How to Use Your Mind eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 133 pages of information about How to Use Your Mind.

How to Use Your Mind eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 133 pages of information about How to Use Your Mind.

In summarizing this discussion, we may conclude that an active fertile imagination comes from crowding into one’s life a large number of varied and vivid experiences; storing them up in the mind in the form of images; and industriously recalling and combining them in novel relationships.  Mental images occur in other mental processes besides Imagination.  They bulk importantly in memorizing, as we shall see in Chapters VI and VII; and in reasoning, as we shall see in Chapter IX.  Throughout the book we shall find that as we develop ability to manipulate mental images, we shall increase the adaptability of all the mental processes.


Reading:  Dearborn (2) Chapter III.

Exercise 1.  Call up in imagination the sound of your French instructor’s voice as he says etudiant.  Call up the appearance on the page of the conjugation of etre, present tense.

Exercise 2.  Choose some word which you have had difficulty in learning.  Look at it attentively, securing a perfectly clear impression of it; then practise calling up the visual image of it, until you secure perfect reproduction.

Exercise 3.  List the different images called up by the passage from Romeo and Juliet.



Of all the mental operations employed by the student, memory is probably the one in which the greatest inefficiency is manifested.  Though we often fail to realize it, much of our life is taken up with memorizing.  Every time we make use of past experience, we rely upon this function of the mind, but in no occupation is it quite so practically important as in study.  We shall begin our investigation of memory by dividing it into four phases or stages—­Impression, Retention, Recall and Recognition.  Any act of memory involves them all.  There is first a stage when the material is being impressed; second, a stage when it is being retained so that it may be revived in the future; third, a stage of recall when the retained material is revived to meet present needs; fourth, a feeling of recognition, through which the material is recognized as having previously been in the mind.

Impression is accomplished through the sense organs; and in the foregoing chapter we laid down the rule:  Guard the avenues of impression and admit only such things as you wish to retain.  This necessitates that you go slowly at first.  This is a principle of all habit formation, but is especially important in habits of memorizing.  Much of the poor memory that people complain about is due to the fact that they make first impressions carelessly.  One reason why people fail to remember names is that they do not get a clear impression of the name at the start.  They are introduced in a hurry or the introducer mumbles; consequently no clear impression is secured.  Under such circumstances how could one expect to retain and recall the name?  Go slowly, then, in impressing material for the first time.  As you look up the words of a foreign language in the lexicon, trying to memorize their English equivalents, take plenty of time.  Obtain a clear impression of the sound and appearance of the words.

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How to Use Your Mind from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.