Here’s a relevant quote from William Walker Atkinson:

“We are all influenced much more than we are aware by the thoughts of others. I do not mean by their opinions, but by their thoughts. A great writer on the subject very truly says : “Thoughts are Things.” They are things, and most powerful things at that.

Unless we understand this fact, we are at the mercy of a mighty force, of whose nature we know nothing, and whose very existence many of us deny. On the other hand, if we understand the nature and laws governing this wonderful force, we can master it and render it our instrument and assistant.

Every thought created by us, weak or strong, good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, sends out its vibratory waves, which affect, to a greater or lesser extent, all with whom we come in contact, or who may come within the radius of our thought vibrations.

Thought waves are like the ripples on a pond caused by the casting in of a pebble. They move in constantly widening circles, radiating from a central point. Of course, if an impulse projects the thought waves forcibly toward a certain object, its force will be felt more strongly at that point.

Besides affecting others, our thoughts affect us, not only temporarily, but permanently. We are what we think ourselves into I being. We are all creatures of our own mental creating. You know how easy it is to think yourself into a “blue” state of mind, or the reverse, but you do not realize that repeated thought upon a certain line will manifest itself not only in character (which it certainly does), but also in the physical appearance of the thinker. This is a demonstrable fact, and you have but to look around you to realize it. You have noticed how a man’s occupation shows itself in his appearance and general character. What do you suppose occasions this phenomenon?

Nothing more nor less than that thought. If you ever have changed your occupation, your general character and appearance kept pace with your changed habits of thought. Your new occupation brought out a new train of thought, and “Thoughts take form in Action.”

You may have never taken this view of the matter, but it is true nevertheless, and you may find ample proof of its correctness by merely looking around you.

A man who thinks Energy, manifests Energy. The man who thinks Courage, manifests Courage. The man who thinks “I can i and I will” “gets there,” while the “I can’t” man “gets left”. You know that to be true. Now, what causes the difference?

Thought — just plain every-day thinking, that’s all. Of course, the action follows the thought. But why? Just because it cannot help itself. Action follows as the natural result of vigorous thinking. You think in earnest, and action does the rest. Thought is the greatest thing in the world. If you do not know it now, you will soon. You may say that this is no new thing to you — that you knew all about “making up your mind,” and all that sort of thing, long ago.

Then why did you not put it into practice and make something of yourself? I will tell you the trouble. You thought “I Can’t” instead of “I Can,” Now, I am going to change that “I Can’t” into a big “I Can” and a bigger “I Will.”

Remember that Atkinson is referring to “Thought” in a broader way than what we might be able to understand at first glance.

It’s not just the content of your thinking – although that’s obviously a part of it – it’s also the energy behind it, your mental state. All this together, makes a great combo that it’s not easily beaten!

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