You had me at 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" - James Allen
This book should be taught in schools. It reminds of a wonderful line in Dune by Frank Herbert, that, to paraphrase, runs along the lines of ‘and the universe just sat there, open to the man that could make the right decisions.’ James Allen’s small book covers a rainbow of serenity, vision, purpose, mastery of thought and drive, of self-reliance, of good and positive actions over bad, of repetitive and ceaseless endeavour to reach your goal and a better sate of simply being. If that doesn't entice you, then the fact it's 27 pages make it any better? Not sure I've read anything that has contained so much advice on life in such a concise manner. Take your time, put the kettle in, enslave one of your loved ones (or ask them nicely, whatever works) to bring you the hot beverage when it’s ready, and enjoy this book.
Like Emerson’s tome on self-reliance, there is plenty of emphasis here on self-learning and ultimately self-belief. ‘Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world’ wrote Roald Dahl, to a sea of high-fives from little girls across the world. Allen delicately puts it that ‘man’s mind is like a garden: it needs intelligently cultivating or it may run wild. It’s a product of the seeds that are put into it’. This is a wonderful, wonderful analogy. You get out what you put in. I have friends that each Christmas forsake tangible gifts, but instead purchase one another a course where they can learn. Isn’t that fantastic?
This calls to question of how much we genuinely invest in ourselves. Making the investment to learn something properly will create its own rewards. But the reward is yours to dictate. Again, to Allen ‘Men are anxious to improve their circumstances but not to improve themselves - they therefore remain bound.’ People generally want more money, fancier cars, bigger houses, gadgets and technology, yet don’t make the sacrifices or effort to improve themselves to get to enable that circumstance to happen. Perhaps if you understood why you wanted these things in the first place, you may not even want them.
There is simply too much goodness in James Allen’s book for only on one post, but if you’re going to do anything this weekend, go read this. Cancel seeing your friends, avoid that awful wedding you don’t want to go to, even if you are the bride. Read this book! In fairness, it’s only 27 pages, so at the very worst you’ll only be a little – it’ll teach them for making you wait for that film you wanted to see four years ago, won’t it? Go on, vaminos!
James Allen book cover from Booktopia
Although the top image isn't quite a kaleidoscope, the colour is simply mesmerising from an exploding nebula. The image is available from here
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