Nerves and Common Sense eBook

Annie Payson Call (author)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 194 pages of information about Nerves and Common Sense.

There are a hundred little individual ways that we can talk to ourselves, and turn ourselves toward rest, at the end of the day when the time comes to rest.

One way to begin, which is necessary to most of us, is to stop resisting the tired.  Every complaint of fatigue, whether it is merely in our own minds, or is made to others, is full of resistance, and resistance to any sort of fatigue emphasizes it proportionately.

That is why it is good to say to ourselves:  “Yes, I am tired; I am awfully tired.  I am willing to be tired.”

When we have used our wills to drop the nervous and muscular contractions that the fatigue has caused, we can add with more emphasis and more meaning, “and I am going to bed to get rested.”

Some one could say just here:  “That is all very well for an ordinarily tired person, but it would never do me any good.  I am too tired even to try it.”

The answer to that is, the more tired you are, the more you need to try it, and the more interesting the experiment will be.

Also the very effort of your brain needed to cast off the tired emphasis will be new to you, and thought in a new direction is always restful in itself.  Having learned to cast off the tired emphasis when we go to bed at night, we can gradually learn to cast it off before we go to meals, and at odd opportunities throughout the day.

The more tired we are, the more we need to minimize our fatigue by the intelligent use of our own wills.

Who cares for a game that is simple and easy?  Who cares for a game when you beat as a matter of course, and without any effort on your part at all?

Whoever cares for games at all cares most for good, stiff ones, where, when you have beaten, you can feel that you have really accomplished something; and when you have not beaten, you have at least learned points that will enable you to beat the next time, or the next to the next time—­or sometime.  And everyone who really loves a game wants to stick to it until he has conquered and is proficient.

Why not wake up, and realize that same interest and courage in this biggest game of all—­this game of life?

We must play it!

Few of us are cowards enough to put ourselves out of it.  Unless we play it and obey the rules we do not really play at all.

Many of us do not know the rules, but it is our place to look about and find them out.

Many more of us think that we can play the game better if we make up rules of our own, and leave out whatever regular rules we do know, that do not suit our convenience.

But that never works.

It only sometimes seems to work; and although plain common sense shows us over and over that the game played according to our own ideas amounts to nothing, it is strange to see how many work and push to play the game in their own way instead of in the game’s way.

It is strange to see how many shove blindly in this direction, and that direction, to cut their way through a jungle, when there is the path just by them, if they will take it.

Project Gutenberg
Nerves and Common Sense from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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