The Bible Tells Us: “As a Man Thinks, So He Is”

These may be simple words, but its meaning is deeper than it seems. It is just a short proverb in the Bible, yet it sums up the condition of the human mind and body.

A person’s mind and body is a duality that is different, but similar at the same time. What we imagine—we try to recreate in the physical world. The things we dream of—we try to achieve in real life. Mere thoughts become physical words and actions. In other words, man becomes what he thinks of himself.

That is to say, positive thinking plays a major role in a person’s success and health. A person can only grow if he thinks he can grow. Not only that, it has been theorized that positive emotions enhance the ability to build skill sets and it enhances resourcefulness.

Barbara Fredrickson formulated the “broaden and build” theory, explaining that positive emotions broaden your sense of possibilities and open your mind, which then allows you to build new skills and resources that may be valuable to other aspects of your life. This only strengthens the idea that positive thinking gets you closer to your goals.

In addition, man has always been vulnerable to mental and emotional attacks, which eventually becomes physically damaging if we let it. Suffering a sickness will likely kill you only if you think it will. Thinking of stress will only make you stressed. A mild cough or flu can turn into something worse if you let your mind think it hinders your daily activities. Surely, medication and a healthy diet are essential to a healthy body, but a healthy mind also helps.

In terms of success, we can always defeat or overcome failure as long as we stay positive. There will always be setbacks that are unexpected, but if you let failure get to your head, you will never achieve greatness.

The popular mantra “mind over matter” is a mere rewording of Proverb 23:7, “As a man thinks, so he is.” It simply means overcoming physical problems with willpower. As long as we think we can do it, we can actually do it. There’s no complicated mathematical equation to solve life problems. Positive thinking may not be the only thing you need to achieve what you dream of, but it is what keeps you going.

Clear, James (2013). The Science of Positive Thinking: How Positive Thoughts Build Your Skills, Boost Your Health, and Improve Your Work. Retrieved from

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