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.
how good the curriculum or how renowned the faculty, you cannot be educated without the most vigorous efforts on your part.  Banish the thought that you are here to have knowledge “pumped into” you.  To acquire an education you must establish and maintain not a passive attitude but an active attitude.  When you go to the gymnasium to build up a good physique, the physical director does not tell you to hold yourself limp and passive while he pumps your arms and legs up and down.  Rather he urges you to put forth effort, to exert yourself until you are tired.  Only by so doing can you develop physical power.  This principle holds true of mental development.  Learning is not a process of passive “soaking-in.”  It is a matter of vigorous effort, and the harder you work the more powerful you become.  In securing a college education you are your own master.

In the development of physical prowess you are well aware of the importance of doing everything in “good form.”  In such sports as swimming and hurdling, speed and grace depend primarily upon it.  The same principle holds true in the development of the mind.  The most serviceable mind is that which accomplishes results in the shortest time and with least waste motion.  Take every precaution, therefore, to rid yourself of all superfluous and impeding methods.

Strive for the development of good form in study.  Especially is this necessary at the start.  Now is the time when you are laying the foundations for your mental achievements in college.  Keep a sharp lookout, then, at every point, to see that you build into the foundation only those materials and that workmanship which will support a masterly structure.


Note.—­Numbers in parentheses refer to complete citations in Bibliography at end of book.

Readings:  Fulton (5) Lockwood (11)

Exercise 1.  List concrete problems that have newly come to you since your arrival upon the campus.

Exercise 2.  List in order the difficulties that confront you in preparing your daily lessons.

Exercise 3.  Prepare a work schedule similar to that provided by the form in Chart I. Specify the subject with which you will be occupied at each period.

Exercise 4.  Try to devise some way of registering the effectiveness with which you carry out your schedule.  Suggestions are contained in the summary:  Disposition of (1) as planned; (2) as spent.  To divide the number of hours wasted by 24 will give a partial “index of efficiency.”



Most educated people find occasion, at some time or other, to take notes.  Although this is especially true of college students, they have little success, as any college instructor will testify.  Students, as a rule, do not realize that there is any skill involved in taking notes.  Not until examination time arrives and they try vainly to labor through a maze of scribbling, do they realize that there must be some system in note-taking.  A careful examination of note-taking shows that there are rules or principles, which, when followed, have much to do with increasing ability in study.

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