Your world is shaped more than you know by the kaleidoscope of your thoughts, the music in your heart. Let what is in your mind and heart flower. Change your thoughts, change your world.

Our lives and the world in which we live are our thoughts made manifest. This is a fascinating argument that I happened upon in James Allen’s 1903 book As a Man Thinketh.

For Allen, thought and character are the most powerful things we possess. The life lived by each of us is the mind and the will made manifest. I love how he expresses this idea through the image of the kaleidoscope:

“The world is your kaleidoscope, and the varying combinations of colours, which at every succeeding moment it presents to you are the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever-moving thoughts. So you will be what you will to be.”


Through disciplined thought and action and the pursuit of good in all things, we can work to change our habits, our thoughts, our characters, he says. In this way, we can change our circumstances, change the world in which we live. Our habits of thought and action affect and shape our world, whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not:

“Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallises into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance.”

Through their persistence and repetition, both our highest and lowest aspects, either “bestial” or “beautiful thoughts of all kinds crystallise.” The former are not necessarily to be advised. The latter might “solidify into genial and sunny circumstances.”

The music that stirs in your heart


Allen offers a deceptively simple formula to help you reshape your own world:

“Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes 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.”

Gentle reader: What is on your mind right now? Look around you – how are your thoughts reflected in the world around you?

What would you most like to make better? What does the music that stirs in your heart sound like?

Let what is in your mind and heart flower.

Change your thoughts, change your world.



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