Hey friends! This is Dixon Kavanaugh, and welcome to another episode of Outloud With Dixon, where we will explore wisdom, get creative and better appreciate this fun chaotic and beautiful world that we live in.

In today’s episode we will hear the third and final passage of James Allen’s As A Man Thinketh. And to get the ball rolling I want to pose you a question: who is someone you look up to? Put another way, do you have a role model? And what are they like? Maybe they are extremely goal oriented, and you admire their energy, or maybe they have a lot of money and you want their results. Or maybe they’re just good listeners, and they make you feel safe.

I believe there are an infinite number of ways to be a positive role model. And for the purposes of today’s reading, I believe the connecting theme, the underlying commonality for those inspired individuals we look up to, whose personality, draws us into their orbit like gravity, is that they have a compelling vision for how the future will be, and for how they will be in that future.

In today’s reading, James Allen is asking us to become better leaders. Leaders not of teams or of others, but better leaders of ourselves. And he shares with us the path to becoming a better leader is combining all the skills and ideas that we’ve covered up until this point. It’s more consciously directing our thoughts, taking decisive action and continually connecting with a compelling vision for our future.

I know when I first read the words of “connecting with a compelling vision for my future,” I pictured in my mind’s eye achieving goals, reaching a heightened social status, receiving some external reward. On its surface As A Man Thinketh might be seen as a short self-help book geared towards helping us get what we want. But if our vision is so limited in that all it does is help us accumulate more stuff, our vision for the future has failed. If we achieve our goals, but our emotional home is soaked in jealousy, fear, and cynicism, then we have failed.

When we tunnel further down and consider the deeper message on a more intimate level, we see and know that the true value of a compelling vision comes from nurturing our headspace and building the emotional strength to spread joy and love, no matter the outer circumstances. It is in cultivating our inner strength, and the power of will to not only take care of ourselves, but to better take care of others. In essence, it’s in becoming a better leader.

If you’re up to the task of becoming a better leader, please gather around, get close and join me as we dive into the third and final installment of James Allen’s As A Man Thinketh.

Visions and Ideals. The Dreamers are the saviors of the world. As the visible world is sustained by the invisible, so men through all their trials and sins and sordid vocations are nourished by the beautiful visions of their solitary dreamers. Humanity cannot forget its dreamers, it cannot let their ideals fade and die, it lives in them, it knows them as the realities which we shall one day see and know.

Composer, sculptor, painter, poet, prophet, sage. These are the makers of the afterworld, the architects of heaven. The world is beautiful because they have lived. Without them, laboring humanity would perish.

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 remain true to them, your world will at last be built.

To desire is to obtain, to aspire is to achieve. Shall man’s basest desires receive the fullest measure of gratification and his purest aspiration starve for lack of sustenance? Such is not the Law, such a condition of things can never obtain. Ask and Receive.

Dream lofty dreams. and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be. Your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.

The greatest achievement was at first and for time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn. The bird weights in the egg. And in the highest vision of the soul a waking Angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities. Your circumstances may be uncongenial, but they shall not long remain so if you perceive an ideal and strive to reach it. You cannot travel within and stand still without.

Here is a youth hard pressed by poverty and labor. confined long hours in an unhealthy workshop, unschooled and lacking all the arts of refinement. But he dreams of better things. He thinks of intelligence, of refinement, of grace and beauty. He conceives of and mentally builds up an ideal condition of life. The vision of a wider liberty and a larger scope takes possession of him. Unrest urges him to action, and he utilizes all his spare time and means, small though they are, to the development of his latent powers and resources. Very soon, so altered has his mind become that the workshop can no longer hold him. It has become so out of harmony with his mentality that it falls out of his life as a garment is cast aside, and with the growth of opportunities, which fit the scope of his expanding powers, he passes out of it forever.

Years later, we see this youth as a full grown man. We find him as a master of certain forces of the mind which he wields with worldwide influence and almost unequaled power. In his hands he holds the chords of gigantic responsibilities. He speaks, and lo, lives are changed, men and women hang upon his words and remold their characters and sunlike he becomes the fixed and luminous center round which innumerable destinies revolve. He has realized the vision of his youth. He has become one with his ideal.

And you too youthful reader will realize this vision, not the idle wish of your heart, be it base or beautiful, or a mixture of both for you will always gravitate toward that which you secretly most love. Into your hands will be placed the exact results of your own thoughts, you will receive that what you earn, no more and no less. Whatever your present environment may be, you will fall, remain, or rise with your thoughts, your vision and your ideal. You will become as small as your controlling desire, as great as your dominant aspiration.

The vision that you glorify in your mind, the ideal that you enthrone in your heart, this you will build your life by, this you will become.

Serenity.

Calmness of 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 having a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.

The calm man, having learned how to govern himself knows how to adapt himself to others, and they in turn reverence his spiritual strength and feel that they can learn of him and rely upon him. The more tranquil a man becomes the greater is his success, his influence, his power for good. The strong calm man is always loved and revered. He is like a shade Giving Tree in a thirsty land or sheltering rock in a storm. Who does not love a tranquil heart? A sweet tempered, balanced life? It does not matter whether it rains or shines, or what changes come to those possessing these blessings, for they are always sweet, serene and calm.

That exquisite poise of character, which we will call serenity, is the last lesson of culture. It is the flowering of life, the fruitage of the soul. It is as precious as wisdom, more to be desired than gold. Yes, then even find gold. How insignificant mere money seeking looks in comparison with a serene life, a life that dwells in the ocean of truth beneath the waves, beyond the reach of tempest, in the eternal calm.

Yes. Humanity surges within uncontrolled passion. Is tumultuous with ungoverned grief, is blown about by anxiety and doubt. Only the wise man, only he whose thoughts are controlled and purified, make the winds and the storms of the soul obey him.

Tempest tossed souls, wherever you may be, under whatsoever conditions you may live. Know this: in the ocean of life, the Isles of blessedness are smiling and the sunny shore of your ideal awaits your coming. Keep your hand firmly upon the helm of thought. In the barque of your soul reclines the commanding Master, he does but sleep! Wake him. Self-control is strength, right thought is mastery, calmness is power. Say unto your heart “Peace, be still.”

And we’re back. Congratulations! We did it. We made our way all through James Allen’s As A Man Thinketh. What did you think about today’s passage? Pretty cool stuff right? We got to hear beautiful words like Vision and Tranquility and Serenity. Words that inspire us. We got to hear about this awesome, powerful tool of having a beautiful vision for our future. And we can tap into this creative energy through regular practice, effort, and faith.

As it is with most things, we can talk about doing something, or we can just do it. We can talk about going for a swim or we can just jump in the pool. So let’s do that. Let’s jump in and actually practice.

So asking yourself, what would it feel like to help others feel safe? Again, asking yourself, How would it feel in your body to help others feel safe?

Looking into your future. What would you look like if you were calm, tranquil, serene?

Take this moment to reconnect with your breathing and be grateful.

Have these ideas and questions got the wheels turning? I know that they have for me! If you would, so please make sure to let me know what you liked about today’s episode, and what you want to hear more of. You can do this by writing a review or reaching out to me on Instagram. Before we go,

Remember,

Live with Presence Confidence and Love

Outloud With Dixon + Breathwork + Jiu Jitsu