A number of obvious typographical errors have been corrected, but words consistently misspelt by the author have been left intact.
More Good Stuff Like PEP
COL. WM. C. HUNTER
Pep—Dollars and Sense—Brass Tacks Ginger Snaps—and Other Books
$1.00 Net Published by Hunter Service Kansas City, Mo., U. S. A. Copyright, 1915 by Wm. C. Hunter
Anger 150 Brass Tacks 250 Character 252 Church 180 Closing Note 242 Continuous Happiness 86 Crying Babies 218 Dad 215 Daughters 138 Diet Rules 71 Doing Things Twice 34 Dollars and Sense 249 Dreams 97 Egotism 188 Elimination 82 Fake Medicines 177 Food 134 Friends 104 Geology 193 Ginger Snaps 251 Girl 221 Gloom 46 Happiness 49 Home 68 Inventory 185 Insomnia 156 In the Big Woods 124 Laziness 119 Leaders 231 Making Plans 14 Man's Danger 108 Medicine 57 Mental Pleasures 206 Mistakes 159 Mother 128 Natural Law 18 Negative Attitude 73 Nerves 38 Observation 28 Old Age 234 Our Bodies 131 Our Sons 111 Panama 209 Patriotism 197 Pep 246 Perseverance 190 Personal 22 Pessimists 43 Pills 173 Pioneer Mothers 145 Poise 142 Practical Helps 26 Reading 61 Real Charity 100 Religious Extremes 114 Ridicule 200 Salt 154 Self Accusation 89 Sincerity 167 Speculation 225 Stars 228 Thought Control 53 Time 238 To-day 212 To-morrow 161 Verbomania 65 Walking 78 Wives 203 Woman's Beauty 94 Worry 9
Dedicated to Nancy, my wife
Each evening, just before retiring, we will have a little Round-Up of the day's doings, of the problems in our business and home life, of our hopes and ambitions.
We'll try to solve perplexities, dissolve worries, absolve ourselves from pull-backs, and resolve to better our lives.
We'll plan and prepare that we may have more poise—efficiency—peace; that's Pep.
We'll learn how to establish helpful thought habit that our lives may be full of gladsome notes instead of gruesome gloom.
We'll aim at
These, then, are the purposes of this book.
WM. C. HUNTER, Kansas City, Mo. July 18, 1915.
The Nerve Racking Pace That Causes "Americanitis"
Nervous breakdowns are increasing as a result of the American worry phobia.
This high tension Americanitis presumes too much upon nature, by persistently forcing the nerves to carry loads far beyond their capacity.
So many people are pleasure mad, they become so deadened by excess of enjoyment and indulgence that ordinary pleasure is uninteresting. They seek unnatural excitement, original methods and unusual activities to appease the appetite. Then they become blase and constitutional pessimists.
It's a maddening, nerve racking pace they go. To keep up the gait there is an incessant battle for wealth, and the struggle wears and weakens the nervous systems.
Both men and women go the terrific gait. Men and women having this health-destroying worry, mate and marry and they lay foundations for deficient progeny that suffers from the sins of the parents.
The phobia is almost universal; it has permeated all classes of society from highest to lowest.
Excitement, that's the keynote; for the rich there is society and polo and useless functions and conventions.
Society is a game of cards, not only playing cards for money, but the card convention of paying calls by leaving pasteboards in lieu of the old-fashioned visit.
Society is the builder of fourflushers, the generator of insincerity—falsehood and rottenness.
For the poor, the aping of the rich, in dress the wearers can ill afford, the picture shows, the cheap theatres, the automobile, bought with a mortgage on the home.
It's rush, push, excitement at any cost. The great cost which they don't seem to consider is the cost of the nerves.
We all enter the world with an abundance of nerve energy, and by conserving that energy we can adapt and adjust our nerve equipment to keep pace with the progress and evolution of our times.
The way to preserve and conserve nerve equilibrium and power is to rest and relax the nerves each day.
You may rest them by a change of the thought habit each day, by relaxation, by sleep, and by suggestions made in this book.
There are few advance danger signals shown by the nervous systems, and in this there is a marked difference between the nerves and the organic system.
If you abuse your stomach, head, heart, lungs, liver, kidneys or eyes, you have distress and pain.
The nervous energy is like a barrel of water; you can draw water from the faucet at the bottom until you have almost exhausted the contents.
Nature mends ordinary nerve waste each day, like the rains replenish the cistern.
A reasonable use of your nerve force, like a reasonable use of the rainwater, means you can maintain a permanent supply.
But you must be reasonable; you must give the cistern a chance to refill and replace that which you have drawn out.
You, who have shattered and tattered your nerves, are not hopeless. You can come back, but it must be done by complete change of the acts that brought on the condition.
Get more sleep. Eliminate the useless, harmful fads, fancies and functions, which disturbed and prevented you from living a sane, rational life.
Avoid extremes, cultivate rhythm and regularity in your business and your home life. Keep away from excitement. Read really good books. Walk more, talk less.
Eat less heat-making foods and more apples. Follow the diet, exercise and thought rules suggested in "Pep."
Maybe these lines are being read by a discouraged one who is "all nerves," which means lost nerve force. To you I say there is hope and cheer and strength and courage if right here, now, you resolve to cut the action, habits and stunts that knocked you out and follow our suggestions.
I know, my friend, for I've trotted the heat, danced the measure, and been through the mill.
Now I am fearless, calm and prepared. I can stand any calamity, meet any issue, endure any sorrow.
I can do prodigious work in an emergency, go without rest or eating when required, because I have Pep, which means poise, efficiency—peace.
I realize nothing bad is as bad as it is painted. Nothing is as good as its boosters claim.
I go in the middle of the road, avoiding extremes. I have confidence in my heart, courage, hope, happiness, and content.
I've buried envy in a deep pit and covered it with quick lime.
I am keeping worry out by keeping faith, hope and cheer thoughts in my brain room, and these are antiseptics against the worry microbe.
I have my petty troubles and little make-believe worries, just enough of them to make me realize I have them licked, and to remind me I must not let up on my mastery of them.
Worry growls once in a while just to make me grab tighter the handle of my whip.
And you may enjoy this serene state, too. There is no secret about it. I will gladly give you the rules of the game in this book. Just prepare to receive some practical, helpful suggestions.
How to Use Our Assets to Best Advantage
You are a busy person, so am I. Busy persons are the ones who do things. The architect is a busy man, but he has learned that the time spent in preparing his plans is the most valuable employment of his time. The plans enable him to do his work systematically and lay down rules and methods to get the highest efficiency and accomplishment from those who do the work of erecting the building.
If the architect would order lumber, stone and hardware, without system, and start to erect the building without carefully prepared plans, the building would lack symmetry and strength, and it would be most expensive.
The planning time therefor was time well spent.
Few persons have the ability to plan and conserve their talents so as to produce the highest efficiency. Men rush along thinking their busyness means business. Really it means double energy and extra moves to produce a given effect.
The elimination of unnecessary moves means operating along lines of least resistance, and any plan or method that will help to do away with unnecessary moves and make the necessary moves more potential will be received with welcome, I am sure.
With the object of conserving energy and strengthening your force, this book is written.
It shall not be a book of ultimate definiteness or a book of exact science. There is no definite or exact rule that will apply, without exceptions, to any science except mathematics.
But we shall learn many helpful truths, nevertheless, and if I err or disagree with your conclusions, just eliminate those lines and take the helps you find.
In my previous book, "Pep," I particularly emphasized the importance of taking a few minutes each evening and using the time for sizing up things, by inventory, analysis, speculation, comparison and hypothesis.
I have received many comments about that particular suggestion.
I find that many of the great captains of industry who are accomplishing things worth while, have learned the value of this daily habit.
Mr. E. C. Simmons, the president of the Simmons Hardware Company, has for about fifty years followed this daily sizing up plan. He takes fifteen to twenty minutes each evening in seclusion, with closed eyes, and finds the weaknesses of his plans, formulates new plans, and generates new ideas for the morrow. He says this habit is one of the greatest contributing factors to his success and to the building up of the largest hardware business the world has ever known.
I want to help YOU to form the habit of rounding up each day's activities in the quiet, relaxed, uncolored, unprejudiced secluded environment of your home. Each evening we will together size up things—a sort of daily round-up.
I have chosen the evening as the time for our little talks. In the evening we can be cozy, comfy and communicative. The bank is closed. We met the note and got through the day. We are alive and well; we can open our hearts. There is no office boy to disturb us, and the life insurance agent is away at his club.
Yes, we can be alone and tranquilly let down the tension, lower the speed and with normal heartbeats play the low tones, the soft strains, the quieting music, and soothe our nerves.
All day we've heard the band with its drums and trombones and shrieky music. The day with its busy whirl kept our analyzing mental think-tank occupied with thoughts of gain and game and fame.
In the evening we have time to study logic and to reason, to analyze and inventory, to thresh out problems.
So let us relax and reflect in these evening round-ups.
Obedience Is Rewarded, Violation Is Punished
Man's nature makes it imperative for him to be interested in something.
That interest is to his help or hurt, according as he directs it.
There is much worry and misery in the world because so many are astatic, like a compass that has lost its loadstone.
Man is definitely the result of the materials the body and the mind feed upon.
Character is the result of a determined purpose to be and to do right, to one's self and to his fellows.
The man of character focuses his attention on truth, and on fact.
He uses theories with fact, to aid his progress, but he recognizes that theories, without fact as a safety ballast, is a useless expenditure.
Theories without fact leaves man in a rudderless boat; he gets nowhere, he only drifts.
Theories often help to get at facts, but the better way is to get at fact by proven experience, of which there is an inexhaustible abundance in the world.
Facts are based on natural laws. The study of natural laws is beneficial.
We shall strive in our studies to keep close to fact with just enough speculation to enliven the interest in facts.
Living the artificial life makes for worry, illness and failure.
Living in harmony with the great natural laws is the helpful way to live.
To abide by the law is safety, to violate the law brings punishment.
Every man is better if he follows scientific methods and habits of thought and living.
The loafing or astatic mind will fall into morbid tendencies.
The employed, truth-seeking, idealistic, hopeful mind is never dependent on people or things for its pleasure.
The acquiring of helpful knowledge, the seeking of worth-while truth, are ever profitable employments, paying present and future dividends, and meanwhile those acts positively divert the thought from morbid tendencies.
The Evening Round-Up is intended to be a companionable, helpful text book, a counselor and a friend.
We shall strive to bring helpful knowledge, good cheer and interesting facts, for your present occupation and benefit.
If I succeed in accomplishing my purpose even in part my time has been well spent.
We have an unchallenged fact to rest our feet on, a fact that shall follow us through all the pages of this book; and that is: our thoughts NEVER stop, our brains never sleep.
While we live we shall never get away from our thought; so then, we must consider that thought current, and reckon with it.
The motive power is turned on and we must grasp the helm if we sail the sea of life successfully, baffling storms and avoiding rocks.
Scientific books are usually dry, uninviting reading; they lack the human interest. They are generally bloodless skeletons.
We shall try to weave science into new patterns and paint interesting pictures so that science will attract and not repel.
This book is different in its suggestions, in its prescriptions, in its language, but it is universal with all scientific books, in that its aim is helpful truth.
We go by different routes, but our objective point is the same.
We will avoid technical names and symbols and speak the common language that the multitude understands.
We shall deal with problems and aspirations that come to us all in this busy workaday world.
We shall try to cut the underbrush in the swamp and blaze a plain trail out on to the big high road.
We shall keep in step to the drum-beats of truth, we will rest and recreate in cool shady places, and then up and on to our purpose with smiles on our faces, courage in our hearts, and song on our lips.
Every moment of our journey shall be worth while and positively helpful if we take the trip with conscientious applications, and continuity of purpose.
Our path is strewn with roses and thorns; we must enjoy the roses and escape the thorns.
We welcome you, the neophyte, who has joined us in our pilgrimage.
Are YOU Pleasant to Live With?
Let's be personal; that's a good way to establish a good idea in place of a bad one.
Are YOU pleasant to live with? Keep this personal question before you, even if you are cocksure that you can answer, yes.
Maybe there are some little jars, rattles, gratings, you are not aware of. Few of us are honest when looking for our own faults. There may be some sand in your gear box. It won't hurt you to keep the personal question alive for a few days,—"Am I pleasant to live with?"
I love the pleasant people whether they are fat, lean, tall, short, red heads, brown heads, homely, handsome, republicans or democrats.
The complaining, unpleasant grouch is like a bear with a toothache, miserable himself and spreading misery all around.
A freckle-faced, red-headed, cross-eyed man with a healthy funny bone will spread more cheerfulness and sunshine than a bench full of sad and solemn justices of the supreme court, or a religious conference.
What a different story would be written of Job, if he had only possessed a servant who could dance a double shuffle and whistle "Dixie" while cooking breakfast.
David was a man after my own heart; he brought gladsome songs into the world. He, said "Live the ways of pleasantness."
You can pray, sing, play, work, think, rest, hope, you can be well or ill, rich or poor and still be pleasant to live with.
Being pleasant helps you to be strong in body and mind, and it keeps you young a long time. It's good medicine, I know it. My little motto, "Be pleasant every morning until ten o'clock, the rest of the day will take care of itself," has brought sunshine into many homes.
If you frown it will soon get to be a habit—and give you a heavy heart. If you smile your face will be attractive, no matter how unlucky you were in the lottery of beauty.
Be pleasant and you will never feel old.
Every girl wants to catch a husband. Remember this, girls: A pleasant disposition is more benefit than seven barrels of beauty cream.
The pleasant disposition is a sure route to happy land and happy homes.
Old Ponce de Leon lost out in searching for the fountain of youth. If he had been pleasant he would have kept the smiles on his wife's face and there would have been no excuse to leave her to find the mythical fountain.
Hoe cake, bacon and smiles beat lobster, champagne and frowns.
Our land is thrice blessed with its peaceful, happy homes—for "happy homes are the strength of a nation."
Be pleasant in your home, make the children feel home is the pleasantest place in the world.
Every act and example is written in the child's memory tablet. Let your hours with the children be loving, laughing, living hours.
Pat them on the head, joke with them, whisper affection, express love to them. Those acts will be remembered in all their years to come, for you are planting everlasting plants that may pass onto a hundred generations and make children happy a thousand years from now.
Be pleasant to live with and the people will turn to you as you pass and shine your cheerfulness like the sunflowers turn to face the sun.
Be pleasant to live with and you will have more pleasant things to live for, and there will be kindnesses, kisses, beauty, health, peace, fun, happiness and content coming your way all along the great big road of life you are traveling.
Be pleasant, don't be cross and crabbed because someone else in the household is not pleasant. Do your part; you will likely thereby cure the frown habit on the face of the unfortunate disturber of your peace.
Make yourself right before you criticize your life partner. Answer this question, "Am I pleasant to live with?"
Don't fool yourself in the matter. Get right down to brass tacks with yourself, watch your moves and acts and attitude for ten days carefully before answering the question.
If your answer is no, then now is your time to change your attitude and try the pleasant plan, and here is my blessing and good wishes in such an event.
Dealing With Actual Conditions You Are Facing
I have been fortunate in having splendid eye-sight and hearing, and with these, a good memory.
I've traveled much and my education has been getting experience directly or learning experience directly from those who had experience.
All the while I've had to do with, and about business and social problems, and with and about the things which worry and perplex the man or woman in the business as well as the home world.
I am trying to stage this book, and our relationship, upon practical things we are to talk about. I want you to know and feel I have hoped and feared even as you have.
I am in the midst of these things even now as I write this book. I am not in a reflective mood, living in the past or glorying in deeds of other days. I am writing this today and of today, even as you are reading it today.
By day I face reality and problems, and temptations and tricks and frauds and deceits, and after the day is over I write these lines and try to inoculate myself with a serum or toxin that will serve as a safeguard on the morrow to ward off the things which try to annoy and distract me from my purpose: to do, and to be, as nearly right and fair as I can, in act and thought and word.
Continuity on a singleness of purpose is a valuable thing. Fabre spent his life studying insect life. His books on the spider and others on the life of insects are the result of a whole life spent on the one hobby or study of insects.
My occupation has been full of abrupt changes. Each day is a kaleidoscope, and so, as I write between times, these chapters may be like the boy who said of the dictionary, "a mighty powerful book but the subject changes so often."
I write these chapters as the spirit moves and opportunity allows, and you may read the same way. But be sure you make opportunity happen often.
Sitting on the Side Lines, Watching the Crowd
There is fun and interest and diversion all around us. All we need is keen observation and we will see much that passes unnoticed to the preoccupied person.
What an interesting thing is the great round world we live in. The people are as interesting as fish in an aquarium.
See the rushing, surging crowd. Man, pushing along searching for necessary things to be done, he builds cities, harnesses rivers, makes ships to sail the seas to the uttermost parts of the earth. Man goes to war, he builds death-dealing devices.
Man makes the desert blossom like a rose.
Here is the scientist in his laboratory, trying to unite certain elements to produce new substance. Here is the beauty in her silken nest; here the lover; there the musician; yonder the peanut man and in the office building is the captain of industry: All busy bees deeply absorbed in their respective interests, and intoxicated in the belief that they are important and greatly necessary.
Yet in the broad measure of ages they are mere ripples on the sea of time, faint bubbles on the eternal deep, and grains of sand at the mountain foot.
Great man by his own measure, minute man by the great measure of time. Mammoths to the near-sighted, mites to the far-sighted. Hustle and bustle, crowd and push. They tramp down the weaker brothers in the mad race after the golden shekels, which are only measures of ability to buy and own material things; symbols of power to make others serve you. These golden shekels which men fret, sweat and fight for, can only buy physical and material things.
Away from the crowd is the little group who have learned a great truth, which is, happiness is not to be bought with gold. This little minority knows that mental pleasures are best, and that mental pleasures cannot be found on the great highway of material conquest.
The puffy, corn-fed millionaire pities the man who is content to live with small means and enjoys what he has to the full extent.
The wise man is he who gets the fullness out of life, happiness, respect, content, freedom from worry, who is busy doing useful things, busy helping his brother, busy training his children, busy spreading sunshine and love and the close-together feeling in his home circle.
The corn-fed, hardened, senseless, money-mad, dollar-worshipper knows not peace. Smiles seldom linger on his lips. Peace never rests in his bosom, cheer never lights his face. He is simply a fighting machine, miserable in solitude, suffering when inactive and sick when resting.
The money-chaser is up and doing, working like a Trojan, because occupation takes his mind off the painful picture of his misspent opportunity and his destroyed natural instinct. When fighting for gold he forgets his appalling poverty of the really worth-while things in the world.
Like the drunkard in his cups the intoxication makes him forget, and he is negatively happy.
Money received as reward for doing things worth while is laudable.
We cannot sit idly by and neglect to earn money to provide food, shelter and education for our loved ones, but between times we should seek the wealth that comes from right mental employment.
The millionaire thinks, dreams and gets dollars and that is all.
The worth-while man thinks kindness, usefulness, self-improvement, brotherhood, love, and he gets happiness.
The man who discovers means to help his fellowman, does a good act, but it is the man with the dollars in front of his eyes that commercializes the discovery and invention.
In the end the man that helped mankind fares better than the man who made the millions.
It's a great crowd surging by, and very few have the good sense to learn the value of TODAY. That great crowd I see below my window thinks ever of tomorrow and forgets TODAY.
Those who think always of tomorrow will never get the beauties and joys from life that comes to the little group, of Today, who appreciates and enjoys the real Now, rather than the pictured Tomorrow that never comes.
It's mighty interesting to watch the crowd go by and speculate on their movements.
Save up your pennies, measure everything by the dollar standard, think dollars, dream dollars, work, slave, push for the dollars and you will build a fortune. You will never have peace or recreation, or joy; you will live only in hope of a some day when you will retire. That's the way the millionaires travel life's highway.
Some day the paper will announce the death of those millionaires and then the dollars will be blown in by reckless heirs, and so the grinding wheels roll on.
Surely there are many ways of looking at things. Surely there is much of interest in the crowd. Surely there is an unending fund from which to speculate, in that crowd way down on the street below my window.
What passions, what hopes, what joys, what sorrows, are in the hearts of that hurrying, worrying crowd.
What noise this din of traffic makes, what activity man has stirred up.
A picture, a drama, a tragedy, a comedy, all these I see in the human ants that run along below the hive where I sit and write these lines.
The phone rings and my little Nancy Lou's voice says, "Daddy, will you please bring me a pencil and a tablet with lines on it."
So I must needs stop this, whatever you may call it, and push through the crowd to get that tablet with "lines on it" for my Nancy Lou; and there is some feeling of happiness and content and peace in Daddy's heart as he lays down his pen, for Daddy is going Home, and that word means a lot in his little family, where they all say "Daddy" instead of Papa or Father.
DOING THINGS TWICE
A Common Habit That Saps Nerve Power
It is hard enough to do duty once, but doubly hard when you anticipate mentally everything you have to do tomorrow.
This doing things twice is a habit easily acquired if you don't watch out, and it means wasted energy.
I have just read the experience of a housewife who was resting on a couch reading; her eye caught sight of a book lying on the floor across the room.
Instantly her mindometer, if I may coin a word, registered, "when you get up, pick up that book."
She went on reading, but her mind was not on the magazine she held, but on that book on the floor.
So obsessed did she become that she was miserable until she got up and picked up the book.
I was talking with a woman who was resting on her porch; her day's work was over. She was dressed for the afternoon. Everything in the home was neat, sweet, clean and tidy. All serene but her face, and that was the window through which I saw worry working overtime.
By strategy I learned the trouble, and here is her story: "Tomorrow a lot of fruit will be ready to preserve. I am worrying where I shall put it. My fruit closet is full."
The woman had every reason to say to herself "sufficient unto the day," yet she was doing the preserving mentally today and tomorrow she would do the work physically.
A tired mind is harder to rest than a tired body, so we must nip this advance mental work in the bud.
We have all had mental obsessions of worrying about the things we were going to take on our trip; then worrying over the routine of our work when we return from our trip.
If the housewife looks over her week's work and washes the dishes, makes the beds, cooks the meals, dresses the children, mends the clothes, in her imagination, before she does them in reality, she is indeed a hard working woman.
It's all right to plan your work; that's economy in mental expenditure, for it simplifies, systematizes, and saves work.
Plan your work in advance, but do not keep your mind on the plans until the work is done.
When you have planned, then close the mental book of tomorrow's duty, and turn to pleasures, rest, relaxation and enjoyment of today.
These little round-ups we have each evening are fine to switch the thought current from tomorrow's duties.
It is to get a definite, different thought habit fixed, that I ask you to give me these few minutes each day when we may consider various phases of life, science, pleasure, morals and mental refreshment.
True we can only have a fleeting look at things, but we'll get enough, I hope, to freshen your minds, change the humdrum, and elicit interest in things.
Maybe these round-ups we have will help us, and keep us from working mentally tomorrow's physical work.
If these evening talks interest you, help clear your vision, help cheer you, help rest you, then they are good for you, and be cause they help you they certainly benefit me and make me very happy, because happiness comes from doing something for others.
I write as the mood strikes me, or as a phase of life comes before me, or as an idea strikes in and just won't let go until I grasp my pen and let the words flow.
I mean this book is human, and not a studied literary effort.
Just get the human viewpoint and don't criticize the words used or the sentences I construct.
I want to reach you right there alone in the room where you are reading this, and I want the suggestions, the good, the help, to soak in and I want you to pass the good you get to your brother; you won't lose a bit by so doing.
The Doctors' Most Difficult Problem
"She is all right—her only trouble is her NERVES." How often we hear that and how little does the person with steady nerves appreciate the tortures of "nerves."
A cut, a bruise, a headache, or any of the physical ailments can be quickly cured. Nature will mend the break, but tired, worn, stretched, abused nerves take time to restore. These nerve ailments call for most vigorous mental treatment.
Neurasthenia means debilitated or prostrated nerves and it shows itself first of all by worry. Worry means the inability to relax the attention from a definite fear or fancied hard luck. Worry leads to many physical and mental disorders.
Left alone this worry stage develops into an acute state and brings with it nervous prostration, and sometimes a complete collapse of the will power.
Before the acute stage of neurasthenia is reached there is noticed "brain fag," and brain fag is nature's warning signal calling upon you to take notice and change your mental habits.
Worry sometimes develops into hysteria; again it takes the form of hypochondria or chronic blues. The hypochondriac has a chronic, morbid anxiety about personal health and personal welfare. Frequently this state is accompanied by melancholia.
Melancholia is the forks in the roads. One road leads to incurable insanity, the other to curable melancholia. Right here is where heroic action is needed by the sufferer.
Here is where the sufferer must exert his will power, change completely his mental and physical habits and his surroundings. Occupation, changed habits, taking in of confidence, faith and courage thoughts—these changes are necessary to the victim of melancholia, or he will shatter on the danger rocks and go to pieces.
Melancholia is where is offered a good chance for Christian Science. Mental suggestion, powerful personality of a friend, and the personal help such a friend can give by counsel, example and suggestion, are all helps.
I have abundant evidence that melancholia sufferers can be restored to peace, efficiency and poise, by proper thought direction, and by proper physical employment.
"Pep," which has principally to do with mental efficiency, definitely lays down rules and practical suggestions for the employment of the mind and body. I have letters and verbal proofs in quantity proving the efficiency of those rules and suggestions.
So wonderful have been the results, so numerous the recoveries, that the testimonials, if published, would make the fake nerve tonic manufacturer die of envy.
"Only your nerves." I cannot understand why the word, only, is used. It makes it appear that nerves are of minor importance.
Nerves are less understood than anything in the human anatomy.
Experience has proved that nerves cannot be restored by dope, patent medicines, tonics or prescriptions.
The cure must come by and through the individual possessing the nerves and by and through the individual's power of will and mastery of the mind.
Get the mental equipment right. Let the mind master the body. Let the nerve sufferer get hold of himself and fill his brain with faith thought instead of fear thought, with courage instead of cowardice, with strength instead of weakness, with hope instead of despair, with smiles instead of frowns, with occupation instead of sluggishness, and wonders will appear.
The little shredded, tingling nerve ends will then commence to synchronize instead of fight, to harmonize instead of discord, to build instead of destroy.
The building, or coming back to a normal state, is slow; it takes time, patience and will power, but it can be done. I know. I have been through the mill, and I pass the word to you and try to stir you to be up and doing, even as I did.
Your nerves can be steadied, your thoughts uplifted, your health restored, your ambition re-established, your normality fixed.
Smiles, love and content are to be yours. Poise, efficiency, peace, your blessings. Health, happiness and hope your dividends. All these I promise you if you will read carefully this book from cover to cover and follow its plain, practical teachings.
The curriculum is not hard, it is not my discovery. I am merely the purveyor of facts, the gleaner of truth, and the selector of helpful experiences, first of all for my own benefit and having proved the truth in my own case and by friends to whom I passed the truths and rules.
I made bold to write books, but the writing has paid me well, not alone in dollars, but from having done a helpful thing in writing for other humans who have had problems, worries and nerves.
The big books on nerves are discouraging and forbidding by their immensity and labyrinth of scientific technical terms. They are fine for teachers, but discouraging for the layman.
The great everyday crowd is the class I want to talk to and so I endeavor to write in plain human, sincere style from heart to heart, with understanding, feeling, charity and sympathy.
I have felt the things you feel, and if I can by example, emphasis, suggestion, rule or good intent, be a help to you, then I have done a service.
Don't worry or criticize this book. Take my suggestions in the spirit offered.
Give Them the Cold Shoulder
The calamity howler is found in the midst of peace and plenty. This pessimist sows seeds of discord, plants envy, generates the anarchist spirit, and is an all-around nuisance.
A man may spend years erecting a building; a fiend can demolish it in a minute with a stick of dynamite.
The calamity howler is a destroyer; he doesn't think, he spurts out words. His words and arguments are simply parrot mimicry and void of intellectual impulse, as are the movements of an angle worm.
These peace destroyers talk of their rights and they expect and demand the same privileges and benefits that are earned by the man who uses his head.
These ghouls are born without heads; they just have necks that grow up and are covered with hair. These brainless mollusks are now telling the people that the Sultan of Sulu is to capture Texas and that Japan is to invade Indianapolis; Germany is to capture Quebec, and France is to siege Milwaukee.
The howlers spread talk of yellow peril and black plague to follow. They spread doubt and fear; they tell you the capitalists are awake nights trying to starve you and that they employ inventors to discover new methods of torture for the poor working man.
They accuse business men of grinding down the farmer, forming pools, establishing starvation prices, and ruining agriculture. Yet, as I write these lines, fat beef cattle sell for $10.00 a hundred on the hoof, wheat is way over $1.00 a bushel, and good farms in Missouri even are selling at from $100.00 to $150.00 per acre.
Good farm mortgages are hard to get. The farmers have money in the banks, honey in the house, and automobiles in the garage.
Our taxes in the United States are lower than anywhere on the face of the earth. Our wages are higher than anywhere in the world. Our schools better, our opportunities greater.
And in the midst of better conditions and brighter prospects the shameless, brainless, fameless bipeds pollute the atmosphere, poison hearts and plant discontent.
If these howlers are any better than foot-pads, thieves, grave robbers, or child beaters, I can't see it.
And it is up to you and to me to denounce these peace destroyers, ridicule them, show our contempt for them; they have no hearts, no souls, they are only decay spots that spread rottenness, disease, despair, discouragement, contamination and anarchy, and we do not want such guests at our quilting parties or husking bees.
A Little Study of Faces in a Street Car
This evening I rode home in a crowded street car. What an interesting study to watch the faces in that car.
Discontent, discomfort, worry, gloominess on nearly every face. Tired faces, tired bodies from a hard day's work, mouth corners drooped. Hopelessness stamped on the countenances.
As the people came in the car some of them had smiles or at least passable expressions, but when they got crowded together and saw the gloomy faces the gloom spread to their faces, too.
At a picnic all are smiling and laughing. In the street car at six o'clock the long procession of workers is a stream of solemn faces. Contagion, example, surrounding, yes, that's it—contagion and example.
At six o'clock in the cars all is gloom, blueness and sorrow faces. At eight o'clock many of these faces will be changed; there will be joy, smiles, rosiness, singing and dancing. Yet the actual conditions of finance, health, hope or prospects haven't changed since these people were in the car at six o'clock.
Why then such a change in two hours?
It is this: at seven o'clock these workers sat down to supper, they were out of that gloom-reflected street car atmosphere. Now they are talking, they are rounding-up the day's activities; they are HOME with mother, sister, brother and the kiddies. The home ones greet them with smiles, the appetizing supper pleases the palate, good cheer permeates, and all is smiles and joy.
Gloom spreads gloom. Joy spreads joy. Gloom is black; joy is white. One darkens, the other brightens.
Well, then, where's the moral? What's the benefit from this little study of the street car passengers?
The lesson is plain: it is that you and I are ferments of joy or acids of gloom. We are influences to help or to hurt. To hurt others by our example hurts us. To help others by our example helps us. We become happier than ever.
In the street car life was not worth living if you judged by the pained faces. In two hours by changed thought the example of life was worth while.
What changes the mental attitude makes.
"When a man has spent His very last cent— The world looks blue, you bet; But give him a dollar And loud he will holler There's life in the old world yet."
Next time we get on the street car let's plant some smiles. Let's give that lady a seat and smile when we do it.
We can spread cheer by merely wearing a cheery face. Costs little, pays big. Let's do it.
Hovers Near Us If We Do Not Chase It
Some of our richest blessings are gained by not striving for them directly. This is so true that we accept the blessings without thinking about how we came to get them.
Particularly true is this in the matter of happiness. Everyone wants to be happy, but few know how to secure this blessing.
Most people have the idea that the possession of material things is necessary to happiness and that idea is what keeps architects, automobile makers, jewelers, tailors, hotels, railroads, steamships and golf courses busy.
Do your duty well, have a worth-while ambition, be a dreamer, have an ideal. Keep your duty in mind, be occupied sincerely with your work, keep on the road to your ideal and happiness will cross your path all the while.
Happiness is an elusive prize; it's wary, timid, alert and cannot be caught. Chase it and it escapes your grasp.
I read today of a friend who walked home with a workman. This is the workman's story: He had a son who was making a record in school. He had two daughters who helped their mother; he had a cottage, a little yard, a few flowers, a garden. He worked hard in a garage by day and evenings he cultivated his flowers, his garden, and his family. He had health, plus contentment a-plenty. His possessions were few and the care of them consequently a negligible effort.
Happiness flowed in the cracks of his door. Smiles were on his lips, joy in his heart, love in his bosom; that's the story my friend heard.
Then came a friend in an automobile on his way home from the club. He picked up my friend and to him a tale of woe, misery and discontent did unfold.
This club man had money, automobiles, social standing, possessions, and all the objects and material things envious persons covet—yet he was unhappy. His whole life was spent chasing happiness, but his sixty horsepower auto wasn't fast enough to catch it.
The poor man I have told you about was the man who washed the club man's auto.
The strenuous pleasure seeker fails to get happiness; that is an inexorable law. He develops into a pessimist with an acrid, satirical disgust at all the simple, worth-while, real things in life.
This is not a new discovery of mine; it's an old truth. Read Ecclesiastes, the pessimistic chronicle of the Bible, and you'll find what comes to the pleasure-chaser, and you will know about "vanity and vexation of spirit."
Do something for somebody. Engage in moves and enterprises that will be a service to the community and help the uplift of mankind. This making others happy is a positive insurance and guarantee of your own happiness.
You must keep a stiff upper lip, a stiff backbone; you must forget the wishbone and the envious heart.
Paul had trials, setbacks, hardships and hard labors; he had defeats and discouragements and still the record shows he was "always rejoicing."
Paul was a man of Pep. In the dungeon with his feet in stocks he sang songs and rejoiced. Paul was happy, ever and always, not because he strove to get happiness, but because he had dedicated his life to a service to mankind.
The real hero, the real man of fame, the real man of popularity, doesn't arrive through direct quest, for any of these things; the result is incidental.
The real hero forgets self first of all; that is the essential step to greatness.
Washington at Valley Forge had no thought that his acts there would furnish inspiration for a picture that would endure for generations.
Lincoln, the care-worn, tired noble man, in his speech at Gettysburg, never dreamed that speech would stamp him as a master of words and thought, in the hearts of his countrymen. He thought not of self. He was trying to soothe wounds, cheer troubled spirits, and give courage to those who had been so long in shadowland.
Ever has it been that fame, glory, happiness are rewards, given not to those who strive to capture, but to those who strive to free others from their troubles, burdens and problems.
"As a Man Thinketh in His Heart so is He"
A little child is crying over a real or fancied injury to her body or to her pride.
So long as she keeps her mind on the subject she is miserable.
Distract her attention, get her mind on another subject, and her tears stop and smiles replace frowns.
This shows how we are creatures of our thoughts. "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" is a truth that has endured through the centuries.
We are children in so far as we cry and suffer when we think of our ills or hurts or wrongs or bad luck.
We can smile and have peace, poise and strength if we change our thoughts to faith, courage and confidence.
Our condition is what we make it. If we think fear, worry and misery, we will suffer. If we think faith, peace and happiness, we will enjoy life.
Every thought that comes out of our brain had to go in first.
If we feed our brain storehouse with trash and fear, and nonsense, we have a poor material to draw from.
The last thought we put in the brain before going to sleep is most likely to last longest. So it is our duty to quietly relax, to slow down—to eliminate fear-thought, self-accusation, and to substitute some good helpful thought in closing the mental book of each day.
Therefore read a chapter or two from a worth-while book the last thing before going to bed.
Say to yourself, "I am unafraid; I can, I will awake in the morning with smiles on my face, courage in my heart, and song on my lips."
These suggestions for closing the day will be of instant help to you.
The great power for good, the wherewith to give you strength, progress and efficiency is within yourself and at the command of your will.
You can't think faith and fear, good and bad, courage and defeat, all at the same time.
You can only think one thing at a time.
Your great power is your will, and the wherewith to help yourself is your thought habit.
Change your thought habit as you go to bed. You can do it; it's a matter of will determination. The more faithful you are to your purpose, the easier your task will be. Be patient, conscientious rational and confident.
You are what your thoughts picture you to be. Your will directs your thoughts.
Don't get discouraged if you can't suddenly change your life from shadow to sunshine, from illness to wellness.
Big things take time and patience. The great ship lies in the harbor pointed North. A tug boat could make a sudden pull and break the great chain or tow line.
Yet you could take a half-inch rope and with your own hands turn the great ship completely around by pulling steadily and patiently. The movement would be slow, but it would be sure and you would finally accomplish your purpose.
Don't jerk and fret and be impatient with yourself. You have been for years perhaps worrying and thinking fear-thoughts. You have put a lot of useless and harmful material in your brain.
You can't clean all your brain house in a day or a week, but you can do a little cleaning each day.
You can take the faith rope of good purpose and start to pull gently, and finally you will turn your whole life's character toward the port of success.
If you have read "Pep" and followed its rules, you are now in a state of poise, efficiency and peace, and realize the truths of this chapter, for you learned in detail the rules for your daily conduct, practice, and how to apply suggestions.
The great crowd worries; only the few have learned the power of the will, and the benefits to be derived from mental control.
Business and social duties call for strong men and women. You can't reach mastership if you remain a slave.
Your first duty is to yourself, and success or failure is your reward exactly in proportion as you exercise your will power and handle your thought habits.
Proofs That Mind Control is the Best Medicine
The doctors are giving less medicine and doing more in the way of suggesting diet, and exercise rules, sanitation and preventive practices.
Medicine is mostly poison and its effect is to shock the organs or glands to bring about reaction. Nature makes the cure.
In emergency drugs are all right, but the doctor and not the individual should settle the matter of what drug to use and the time to use it.
When there's a pain or disease it's due to congestion of some organ, to infection, or to improper nourishment or improper habits.
Ninety per cent of the aches, pains or ailments can be cured by a dominant mental attitude and attention to eating and exercise.
The habitual medicine user is not cured by the medicine but by nature; the medicine simply serves as a means to establish mental control and confidence that the sufferer is to get well.
Recently I have spent much time in a large hospital visiting a relative who had been operated on. I know several of the staff of doctors and nurses.
I have seen many operations, some very heroic ones, and my appreciation of the good work of good surgeons is greatly augmented by the wonderful helps I have seen them bring to suffering humanity. I have talked with and watched the cases of scores of patients.
I have by plausible logic, mental suggestion, and good cheer to the hospital patients, brought many a smile through a mist of tears.
I have seen wonderful results of mental suggestion to the discouraged patients.
To show the effects faith thought will produce, I will relate some instances.
One patient screaming for a hypodermic injection to relieve her pain was given an injection of sterilized water and the pain vanished.
Another just could not sleep without her bromide. The nurse fixed up a powder of sugar, salt and flour, the patient took the powder and went to sleep. That was mind control and mental longing satisfied.
Another patient had to take something to stop her pains; she got capsules of magnesia. The capsule satisfied her longing, established her faith and gave her relief; the relief was through her mind and not by the capsule.
I have seen several weary, despondent patients fretting and wearing themselves out over their so-called weakness and condition. I have placed copies of "Pep" in their hands and watched courage, faith, cheer and sereneness come to them.
The reading of "Pep" diverted their minds from self-thought and self-accusation to faith-thought and courage.
"Pep" is simply powerful common-sense, practical, digestible, hope, faith, cheer and courage. One brain cannot at the same time hold its attention on faith and fear, on joy or sorrow, on smiles and tears.
You can only think one thing at a time, and "Pep" or any other book that can change the habit thought from fear to faith, from worry to peace, is doing a service.
I've been in shadowland in the hospital to see for myself the actual help that mental control will bring to sufferers and the evidence is far above my powers to describe.
I'm mighty glad I wrote "Pep" for it has helped many a brother and sister out of darkness into sunshine, and proved the value of right thinking and mental control.
I've seen the lifting up of a patient's hope, when the cheery surgeon came with hope, smiles and confidence on his face.
I've seen the drooping of spirits when well meaning but poor expressing friends came into the patient's room and condoned and sorrowed with the patient.
Verily "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."
Verily good cheer and good thought are good medicines.
And to these truths all good doctors say "Amen!"
Let Your Final Evening's Reading be Good Stuff
When you spend the evening playing cards, the chances are you come home late, and when you retire it takes perhaps an hour or so before you fall to sleep.
And during the night you dream of cards, of certain hands, of certain circumstances, or certain persons, that were prominent in the evening's game.
The reason you do not go to sleep after an exciting evening is because you have set your nerve carburetor at high tension and forgotten to lower it before you go to sleep.
On the other hand, when you have been reading a restful book, full of good thought, you establish an equilibrium, a relaxed state of nerves and particularly you have switched the current or direction of your day's thoughts. That change spells rest, and you retire and go to sleep easily.
In "Pep" one of the most beneficial suggestions was that you read its chapters one or two each evening, after you had undressed, and just before going to bed.
You will scarcely believe what a wondrous change for the better will happen to you if you make it a rule to have a brain clearing, mental inventory, and nerve relaxation every night before you sleep.
Your brain works at night always; oft-times you have no remembrance of your dreams, but if your last hour, before retiring, was an hour of excitement, tension or unusual occupation you will likely go over it all again in your dreams.
If you will let nothing prevent your period of soliloquy, or evening round-up, you will establish your mental habits into a rhythm that will give you peace, rest and benefit.
In the olden days, when most families had evening worship or family prayers, the members of those households slept soundly and restfully.
Particularly was this so because of the habit formed of getting the mind on peaceful, helpful, comforting, soul-satisfying thoughts that remained fresh on the brain tablets as the members of the home circle went to sleep.
One of the common practices in the home circle is reading, and generally the books or papers read are of the exciting, fascinating, highly colored imaginative type; people read stories of love, adventure, plot or crime, and they dream these same things most every night.
I have found that it pays to read two classes of literature in the same evening. First read your novel, story or fascinating book, and fifteen minutes before you are ready to go to sleep, read some good, wholesome, helpful, uplifting book, and that good stuff will be lastingly filed away in your brain.
Finish your evening with books that are interesting, yet educational. Such books as "Life of the Bee" by Maeterlinck, or any one of Fabre's wonderful books on insect life; "Riddle of the Universe," by Haeckle; Darwin's books; Drummond's "Ascent of Man;" "Walks and Talks in Geological Fields" is a splendid mental night cap; "Power of Silence;" "Physiology of Faith and Fear;" Emerson's "Essays;" Holmes' "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table;" Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam; Tom Moore's Poems; "Plutarch's Lives;" "Seneca;" "Addison;" Bulwer Lytton; Hugo; Carlyle's "Sartor Resartus." This latter book will not fascinate you like Carlyle's "French Revolution," but you will learn to love its fine language, its fine analysis of character, of times, and of things.
There are countless books of the good improving kind. Always save one of them for your solid reading, after you have read light literature or novels. If you will get the habit you will notice great benefits and rapid advancement in your mental apparatus.
You will sleep better, think clearer; you will learn to enjoy mental pleasures more than material pleasures.
Fifteen minutes then to be yours, yours alone, in which you quiet, soothe, strengthen and pacify yourself and add abundant resources and assets.
Let the last reading in the evening be something worth storing up in that precious brain of yours and the good worth-while deposit will grow and produce beautiful worth-while mental fruit.
A Widely Prevalent Modern Disease
The malady Verbomania is spreading rapidly. What's that? You have never heard of Verbomania? Well, then, it's taken from verbosus, the Latin word meaning abounding in words, the using of more words than is necessary. Mania, also Latin, means to rage—excessive or unreasonable desire; therefore, Verbomania is the excessive desire to use more words than are necessary.
There is too much talk nowadays and too little thinking. Some persons start their gab carburetors and they talk and talk mechanically, without any effort on any thought, just like walking, the motion just goes by itself.
Scientists have suggested that perhaps too much talking without thinking is a disease. I don't see why there is any perhaps about it. Disease is an unnatural condition, or function out of its natural order of working.
We know we can sit down and run ideas through our brain without words and we can use a lot of words without ideas.
You have read whole pages in a book without receiving an idea. One can rattle off words and not have ideas. When the fountain of words flows in a desert of ideas, it's Verbomania.
People in all walks of life have the disease; they talk together too much without any reason other than to take up time or make themselves at ease.
Pink teas, receptions and society functions are great rookeries for these Verbomania birds to gather and indulge in their gabfest.
The pianist through long practice is able to play a difficult composition without thinking about it; it's automatic; it's habit in action.
The society dodo bird is just as dexterous in spinning words without thought, as the pianist with his difficult piece.
Our rapid mode of living, our conventions and customs are responsible for much of the Verbomania.
I should like to take my Dictophone to a fussy "afternoon" and record the word evacuations, the footless conversation, the forced pleasantries, the set sentences that mingle into a hum and buzz. A wilderness of words in a barrenness of ideas.
This useless abuse of the use of speech makes headaches, weariness, worry, unrest; it saps strength, lowers pep, and lessens resistance.
The cure for Verbomania is to keep away from these butterfly buzz bees; put the clothes-pin of caution on your lips; spend more time alone with your thoughts. Nourish your idea plants that have been starved; prune your word plants.
Read the first few chapters of "PEP," particularly the chapter in the book about solitude and sizing up things.
Don't expose yourself to the crowds where the Verbomaniacs gather. The disease is contagious; it's easy to acquire and hard to retire.
These are ideas put in type to convey a truth for the benefit of all who read these lines, and it is some truth, too.
Don't Mistake a House for a Home
Love builds homes, gold builds houses. The home has a mongrel dog which is called Prince, and all the family love it. The house had a pedigreed bull pup that is kept in the barn.
There is all the difference between the family which has a home and the family which has a house.
In houses we find broken hearts, worry, nervous prostration, because there is idleness, artificiality and aimlessness. In homes we find warm hearts, happiness and love, because those in the home have natural, helpful occupation.
In the house is cold reserve; the occupants read when compelled to stay in doors; they grow crabbed and cross and get into a state of habitual dumbness and selfishness.
In the home there is unselfishness, thoughtfulness, and love expressed. Meal time is joy time; it's the get-together period of smiling faces.
In the house the breakfast table is merely a lunch station in the hurried trip from the bedroom to the office.
The sensitive wife of the house gets stinging remarks that abide with her after the lord and master of the house has departed.
In the home the family gets up plenty early enough, songs and jokes, kisses and love pats are found, the family is on time, and there is happiness all around.
Homes are sweet, because love is present. Houses built by gold are just hotels.
I've noticed the difference when a friend invites me to come to his home or his house; the word he uses, home or house, indicates to me what I will find when I go there.
In the house I meet a maid or butler at the door. I see conventional furniture, conventional rooms. I am shown into a conventional waiting room, and I wait conventionally for the hostess to come forward with a stiff backbone, a forced smile, and a languid hand shake.
When I go to a home built with love, I find a tidy dressed wife at the door, rosy children, and I get a warm old-fashioned hand clasp, and a beaming smiling face that spells welcome.
And the dinner, that too, tells the difference between the "depend-on-the-cook" housewife and the "wife-who-is-the-boss" home.
At the house is formality and frigidity; at the home is ease and enjoyment. The children of the home make breaks and we love them for it; it's natural instinct and frankness.
In the house is worry; in the home is happiness.
Verily there's a difference in the atmosphere of the house built with gold and the home built with love; one is worthless existence, the other worth-while living.
Seven Sensible Simple Suggestions on Eating
I haven't time in this book to give reasons or show proofs for everything I suggest. I have explained much in detail regarding the matter of food, thought, habit and exercise in PEP, but I want right here to give you a few definite, short, positive, helpful rules that will pay you most wonderful dividends in health and happiness.
First—Drink two or three glasses of warm, not hot water the first thing when you arise.
Second—Repeat this resolve as you are drinking the water, "I will be pleasant this morning until ten o'clock and the rest of the day will take care of itself."
Third—Walk to your office or place of business unless it is over four miles, in which case walk the first three miles and ride the remainder of the distance.
Fourth—Eat one or two apples every day, and do not insult nature's proper adjustment by peeling the apple. You want the skin because it has things in it you need for your body, and especially for your brain, and you need especially the roughage the skin gives.
Fifth—Spend eight or nine hours a day in bed. I belong to the sixty-three hour club; that means nine hours a day rest, seven days in a week, which is sixty-three hours. If through business travel or other circumstances I stay up late one or two nights a week, I balance books before the week is up by taking a rest on Sunday afternoon or going to bed earlier one or two nights.
Sixth—Don't stay in bed Sunday morning. It will make you tired, loggy, stupid and cross. Get up Sunday, say, a half hour or an hour later than week days. Later in the day take a nap if you wish.
Seventh—Spend fifteen minutes just before going to bed in quiet, relaxed solitude. This is the time to slow down your tension, relax your muscles and soothe the nerves. These rules you can easily remember and if you follow them as I hope you will, the red blood will course in your veins and joy will be in your countenance and the halo of happiness will be around your face.
A Frequent Crossed Current That Makes Misery
Every once in a while the human has a negative day. Every act, thought, or spoken sentence has a but, a don't, a can't, or some other negative attachment to it.
The children laugh, play and cut up in the morning and mother says, "I don't know what I shall do with you, you are just wearing me out." This puts a fear thought and a weakness germ both in mother and the kiddies.
On Sunday afternoon the family is resting; mother maybe gets the blues, and says, "What's the use, I never get anywhere, go any place, it's just grind, work and worry all the time."
Mother worries because there's a leak in the roof and the water stained the paper in the spare room. She worries because she lives in a rented house and says, "I have no heart to fix things up because this is a rented house."
This negative thought indulged in brings on a misery state; it's worry, and the worry comes because you dwell on the off side of things. You rehearse your problem, you go over your work, you count your obstacles and pile up the negative and fear thoughts.
Bless you, my dear sister, I know what this negative can't, don't, but, and what's the-use thought is and how it brings misery. I know how the children get on your nerves and make you say, "don't," all day to them.
There's only one way to drive out this negative thought and that is to switch your will power to the positive current.
Next time you have a negative day and the fear thoughts come, just start in one by one and count your blessings of health, blessings of home, and blessings of love.
Nothing can hurt you. You've been through these negative days time and time again; the clouds gathered, you were blue, lonesome, homesick and heartsick, but next day you got busy with work, and occupation drove away the clouds and the sunshine came. The next Sunday you get in this negative state, just put on your hat and go out to see some neighbor or go to the park or take a walk.
Don't sit and stew and fret over your magnified troubles.
Let the children play and laugh; they are not hurting anyone. God bless them. They don't have worries, their little lives are all too short. Their example of smiles and laughter should make you happy. Soon, too soon, they will grow up and go their ways in life and how precious will be the memories of their carefree, golden, happy childhood days.
Cut out envy; that's a mighty bad negative wire. It's the devil's favorite food to make worry and discontent.
Many of the people you envied in the past are dead and buried. Many of the people you envy now are at heart miserable, and you wouldn't envy them if you could look through the artificial outside and know their real hidden thoughts and lives.
"What's-the-use;" that's a bad thing to say, it plants worry seed.
You are all right, you have far more blessings than sorrows. You can never be free from troubles, cares or little irritations.
Rise superior to these things; those around you are affected and susceptible to your influence and example.
If you have a "but," and "if," a "don't," tied to every command to your children, they will recognize your uncertainty and your negative hurtful attitude, and they will take your threats, as well as your promises, with a grain of salt.
Be careful in giving commands; don't put a Spanish bit in the children's mouths to jerk them and torture them.
Be positive, make your promises and orders stick, and the kiddies will soon know you mean what you say.
These negative "driving me crazy" sentences and attachments to your commands spell weakness and make you drive, cajole and spin out your orders and the children hesitate, and are slow to obey.
Let them see your positive side. Let them learn to obey with a "yes, mamma" spirit and your orders will be less frequent, shorter and they will be obeyed on the instant.
The kiddies learn to size you up, mamma, and if they see a wobbly, worried, despondent, unsure attitude in you, they will discount your threats and make allowances, saying "that's mamma's way."
Don't show your cry side but show your smile side.
Sunday is a great trial day for you, mamma, but don't let your negative wires get the best of you.
Sing as you make the beds and tidy up; let sunshine in and drive out the gloom.
Blue Sundays are horror days for the children; you can't expect them to sit still like older folks. They are full of red blood and active muscles.
Don't make Sunday a day of punishment to your children. They get their cue from you. Don't you be negative and cross, and gloomy. It's bad business for you and all the family.
The Best Exercise I Know of
The benefits of walking are so quickly apparent that I hope to get you to make the start and keep it up for two weeks, and then you will require no further urging.
In walking there are two things most important to do in order to get the greatest benefits: first—walk alone; second—walk your natural gait.
So many people tell me they would like to walk all, or part of the way, between their home and office if they had company.
Company is the very thing you don't want in walking, and there are two reasons for this: one is if you walk with a friend you will hold yourself back, or else you will be walking faster than your natural gait, and in either case it is a conscious effort, and this conscious effort to a large degree will cause you to lose much of the benefit from your walk.
The most important reason, however, is that if you walk with a friend you are sure to talk and thus you are using your nervous energy and tiring your brain—the very thing you should rest.
Walking gives you physical exercise which is absolutely necessary for health. It is the best exercise I know of because you do not overdo your strength.
Walking is beneficial because when you walk alone you give your brain a rest. You cannot read the papers, you cannot talk, and your mental apparatus gets complete rest.
As stated in PEP I walk from my home to my office, something less than four miles, and it takes me about an hour to make the trip. I walk through a beautiful park and every morning I see something new and interesting in bird and animal life, in the vegetation and in the geological formations through which I pass.
I recommend that you walk anywhere from three to four miles in the morning.
If your home is more than four miles from the office, walk three or four miles and then take the car.
Do not walk home in the evening unless the walk is a short one. In the evening you are tired and you should conserve your strength. In the morning you are fresh and the exercise comes to you at a time it is most needed. It will give you strength, courage and help to keep you in a good mood all day.
I cannot too strongly emphasize the importance of walking alone, for then you have shifted your nerve energy from the dry cell battery of the brain to the magneto, which is the spinal cord. The spinal cord works automatically and it doesn't wear itself out. The brain tires if it uses its energy.
In walking you use the thought and the brain impulse to start the magneto then the spinal cord action is automatic.
This automatic action of the spinal cord is a wise provision of nature to conserve strength.
The spinal cord energy is what you might call automatic habit.
For instance, in dressing and undressing yourself you will recall that you put on or take off your clothes in regular order without giving the matter any thought. It is just habit.
If you wish to demonstrate the difference between the control of the physical body by brain impulse and the spinal cord impulse, try this some morning: Start out on your walk, and mentally frame sentences like this as you walk, "right step, left step, right step, left step," and so on; give thought to each step you have taken and notice how tired you will be when you have gone half a mile.
The next morning start to walk, walk naturally, give no thought to walking, keep your mind on the beauties of nature by which you are passing or in pleasant soliloquy and you will feel no fatigue.
There isn't a bit of theory in this chapter; it is positive practical sense I have proved by my own experiences and by the experiences of everyone to whom I have made this suggestion of walking alone.
The moral is this—walk every morning and walk ALONE.
The Body's Safety-First in Keeping Health
The body is made up of billions of little cells. These individual cells are in a state of perpetual activity. They exhaust, wear away, break down with work and rebuild on food and rest. Every process of life—the beat of the heart, the throb of the brain in thought, the digestion of food, the excretion of waste—all are due to the activity of groups of highly specialized individual cells.
Every cell uses up its own material and throws off poisonous by-products during activity. These by-products, or wastes, are very poisonous to the individual cell as well as to the entire organism. To get rid of this waste is one of the first duties of the system.
It is with the body, made up of its countless millions of individual cells, just as with a city and its myriad people: the sewage of the community must be collected and disposed of. The city forms its poisons which we call sewage and the body its poisons, which we call excreta (or carbonic acid, urea, uric acid, faeces, etc.) It is no more important for a city to gather up and get rid of its poisonous sewage than for the animal organism to collect and excrete its cell-waste. Hence, the importance of maintaining normal and constant elimination throughout the body.
Elimination is kept up by the alimentary tract, the kidneys, the skin, and the lungs.
These four are the great pipe-line sewerage systems so to speak, by which the body throws off its gaseous, liquid and solid poisons.
The lungs momentarily strain carbonic acid out of the blood and throw it out in the expired air. They likewise exhale other noxious matters from the system.
The alimentary tract throws off faeces, made up of the waste tissue from the whole system, especially the digestive organs, as well as indigestible and non-nutritious portions of the food.
The kidneys strain out urea, uric acid, and certain other poisons from the blood and eject them through the urinary tract.
Finally the skin likewise is an excretory organ and exhales a very definite amount of gaseous and fluid waste in the course of each twenty-four hours.
The skin throws off from a pint to two quarts of liquid each day in the form of vapor.
Thus, to carry on normal elimination from the body, the breathing, digesting, urinary and cutaneous systems must be kept working normally. To impair the work of any of these is to retard bodily drainage. To insure that elimination is going on naturally it is necessary to secure perfect functioning of lungs, bowels, kidneys and the skin.
Any stoppage in the process of elimination means that some fault has crept into the work of one of these excretory systems. It must be plain now why a disorder of any one of these organs of elimination means so much more profound disturbance to the whole organization than merely disease in one structure; it means that waste products are retained which ought to be thrown out of the body; so straightway every cell in the body begins to be more or less affected. Some poisons disturb one organ more and some another, but in the end the whole body must be affected.
Lack of exercise, bolting of food, eating soft, starchy things, failure to chew properly, failure to get enough roughage, insufficient water, insufficient fruit, these are the general causes of stoppage in the elimination processes.
Drink one or two glasses of warm, not hot, water first thing in the morning.
Eat one or two apples, skins and all, every day. Eat toast, especially the crust, eat cracked wheat or whole wheat bread often.
Exercise plenty. Keep cheerful, eat regularly.
Very likely you eat too much. You don't need three big meals a day unless you work out doors at hard physical labor.
Your body is an engine. No use to keep the boiler red hot and two hundred pounds of steam if your work is light.
Good health depends upon proper assimilation and elimination as nature intended.
Eat less, exercise more, you who work indoors. If you don't use this caution you are just slowly killing yourself.
An Impossible State, and It's Well It's So
I am often asked, "Are you happy ALL the time?" My answer is no.
A continuous state of happiness cannot be enjoyed by any human. There are no plans, no habits, no methods of living that will insure unbroken happiness.
Happiness means periods or marking posts in our journey along life's road. These high points of bliss are enjoyed because we have to walk through the low places between times.
Continuous sunshine, continuous warm weather, continuous rest, continuous travel, continuous anything spells monotony. We must have variety.
We need the night to make us enjoy the day, winter to make us enjoy summer, clouds to make us enjoy sunshine, sorrow to make us enjoy happiness.
But, dear reader, mark this: we can be philosophical and have content, serenity and poise between the happiness periods.
When you get blue, or have dread or sorrow, or that undescribable something that makes you feel badly; when you have worry or trouble, then's the time to get hold of your thinking machinery, and modify the shadows that come across you.
Occupation and focusing your thoughts on your blessings, these are the methods to employ.
As long as you dwell upon your imagined or your real sorrows you will be miserable and the worries will magnify like gathering clouds in April.
Take the stand of changing your thoughts to confidence, faith, and good cheer, and busy your hands with work. Think of the happiness periods you have had and know there is happiness dividends coming to you. Keep this sort of thought and with it useful occupation, and the sunshine will dispel the clouds in your thoughts like the sun dispels the April showers and brings about a more beautiful day because of the clouds and storms just passed.
When trouble or sorrows come, sweeten your cup with sugar remembrances of joys you've had and joys you are to have.
Envy no one; envy breeds worry. The person you would envy has his sorrows and shadows, too; you see him only when the sunlight is on the face, you don't see him when he is in shadowland.
No, dear ones, I nor you, nor anyone on earth can have complete, unruffled, continued happiness, but we can brace up and call our reserve will power, reason, and self-confidence to bear when we come to the marshy places along the road. We can pick our steps and get through the mire and sooner than we believe it possible we can get on the good solid ground; and as we travel, happiness will often come as a reward for our poise and patience.
My friends say, "you always seem happy," and in that saying they tell a truth, for I am happy often, very, very often and between times I make myself seem to be happy. This making myself "seem to be happy" gives me serenity, contentment, fortitude, and the very "seeming" soon blossoms into a reality of the condition I seem to be in.
You can be happy often and when you are not happy, just seem to be happy anyway; it will help you much.
If You Do This You Will Always Be Miserable
Many have the habit of keeping their minds on their weaknesses or their shortcomings.
If they read of some one doing a great thing or making a worth-while accomplishment they say, "I never could do such a thing."
These persons are always saying, "I never have luck. I can't do this. I can't do that."
Always knocking, always thinking can't instead of can, will make fear, irresoluteness, uncertainty and weakness of character.
Saying "I can't, I haven't the ability, I am unlucky" and such like makes you weak and knocks out all chance for doing things.
Nothing comes out of the brain that wasn't burned in by thought. If you accuse yourself, belittle your capacity, or drown your good impulses with doubt and self-accusation, you are putting away a lot of bad thought in your brain and no wonder you will lack in initiative, ambition and courage.
To those who claim to be unlucky I want to say you are not unlucky, you simply lack pluck.
You start at undertakings with a handicap of fear, and a made-up mind you can't accomplish. No one ever got anywhere with anything with such a millstone around his neck.
Many a man has been whipped in a fight, defeated in a contest, or beaten at an undertaking, but he didn't show it or let the other fellow know it; he just kept on with a brave front and finally the other fellow quit, mistaking grim determination, pluck and perseverance for strength and victory.
Ethan Allen with his handful of men was asked to surrender by the British general with his superior force. By all rights and rules of war Ethan was licked, but he didn't give in. He replied, "Surrender h—ll; I've just commenced to fight." If Ethan had accused himself and said, "I can't whip that big bunch, there's no hope," he would have been whipped to a finish.
Don't show the enemy, or the world, your weakness. Don't admit anything impossible that is capable of accomplishment.
It's the "I can" man who wins. No man ever won a fight if he started out by saying, "I can't whip him, he is too much for me, I am no match for him, but I'll try."
No person ever made success in business if he started in with uncertainty, lack of confidence and unbelief in his ability.
Knock yourself and the world will accept you at your own estimate. Show streaks of yellow cowardice and the mob will pounce on you like a pack of hungry wolves.
Accuse yourself, curse your luck, belittle your worth, be afraid, and you will remain a mere bump on a log, unnoticed, uninteresting, uninvited.
The world welcomes men who do things. The world judges by outward appearances. If your heart is sick, if your courage is low, don't show it. Put up a stiff attitude and act with confidence and that attitude will carry you over many a pitfall and past many an obstacle.
Show strength and the world will help you; show weakness and the world will shun you.
You are prejudiced when it comes to judging yourself. You compare your weakness with your friends' strength and this comparison is unfair; it makes you lose confidence.
Nothing hurts one worse than doubting one's own ability, assets, and character.
When you find yourself experiencing doubt, or inability, or hard luck, turn square around and say "Begone, doubt; henceforth I have belief."
Suggest and say "I have ability; I have pluck and pluck means luck."
Always express confidence, faith, courage, and cheer thoughts, whether you feel them or not. Do this heroically and persistently and soon the fear shadows and weakness feelings will leave you and you will be in reality strong, courageous, active, and you will do things you never thought possible.
"As a man thinketh, so is he;" always remember that.
Get hold of your thoughts; make yourself think up, and have faith and courage. Hold to your resolve and the whole world will change. You will prosper, you will have poise, and every once in a while happiness will come as a reward.
No man will be surprised at your complete change of attitude and character more than yourself.
Your problems can only be solved by yourself. Friends can advise, I can suggest, but YOU must act.
Henceforth never accuse yourself, never feel sorry for your condition or position, cut out fear thoughts,—be strong.
Think faith, courage, cheer, confidence, and strength, and by-and-by the habit will be fixed, and natural.
This is as certain truth as I have ever experienced. I know it. I've tried it. I've watched others and the results are always good.
Don't be passive and forget this chapter. Start right this minute to THINK RIGHT.
And you will never regret and never forget this chapter of Self-accusation.
Every Woman Will Be Interested in These Pointers
Sisters, it's your duty to keep your good looks as long as possible, and to do it you must spend time each and every day on the care of your face and hair.
First of all, you must keep your skin clean, and that's a particular job.
You have nearly thirty miles of pores in your body. These pores are sewers; they discharge in a healthy person nearly two pounds of waste material every day.
If these pores are stopped up or clogged, the waste material is secreted in the skin.
The stopped pores secrete the greasy waste matter. This greasy substance attracts dirt, dust and germs, and soon blackheads, pimples or blotched skin will result.
Washing the skin with strong soap is not good.
To keep the skin clear and healthy you should massage it with cold cream and rub gently but thoroughly. This rubbing or massage quickens circulation, strengthens the little capillary veins and brings that beautiful pink glow that is so attractive.
The cold cream softens the dry waste secretion and makes it easier to come out.
After the cold cream application, rub all the grease off with a rough towel.
Don't forget the daily massage; it will work wonders in your appearance. It will help give you that fresh, healthy appearance nature intends the fair sex to have.
Don't be afraid of the sun. Tan is health to the skin and tan with pink shades beneath it is a pretty combination.
In washing the hair do not use any compound that has ammonia in it. Ammonia will bring on the gray hairs.
Occasionally you must wash the hair with soap, but let the soap be mild.
Raw eggs make an excellent shampoo or hair cleaner. The egg does not take out the natural oil necessary to good hair health.
Glycerine and water and lanoline makes a good wash; after using rinse the hair with hot soft water to get out all the glycerine and lanoline.
Rub the roots of the hair frequently with the ends of your fingers, move the scalp in circular motion; this is to stimulate the scalp nerves and blood vessels and the glands and roots of the hair. Scalp massage is wonderfully beneficial.
The foregoing are the mechanical things to do for the skin and hair. They help, but the real benefit to your looks comes from the bodily health and natural working of the organs, particularly the stomach, lungs, heart and kidneys and bowels.
The most important organs to watch are the kidneys and stomach; their ailments quickly show effects on the face.
Drink plenty of water, cool, not cold; get plenty of air and sunshine. Eat plenty of fruit, especially apples, skins too.
Take exercise in the open air every day. Walking is the best exercise.
Air, water, sunshine and exercise will do more for your looks than a barrel of beauty preparations.
The only way to get health out of a bottle is to keep out of the bottle.
You can't buy beauty at the druggists.
We love our friends for their character, not their skin beauty. Have good wholesome health and wholesome character and you will look mighty good to the world.
Hitch Your Wagon to a Star, and Stay Hitched
The great colleges are just now turning out their thousands of graduates and the great newspapers have much sport ridiculing them with funny pictures.
Every great man was once a boy with a dream, and that dream came true because the boy had pep that made him stick to his ambition and kept him from being discouraged because of ridicule or obstacles.
Thomas Carlyle, the poor Scotch tutor, dreamed he wanted to be a great author. His clothes were threadbare, his poverty apparent; friends taunted and ridiculed him until, goaded to indignation, he cried, "I have better books in me than you have ever read." The crowd laughed and said, "poor fellow, he's daffy in the head."
Carlyle stuck to his dream and the world has the "History of Frederick the Great" and the "French Revolution" and "Sartor Resartus." When he had finished the manuscript of the "French Revolution" a careless maid built a fire with it. He wasn't discouraged, but went to work and wrote it over again and very likely better than he wrote it the first time.
Bonaparte in the garden of his military school dreamed of being a great general. He stuck to his dream and he realized his hopes.
Joseph Pulitzer, a poor emigrant, crawled in a cellar way to sleep in New York, and he dreamed of owning a great newspaper. His dream came true and the newspaper is printed in a building erected on the spot where he dreamed in the cellar way.
Livingston dreamed of exploring darkest Africa; his dream came true.
Edison dreamed of great electrical discoveries. His monument is Menlo Park with its great laboratories.
Ford dreamed of making an automobile for the purse-limited masses—he was jeered; today the world cheers him.
My friend Bert Perrine was chucked off a stage in the middle of Idaho's great sage brush desert. He said to the driver, "Some day I'll own that stage and I'll use it for a chicken house."
He dreamed and schemed and today the desert is the famous Twin Falls country, blossoming like a rose, and on his beautiful ranch at Blue Lakes that old stage is used for a chicken house.
Rockefeller dreamed, Lincoln dreamed, so did Garfield, Wilson, Grant, Clay, Webster, Marshall Field, Richard W. Sears and all the other men who have done things worth while in the world.
The great West is the result of dreams come true.
Dream on, my boy; hitch your wagon to a star and stay hitched. That dream and that determination are the things that are to carry you over obstacles, past thorny ways, and through criticism, jeers and ridicule.
Your time will come. Dream and scheme, and make your ideals materialize into living, pulsating realities.