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 building up a structure of knowledge that will stand.  Indeed, as you take various courses you will find that your study will be much improved by periodical reviews.  The benefits cannot all be enumerated here, but we may reasonably claim that a review will be very likely to remove a plateau, and used with the other remedies herein suggested, will help you to rid yourself of one of the most discouraging features of student life.


Reading:  Swift (20) Chapter IV.

Exercise I. Describe one or more plateaus that you have observed in your own experience.  What do you regard as the causes?



Did you ever engage in any exhausting physical work for a long period of time?  If so, you probably remember that as you proceeded, you became more and more fatigued, finally reaching a point when it seemed that you could not endure the strain another minute.  You had just decided to give up, when suddenly the fatigue seemed to diminish and new energy seemed to come from some source.  This curious thing, which happens frequently in athletic activities, is known as second-wind, and is described, by those who have experienced it, as a time of increased power, when the work is done with greater ease and effectiveness and with a freshness and vigor in great contrast to the staleness that preceded it.  It is as though one “tapped a level of new energy,” revealing hidden stores of unexpected power.  And it is commonly reported that with persistence in pushing one’s self farther and farther, a third and fourth wind may be uncovered, each one leading to greater heights of achievement.

This phenomenon occurs not alone on the physical plane; it is discernible in mental exertion as well.  True, we seldom experience it because we are mentally lazy and have the habit of stopping our work at the first signs of fatigue.  Did we persist, however, disregarding fatigue and ennui, we should find ourselves tapping vast reserves of mental power and accomplishing mental feats of astonishing brilliancy.

The occasional occurrence of the phenomenon of second-wind gives ground for the statement that we possess more energy than we ordinarily use.  There are several lines of evidence for this statement.  One is to be found in the energizing effects of emotional excitement.  Under the impetus of anger, a man shows far greater strength than he ordinarily uses.  Similarly, a mother manifests the strength of a tigress when her young is endangered.  A second line of evidence is furnished by the effect of stimulants.  Alcohol brings to the fore surprising reserves of physical and psychic energy.  Lastly, we have innumerable instances of accession of strength under the stimulus of an idea.  Under the domination of an all-absorbing idea, one performs feats of extraordinary strength, utilizing stores of energy otherwise out of reach.  We have only to read of the heroic achievements of little Joan of Arc for an example of such manifestation of reserve power.

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