Tending the “Garden”


One of the most impactful books I’ve ever read was a book written by James Allen in 1903 called “As A Man Thinketh.”  The copy I have is 4½” x 6” and is only 72 pages long.  I can tell you that it is such a great book—a classic in fact—that I read it every year whether I think I need to or not.  It never disappoints.

I’d like to share one of the ideas found in the book with you today.

“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth.  If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.

Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward 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.”

My question for you is what, and how are you planting?  What are your techniques for cultivating? 

What are you purposely planting in your mind?  How do you make sure that the “right” seeds are being sown?

It’s important that we plant on a regular basis.

Years ago, when my sons were young, we always planted vegetable gardens wherever we lived.  We grew things like tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, okra, bell peppers, beans, squash, watermelons, cauliflower, herbs, and zucchini.  Being that each vegetable had different germination rates and days to harvest, I had to keep pretty detailed records of when I planted the seeds, and the estimated times that we would be able to harvest and enjoy our crops.  Some of my favorite memories were when my sons would go out into the garden and cut the mature vegetables from their stems.  I watched my sons reap what they had sown.  They loved it!

The Weeds!

If you’ve ever grown a flower or vegetable garden, you know that you don’t have to plant the weeds.  But I can promise you they will show up.  You have to do nothing for them to be there in all of their glory.  Takes no work at all!

But it takes time and effort to plant the vegetables or flowers.  You have to purposely tend and protect them.  You have to make sure that they are nourished in order for them to grow.

It’s the same with the thoughts of our minds.

It’s a great analogy, and one that I hope you adopt.

Over the next several blog postings, I’m going to share with you some ideas on how and what to plant in the garden of your mind.  In the meantime, I’d like to ask you to send me ways that you already purposely plant in your garden.

Until next time,


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