The Secret of Mental Efficiency - Warren Hilton - ebook
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Many a man will tell you that he does his best work in the wee watches of the morning, after tedious hours of persevering but fruitless effort. Instead[5] of being exhausted by its long hours of persistent endeavor, the mind seems now to rise to the acme of its power, to achieve its supreme accomplishments. Difficulties melt into thin air, profound problems find easy solution. Flights of genius manifest themselves. Yet long before midnight such a one had perhaps felt himself yield to fatigue and had tied a wet towel around his head or had taken stimulants to keep himself awake.

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Warren Hilton

Warren Hilton

The Secret of Mental Efficiency

Applied Psychology Series

THE BIG NEST

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New Edition

Published by The Big Nest

www.thebignest.co.uk

This Edition first published in 2016

Copyright © 2016 The Big Nest

Images and Illustrations © 2016 Stocklibrary.org

All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781911535270

Contents

CHAPTER I

CHAPTER II

CHAPTER III

CHAPTER IV

CHAPTER V

CHAPTER I

MENTAL SECOND WIND

STICKING TO THE JOB

Are you an unusually persevering and persistent person? Or, like most of us, do you sometimes find it difficult to stick to the job until it is done? What is your usual experience in this respect?

Is it not this, that you work steadily along until of a sudden you become conscious of a feeling of weariness, crying “Enough!” for the time being, and that you then yield to the impulse to stop?

THE LAGGING BRAIN

Assuming that this is what generally happens, does this feeling of fatigue, this impulse to rest, mean that your mental energy is exhausted?

Suppose that by a determined effort of the will you force your lagging brain to take up the thread of work. There will invariably come a new supply of energy, a “second wind,” enabling you to forge ahead with a freshness and vigor that is surprising after the previous lassitude.

Nor is this all. The same process may be repeated a second time and a third time, each new effort of the will being followed by a renewal of energy.

RESERVE SUPPLIES OF POWER

Many a man will tell you that he does his best work in the wee watches of the morning, after tedious hours of persevering but fruitless effort. Instead of being exhausted by its long hours of persistent endeavor, the mind seems now to rise to the acme of its power, to achieve its supreme accomplishments. Difficulties melt into thin air, profound problems find easy solution. Flights of genius manifest themselves. Yet long before midnight such a one had perhaps felt himself yield to fatigue and had tied a wet towel around his head or had taken stimulants to keep himself awake.

The existence of this reserve supply of energy is manifested in physical as well as mental effort.

Men who work with their heads and men who work with their hands, scholars and Marathon runners, must alike testify to the existence of reserve supplies of power not ordinarily drawn upon.

“BLUE” MONDAYS

If we do not always or habitually utilize this reserve power, it is simply because we have accustomed ourselves to yield at once to the first strong feeling of fatigue.

Evidence of this same fact appears in our feelings on different days. How often does a man get up from his breakfast-table after a long night’s rest, when he should be feeling fresh and invigorated, and say to himself, “I don’t feel like working today.” And it may take him until afternoon to get into his workaday stride, if, indeed, he reaches it at all.

HOW TO STRIKE ONE’S STRIDE

You cannot yourself be immune from the feeling on certain days that you are not at your best. Somehow or other, your wits seem befogged. You hesitate to undertake important interviews. Your interest lags. And though crises arise in your business, you feel weighted down and unable to meet them with that shrewd discernment and decisiveness of action of which you know yourself capable.

But you realize, in your inmost self, that if you continue to exert the will and persistently hold yourself to the business in hand, sooner or later you will warm to the work, enthusiasm will come, the clouds will be dispelled, the husks will fly. Yet you have had no rest; on the contrary, you have, by continued conscious effort, consumed more and more of your vital energy.

THE SPUR OF DESIRE

Obviously it was not rest that you needed.

What you required was the impulse of some strong desire that should carry you over the threshold of that first inertia into the wide field of reserve energy so rarely called upon and so rich in power.

Under the lashings of necessity, or the spur of love or ambition, men accomplish feats of mental and physical endurance of which they would have supposed themselves incapable. Here is what a certain lawyer says of his early struggles:

HOW TO RELEASE STORED-UP ENERGIES

“When I was twenty-three years old, married, and with a family to support, I entered the law course of a great university. Of the many students in my class, seven, including me, were making a living while studying law.

“By special arrangement, I was relieved from attendance at lectures and simply required to pass examinations on the various subjects, and was thus enabled to retain my place as principal of a large public school. During the third and last year of my law course, I was principal of a public day school of two thousand children and an alternate night school with an enrolment of seven hundred and fifty, and I worked at the law three nights in the week and all day Sunday.

THE LAWYER WHO “OVERWORKS”

“After eight months of this, the final examinations came around. They consumed a full week—from nine in the morning until five or six at night. I had no opportunity for review, so I rented a room near the law school to save the time going and coming and reviewed each night the subjects of examination for the following day.