Think what an opportunity we miss when stripped at night if we fail to give our bodies a round of exercise. It is so simple, so easy, and has so much to do with our sleep each night and our work next day that to neglect to do so is a crime against nature. And laugh! Man alive, if you are not in the habit of laughing, get the habit. Never miss a chance to laugh aloud. Smiling is better than nothing, and a chuckle is better still—but out and out laughter is the real thing. Try it now if you dare! And when you’ve done it, analyze your feelings.
I make this prediction—if you once start the habit of exercise, and couple with it the habit of laughter, even if only for one short week—you’ll keep it up ever afterwards.
And, by the way, Friend Reader,—don’t be alarmed. The personal pronouns “I” and “you” give place in succeeding chapters to the more congenial editorial “we.” I couldn’t resist the temptation to enjoy one brief spell of intimacy just for the sake of good acquaintance. Have a laugh on me.
TAKING STOCK OF OURSELVES
Experience is the real teacher, but the matter of how we are going to succeed in life should not be left to ordinary chance while we are waiting for things to happen. Our first duty is to prepare ourselves against untoward experiences, and that is best done by taking stock of our mental and physical assets at the very outset of our journey. What weaknesses we possess are excess baggage to be thrown away and that is our reason for taking stock so early. It is likely to save us from riding to a fall.
There is one thing we don’t want along—fear. We will never get anywhere with that, nor with any of its uncles, aunts or cousins—Envy, Malice and Greed. In justice to our own best interests we should search every crook and cranny of our hearts and minds lest we venture forth with any such impedimenta. There is no excuse, and we have no one to blame if we allow any of them to journey along with us. We know whether they are there or not just as we would know Courage, Trust and Honor were they perched behind us on the saddle.
It is idle to squeal if through association with the former we find ourselves ditched before we are well under way—for it is coming to us, sooner or later. We might go far, as some have done, through the lanes and alleys of ill-gotten gains and luxurious self-indulgence, but we would pay in the end. So, why not charge them up to “profit and loss” at the start and kick them off into the gutter where they belong? They are not for us on our eventful journey through life, and the time to get rid of them once and for all is when we are young, and mentally and physically vigorous. Later on when the fires burn low and we still have them with us they will be hard to push aside.