One of my more esoteric collections consists of hundred-year-old self-help books. I’m particularly fond of Orison Swett Marden, one of the first big names in success literature. Last week, I picked up a modern reprint of his 1901 pamphlet, “An Iron Will”. Here are a couple of paragraphs:
The athlete trains for his race; and the mind must be put into training if one will win life’s race.
“It is,” says Professor Mathews, “only by continued, strenuous efforts, repeated again and again, day after day, week after week, and month after month, that the ability can be acquired to fasten the mind to one subject, however abstract or knotty, to the exclusion of everything else. The process of obtaining this self-mastery — this complete command of one’s mental powers — is a gradual one, its length varying with the mental constitution of each person; but its acquisition is worth infinitely more than the utmost labor it ever costs.”
“Perhaps the most valuable result of all education,” it was said by Professor Huxley, “is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson which ought to be learned, and, however early a man’s training begins, it is probably the last lesson which he learns thoroughly.”
I’ve achieved mental discipline in some aspects of my life, including exercise. What I’ll focus on for the next few weeks is applying willpower to food.
Meanwhile, here are a few links from around the web:
- Jeremy at Almost Fit lists five reasons he avoids high-fructose corn syrup.
- Lazy Man has some tips for staying fit past middle age.
- Sally at Aprovechar shares 6 unconventional elements of her weight loss. This is a great article.
- Kevin at Weight Loss Journal asks, “Is stress making you fat?”
Finally, Amy Jo forwarded a recent New York Times article about eating to enjoy instead of eating to diet. It’s filled with great insight like: “People of normal weight spend more time on meal-related tasks than people who are overweight or underweight.” One of my goals for the coming weeks is to actually spend time prepping my meals instead of grabbing quick stuff out of the fridge. (I hope to plan and prep meals the night before.)
Have a great weekend, everyone!