How to Remain Victorious | James Allen
A short reflection on a quote from James Allen about how to get back to winning | Courage & The Inner Citadel | Stoicism
As a man thinketh, so he is. As he continues to think, so he remains.
— Quote by James Allen
Life is filled with patterns.
Some of those are good — they sharpen the saw, as Stephen Covey said. Their continued repetition will ensure that you are a better human tomorrow than you are today. They will lift you up and eventually have a positive impact. Not only on you but the people around you, the ones you care about.
Some patterns can be treated with indifference. The way you get out of bed, which part of your teeth do you brush first, if the tie is red or blue with dots on it. The small quirky stuff we do in life. In fact, they might be treated with indifference but observed with care.
And many patterns are just straight-up bad. The 3rd slice of cake on a Sunday, the car ride through morning traffic increasing your blood pressure, the quadrillionth funny YouTube video distracting you from what you actually wanted to do.
Anything we do, we do by choice, though.
You could even intervene and stop breathing. That wouldn’t be preferred of course, but I’d thought I’d catch you before you called BS on me 😘
Now, that that has been established, we can make the effort and try to catch ourselves before we make the repeated decision to swipe through the next Insta story, and the next one, and the one after that.
This is not easy. It has taken me a long time to become aware enough to notice and reject bad patterns as soon as they display themselves in my mind. And sometimes it is still hard, sometimes I relapse and have to make very conscious efforts again to get back on track, to regain the direction I actually want to go into.
This takes courage, you have to face yourself and be brutally honest to yourself. You have to catch and correct your failure to meet your own standards before it gets out of hand.
I’ve tried to follow the stoic practice of journaling, to reflect on my day before I go to bed. That’s sometimes hard for me to be consistent with, so I integrated a meditation session into my morning routine which helped me become more mindful as nothing else has in my life. I’ll write about it in an upcoming post and we will also have other fellow stoics comment on their morning routines and stoic practices.
So these are things we do, which are all controlled by how and what we think.
Not everything manifests itself through action though. A lot stays hidden from the eye which James Allen was mostly referring to, I guess.
The baseline way you go about thinking of things determines pretty much your whole attitude. Are you an angry person? Then check your thought patterns. I’ve been angry for a long time and was able to change that through listening to my thoughts in meditation and writing them out while journaling. Then I asked myself if that is who I wanted to be, and it wasn’t. So I had to change how I’d go about thinking of things. Whenever something unfortunate happened I did no longer be all negative about it but tried to accept it with indifference, as well as actively draw something positive from it. Those positive impressions were mostly the lessons I could draw from the experience — how to go about a situation the next time I encountered it, to be in a more advantageous or serene position.
We can get very good at immediately detecting negative or unhealthy thoughts, squash them right when they emerge. We must not ignore them though, we must reflect on why they occur and where they come from first. Once we have explored ourselves in that way we can let go of the negativity and proceed to be a calmer and more balanced version of ourselves.
This for me has been a great truth in my life. It is not easy to always do this when we want to flip out and let out all the steam and pressure inside, but that will only make things worse. Appreciate how you are feeling, accept it, but also, choose not to act on it right away. Leave yourself time to decide on your actions. You will be better off — trust me — I have learned it the hard way about 5 times now (and will continue to) 😄
Repeat only in thoughts and in actuality what will make you better, stronger, wiser, and reinforce the values you claim for yourself.
It’s tough to muster the courage to always do what is necessary.
Therefore, treat yourself frequently to the tranquility of your most inner self and reflect on who you are now and who you want to be. The stoics call this place The Inner Citadel
Now we’d love to hear from you.
What situation have you dealt with where you had to resist the urge and listen to your higher senses?
Or maybe you have another great quote regarding how to keep winning? Don’t hesitate to contact us through the quote submission form 📝
Want more? Check out last week’s reflection