can choose whether to enjoy complete heaith for the rest of my life or suffer with disease.

A normal mind would choose complete health to disease and since mine is one I conquer.

Most of us suffer from illnesses because of component I called fear which renders us weak and therefore lets in all kinds of diseases to torment us. For example, I used to be tormented by malaria whenever we went to the country home I know there were many mosquitoes there and therefore one had to be prepared to go to hospital for treatment after the visit. It went for some time because my mind knew it. This was not shocking because we would sleep under mosquito nets but because my thoughts were those of a disease not health. I always got sick. After one time I made up my mind not to sucumb to those thoughts and now it does not count even if a mosquito bites me, I can’t just get malaria because my mind completely does not have the vocabulary of sickness in it only has one of health. Because of that, everyday my body grows stronger and stronger as well as getting better as time goes by. People usually ask how come for you, just get better everyday. I purpose to at least be happy and smile all the time, keep hygiene.

iv) Thought and purpose.

Thought and purpose are like a tortoise which can’t be separated from its shell because if so, it will in the long run become vulnerable to attack and hence may not survive. Linking this to the book was it says until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment. From such a statement I can say without a purpose there is no meaningful thought process.

There a purpose in life determines your thought. And because purpose determines thought and the values, priorities, vision, decisions of a person determines our purpose we have to put then in consideration. Like proverbs say “without a vision, my people perish.”

To avoid such i have to purpose in life so that I focus my thoughts onto that purpose to avoid circuming to irrelevant ones. Having a purpose means knowing what you want in life and how to get it. Most of my peers in high school did not know what they wanted and therefore they could get anything as a result went where it life because they circumed to irrelevant thoughts which led them to irrelevant destinies hence became failures especially in academics. I am therefore encouraged focus my thoughts on the relevant which means I should a priority list in life to have the urgent and important thoughts running in my mind so that I can be able to accomplish what is most urgent and important in life.

v) Thought factor in achievement.
From text. ‘All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.’ This is true because whatsoever a man thinketh so he is because thoughts create circumstances create destinies.

It is really a reality to me because in my high school I set a goal to achieve excellence in my final year of high school in the national exams despite my previous performance. I focused my mind on positive thoughts this is did not come easily because the more I did so, the more the curve went to the negative side, I did not deviate from the cause and for two years as I slept and woke, I only could focus my thoughts on excellence and nothing less than that.

Results would come back and I would get so frustrated but because i had something in front to achieve I pushed on. And lo at the end, I emerged victorious in my class of physics, chemistry and biology which was considered the toughest therefore in conclusion I was the toughest because my positive thoughts helped me achieve success at the end.

Also as the text says; there can be no programe, no achievement without sacrifice, a man’s worldly success will be in the measure that he sacrifices his confused animal thoughts and fixes his mind on development of his plans and strengthening of his resolution and self salience. And the higher he lifts his thoughts, the more righteous he becomes, the greater will be his successes, the more blessed and enduring will be his achievements.

Achievement whatever kind is the crown of effort, the diaden of thought. By the aid of self control, resolution, purity, righteousness and will directed thought a man ascends and the opposite is true.

vi) Vision and ideas

Cherish your visions, cherish your ideas, cherish that music that stirs up in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drupes your purest thoughts for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all, heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.

vii) To desire is to obtain, to aspire is to achieve.

Dream lofty dreams, and so you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is to promise of what you shall one day be; your idea is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil. The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. You cannot travel within and stand still without in all human affairs there are efforts, and these are results and the strength of the effort is the measure of the results.

“The vision that you glorify in your mind, the idea that you enthrone in your heart – this will build your life by, this you will become.” You can only seize what you can see.

Vision paints the target. Vision starts from within. If you lack vision, look inside your self. Langston Hughes said “Hold first to dreams for if dreams die, life is like a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”

Dreams help me set goals because they are destiny boosters. To be without them is to sign in for doom. Dreams help to make the persuit of my purpose in life more resourceful.

viii) Serenity

Calmnesss of the mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self control. Its presence is an indication of ripened experience and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operation of thought.

A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands himself as thought evolved being, for such knowledge necessitates the understanding of others as a result of thought and as he develops a right understanding and sees more and more clearly the internal relation of things by the action of cause and effect he ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, steadfast and serene”

I have chosen to quote this text because it says it all. Since self-control is the fruit of holy spirit, as people who have then holy spirit we ought to posses self control. For example one day a pastor was travelling in a plane and there was turbulence but he sat in his seat steadfastly while others were yelling for help. There was a young man seated next to him who was doing the same thing but when he saw his serenity, he gained confidence and trust that they would not crash because the pastor seemed to be more sure about it.

This is just but one clip of the power of serenity because the pastor controlled his mind and hence fear was driven out, he was able to give hope to this young man. You cannot be serene without knowing your source of confidence. The pastor’s source of confidence was God and therefore he knew that God was more than to protect and save them. To have serenity, you must trust in your source of confidence and as a result you will also exhibit confidence which will attract many towards you.

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?

They are really tremendous ideas that if I just let them pass by I would regret because I have already put them to test and lo, miracles are happening.

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?

“A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of his thoughts.’

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?

I understood everything there was in the book and all was clear to me and as well as there are no ideas I 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?

Yes, it did, and I attempted all of them, and found them intrensting and worthy the try.

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.

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? 8
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 10



Jonathan Livingstone Seagull
Assessment Okoth Emmanuel (Uganda)

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

Everyone of us has ability from within to do anything we want to besides our weaknesses.
That we have unlimited power within us that can be stretched to any capacity we want in our lives and that we should never be limited or feel comfortable where we are at the moment. We should always strive to the unknown because that’s where we get to know our inner capacity can do.

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.

* Not accepting the ordinary
* Limitations
* Open-minded
* Altitude \
* Forgiveness
* Experiment
* Barriers

Not accepting the ordinary: my first reason is that I really liked how Jonathan did, he broke out of the tradition of not accepting to be the gull who wanted only the normal things that every bird was doing. He managed to go the extra mile to learn to fly and was determined, this actually reminds me of the step I took some years back, I was very desperate to get a job, I had a lot of friends whom we jobless with, every day when we meet the only thing we used to discuss is how we are poor, no jobs for us, and other stuff, this went on for along time and one day i said enough is enough. I really searched within my self what I was good in. I came up with an idea of staring my own business and eventually I managed to start one. At that time I had consulted with few people about the business but every one told me that its not easy that I should find something simpler to do. I refused to accept the ordinary and risked to try and see where it takes me. From that time I have always believed that if you decide from your heart of not accepting the ordinary, there is a lot you can achieve, whatever we want to achieve.

Limitations: many times we tend to be limited the way our lives are, this is something which I believe everyone experiences. It’s challenging when Jonathan one time he was trying to fly and it reached a place he felt like he was doing nothing and thought of giving up and going back to join the other flock at home. Eventually he managed to go forth and kept trying and never gave up. My life has basically has had a lot of challenges and I have been looking down on my self because there are specific things I don’t have that why am not able to achieve some specific goals in my life till this moment. But I have been encouraged that limiting you’re my self is not the best solution. I should keep on striving to be where I dream to be. I have realized that trying everyday is a step everyday and progress I have made. Finally limiting my self does not do me better but only reminds me even the things I have not been able to achieve.

Open-minded: open minded makes you learn a lot, I believe Jonathan could not have managed if he wasn’t open-minded, that’s how he found higher purpose for the life he had wanted. There are things I have been told about my self and others set before me that I have always wondered how to deal with them because of some reasons or the other. What I always do is may be ignore, assume or I have allowed them to let me down, I have learned that it doesn’t help, I should always open my mind and know that this world has different challenges and know that some things will always happen. But when my mind is open I know this challenges will not put me down because my mind will be able to shock absorb the challenges and move with life.

Altitude: I was encouraged by Jonathan, one of the encouragement was his altitude he had towards his progress to what he wanted to archive. For the challenge

Experiment: its always good to experiment the this world because you will never know what you are capable of doing until you do something from within you, and not concentrate on the psychical or seen shortcomings.

Value: sometimes in life we have different type of things everyone values, but there is that thing is important to everyone, and some my sound so stupid that to other its like you are wasting time and doing a lot of nothing. I have come to know that as a person everyone has his own potential in every interest one has. Spending that time in something you value will bring forth the fruits of your work, it may be painful. Because that’s why we all don’t look alike and are different. The point is we all have different things we all value as individuals.

Sharing: sharing is an important asset to this life, its nation community building if you share the skills or ideas that others don’t have. Also very healthy when one shares to me and idea or skill that I have never sat down to think about. Not sharing our skills and ideas together is selfishness that will never take us anywhere. Sharing our ideas creates a stronger bond between us and that removes foolishness in us and that makes you think beyond your nose.

Creativity: somewhere in the book I have learnt that ideas of creativity come from going that extra mile that your friends are afraid to go. Extra mile makes a difference in everything we do, one should be able to walk with those who are willing to take risks and have the passion to learn without minding to try several times even if they fail the first time. Failing the first time or the second time doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Staying and walking with those who don’t want to learn in life and who keep complaining what they cant do because of what they are or because of there shortcomings, this will only pull you down and make you feet in there category, this will also make you not think beyond your shortcomings.

Stumbling blocks: I believe it a right for every human being to achieve anything one wants, but there things inside us that make us think we cannot do it. These things may be our past, our failures, our friends, limitations and other things related to that. If want to achieve our dreams and see results, we must put aside what hinders us from achieving, it doesn’t matter what it is it must be put aside.

Forgiveness: because of ones effort and passion, one may get misunderstood and that can cause you a friction between you and your close friends or family because they don’t understand what you are doing, and some times they think you are stupid. It’s always good to forgive them and still involve them in what you see will help them. One day they will come to appreciate what you did was right.

Learning from others: learning from others is also one of the best lessons because it shows our willingness to learn more and to get more ideas for what we don’t know. This means that if we have the will to do something we are able to do it regardless of time situation or session.

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?

There is no person like me in this world, am capable of doing anything that i want to do
in this world. I am able to stretch my mind to all possibility. When doing things i should not think what other people will say or think because human beings will never lack anything to say.

I can listen to other people’s opinion but am to decide what i want to do at the end.
Challenges are there everyday in our lives and they are there to build and mold us to think beyond the challenge.

Not making in whatever you do doesn’t mean that you wont do it, it means that you can do it if you can try it differently.

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.

Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you-this challenged me because i normally give up because either what i have seen and decide like what i wanted to do because i already judged the situation impossible. This showed me that never to get satisfied with what i see, i should view situation and decide with my heart and mind as thats the power of all things.

that it is right for a gull to fly, that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form. This got my attention because i realized that i have been given all abilities in the world, but what happens is that challenges stand on my way or situations that make me not see like i can do something. I would like to be able to go forth and make all sort of stumbling blocks out of my way with all the abilities i have naturally by full filing what my life is purposed to achieve and gain in freedom.

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?

As i started reading the book i didnt get it what was all about the seagulls and that was a little difficult for me to grasp the whole idea. I didnt know how that would apply to my life. Eventually as i kept reading it, i got the whole idea. I had to start all over again to understand now about the beginning of the bird and tried slowly to apply that in my life. It was really interesting to read the book.

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 it didn’t

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.

I think whatever i have read was ok, i have no comments regarding what was not covered

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? 9
C. How easy was it to understand? 6
D. Would you recommend it to others? 10
E. What is the overall rating you would give it? 8