Published On: Tue, Dec 1st, 2015

Exercise for the mind

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Singleness of purpose is essential for success, no matter what may be one’s idea of the definition of success. Yet singleness of purpose is a quality which may, and generally does, call for thought on many allied subjects.

This author travelled a long distance to watch Jack Dempsey train for an oncoming battle. It was observed that he did not rely entirely upon one form of exercise, but resorted to many forms. The punching bag helped him develop one set of muscles, and also trained his eye to be quick. The dumb-bells trained still another set of muscles. Running developed the muscles of his legs and hips. A well balanced food ration supplied the materials needed for building muscle without fat. Proper sleep, relaxation and rest habits provided still other qualities which he must have in order to win.

The reader of this piece is, or should be, engaged in the business of training for success in the battle of life. To win, there are many factors which must have attention. A well organised, alert and energetic mind is produced by various and sundry stimuli. The mind requires, for its development, a variety of exercise, just as the physical body, to be properly developed, calls for many forms of systematic exercise.

Horses are trained to certain gaits by trainers who hurdle-jump them over handicaps which cause them to develop the desired steps, through habit and repetition. The human mind must be trained in a similar manner, by a variety of thought-inspiring stimuli.

In the long, hard task of trying to wipe out some of my own ignorance and make way for some of the useful truths of life, I have often seen, in my imagination, the Great Marker who stands at the gateway entrance of life and writes “Poor Fool” on the brow of those who believe they are wise, and “Poor Sinner” on the brow of those who believe they are saints. Which, translated into workaday language, means that none of us know very much, and by the very nature of our being can never know as much as we need to know in order to live sanely and enjoy life while we live.

Humility is a forerunner of success. Until we become humble in our own hearts we are not apt to profit greatly by the experiences and thoughts of others. Sounds like a preachment on morality? Well, what if it does? Even “preachments,” as dry and lacking in interest as they generally are, may be beneficial if they serve to reflect the shadow of our real selves so we may get an approximate idea of our smallness and superficiality.

Success in life is largely predicated upon our knowing men. The best place to study the man-animal is in your own mind, by taking as accurate an inventory as possible of YOURSELF. When you know yourself thoroughly (if you ever do) you will also know much about others.

To know others, not as they seem to be, but as they really are, study them through:

  1. The posture of the body, and the way they walk.
  2. The tone of the voice, its quality, pitch, volume.
  3. The eyes, whether shifty or direct.
  4. The use of words, their trend, nature and quality.

Through these open windows you may literally “walk right into a man’s soul” and take a look at the REAL MAN!

Going a step further, if you would know men study them:

  • When angry
  • When in love
  • When money is involved
  • When eating (alone, and unobserved, as they believe)
  • When writing
  • When in trouble
  • When joyful and triumphant
  • When downcast and defeated
  • When facing catastrophe of a hazardous nature
  • When training to make a “good impression” on others
  • When informed of another’s misfortune
  • When informed of another’s good fortune
  • When losing in any sort of a game of sport
  • When winning at sport
  • When alone, in a meditative mood.

Before you can know any man, as he really is, you must observe him in all the foregoing moods, and perhaps more, which is practically the equivalent of saying that you have no right to judge others at sight.

Appearances count, there can be no doubt of that, but appearances are often deceiving.



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Exercise for the mind