Why Be Tired:
Energy For Sedentary Workers
How To Do More Work Without Getting Tired
Conquering Your Fatigue Problem With Food
Improving Your Energy Machine With Exercise
Use Your Glandular Energies
Sex And Energy
Test Your Efficiency
Test Your Efficiency
( Originally Published 1936 )
IN the first chapter I lamented that we have no convenient way to measure our energy, no instrument to tell us that the tank is commonly less than half full. This chapter is an attempt to answer that problem with an efficiency test.
To give yourself this test, answer each question care-fully. If you can answer unreservedly "yes" to a question, give yourself ten points on that question ; unreservedly "no," give yourself zero. You may give yourself any number of points between zero and ten if you think you deserve a fraction.
A perfect score would be a total of 420, a reasonable score 210, a good score 252, an excellent score 315. Ed Howe has said that men become famous as they are efficient above 65%, which would mean above 273 as measured by this test.
This test is divided according to the chapters in this book so that you may conveniently turn back to study your weak points, and as a convenient summary.
Do you use your energy efficiently ?
1. Working with an easy rhythm allows you to rest at momentary intervals, imitating the tireless rhythm of the heart, and is the most efficient way to rest and to work. Do you work with an easy rhythm comparable to dancing or a swinging stride ?
2. The nerves establish similar tireless rhythms of their own if they are relaxed, and nerves may be relaxed by relaxing the muscles. Do you work with completely relaxed muscles, not even frowning ?
3. The mind also works by this rhythmic law until anxiety, worry, "stage fright" or hurry "freezes" it. Do you tackle your mental problems with easy confidence ?
4. The rule of restful rhythm applies to play as well as work, and with it you can make your evenings truly re-creative instead of exhausting. Do you avoid "hectic" evenings, making them relaxing instead ?
5. The laws of rhythm and relaxation also apply to all rest, including sleep, and if they are lacking rest is inefficient. Do you always relax completely when you rest, and always relax completely before going to bed ?
6. In short, all things should be done the easiest way because it is also the best way, and when you insist on doing things the hard way and insist on getting tired you are inefficient. Do you practice doing all things the easiest way, the way which produces least fatigue ?
Do you get your maximum of food energy ?
7. The vitamins are very important food elements which the appetite does not crave as it does calorie foods, so you are likely to get less than you need if you do not make special provision. Do you make a daily point of getting your full requirements of the vitamins A, D, B, G, and C ?
8. Several minerals also are likely to be lacking in your diet unless you make special provision. Do you make sure that you get your full supply of iron, calcium and phosphorus (and iodine if you live in a goiter section) ?
9. Any great excess of food overworks and clogs the energy machine, reducing the energy output. Do you limit your calories roughly to your needs ?
10. An excess of protein food, meat, fish, fowl, sea foods, eggs and cheese, greatly reduces energy by producing poisons. Do you limit your protein foods to one meal a day ?
11. The digestive organs require a lot of indigestible fibrous material to stimulate them and to prevent concentration of food. Do you get approximately two pounds of fruits and vegetables a day ?
12. The inability of any of your organs to function properly may convert food into poison or interfere with nourishment. Do you have a medical examination every year ?
Do you keep your energy machine efficient with exercise ?
13. Your important muscles are your internal muscular organs, like your heart, which serve every part of your body all the time, and they need some regular exercise to keep them efficient. Do you exercise these organs with some type of constitutional exercise, equivalent in strenuousness to trotting a mile, three times a week ?
14. This constitutional exercise should be opposite in kind to your energy, nervous and emotional type ; as brisk exercise for the slow, slow exercise for the nervous, cheerful games for the depressed. Do you make your constitutional exercise balance rather than aggravate your type ?
15. Bad posture interferes with organic function and with circulation, and in the morning you need some light exercise to get your energy going if you are to be efficient from the start. Do you take five or six posture and waistline exercises every morning ?
16. The skin is important as an eliminative organ, as a regulator of circulation and as a heat-regulating protection against the elements, and should be kept in condition. Do you finish your bath with a cold shower and a brisk rub with a rough towel to exercise your skin ?
17. When you sit still for hours the processes of forming energy stagnate for lack of stimulation, and fatigue poisons also remain in the tissues. Do you move around briskly, or breathe deeply, or tense your muscles about once every hour ?
18. Man was meant to be more physical than mental, and will deteriorate in spite of himself if he is too mental. Have you a physical hobby to balance the sedentary nature of modern life ?
Do you use your glandular energies ?
19. When you work with enthusiastic interest you are using the same emotional forces which you use in football, and probably double your powers. Do you work with enthusiastic interest ?
20. Interest follows attention, and interest can be developed in anything by attending to it closely. Do you give your work your full attention ?
21. Facts aid attention, are interesting in themselves, and engender pride and confidence. Do you make a regular habit of studying for your occupation outside of working hours ?
22. Enthusiasm is catching, and so are pessimism and indolence. Do you avoid depressing people and seek enthusiastic people to keep your own enthusiasm stimulated ?
23. Working toward a major purpose is as necessary to your working efficiency as a goal is to football players. Have you such a purpose firmly in your mind ?
24. Difficulties and obligations stimulate your glandular energies to reaction, and are the usual disguise for opportunity. Do you welcome difficulties and seek obligations rather than evade them ?
25. Poor work lacks pride, pleasure, zest, profit, all the things which awaken energy. Do you do your work as well as possible ?
26. The promise of promotion and pay makes men work better. Have you promised yourself promotion and pay ?
27. Pleasant things liberate energy. Do you cultivate pleasant relations with your fellow workers and otherwise seek to make work pleasant ?
28. The same emotional energies or interests which can be used for work may be so pampered and exhausted by vivid and frivolous things that serious endeavor cannot awaken them. Do you save some of your emotional zest and share it with less exciting practical things ?
29. You never know what may interest you in your work and fire your energies. Do you bear this in mind and continually seek ways to increase your interest in success ?
Does sex contribute to your energy ?
30. Energy should not be squandered sexually as soon as there is a slight surplus. Have you learned to enjoy a feeling of surplus energy and enthusiasm, and to throw it into your work, rather than immediately being restless to squander it on sexual frivolity or other sexual activities ?
31. Thinking about sex is the chief way in which it is stimulated to the point where it becomes difficult to control. Do you keep sex out of your mind until such a time as it is desired ?
32. Attention is best kept away from sex by keeping it occupied, and we usually have enough of sex but not enough of many other things. Do you devote your attention to these things you need ?
33. Attention cannot continually combat temptation. Do you avoid sexy gossip, people, theatrical productions, literature and other things which force sex upon your attention ?
34. Our own suggestive minds may often be blamed for looking at things in the wrong way and creating a sexy atmosphere when it is not warranted by the facts. Have you a mature, sensible attitude toward sex ?
35. Sex is immediately inhibited by any other enthusiastic interest, and without any feeling of fret or denial because sex is forgotten and sexual energies are spent usefully by the other interest. Is your life too filled with ambitious enthusiasms to be cluttered with sexual stupidities ?
36. Restraint is only one side of sex and has no quarrel with the other side or sexual expression, either aesthetic or physical, but gains some of its value through increasing the desirability of expression. Is sex a supreme aesthetic and physical pleasure to you ?
37. Sexual expression can be robbed of a great deal of its pleasure, and of its great power to energize us, if it is made common and vulgar by thought or action.
Do you guard your mind and body against disgusting and depressing sexual feelings and experiences ?
38. Generally speaking, love is the great natural emotion which makes sex in humans more pleasant than simple passion, and which most readily turns sexual energy to high ambitions. Are you capable of falling deeply in love under appropriate circumstances ?
39. Marriage, when successful, represents the most happy social form of sexual expression which we have discovered, and some equivalent of marriage is the instinctive demand of love. Are you happily married ?
40. The instinct to reproduce and the parental emotions are not completely compensated, nor are you completely motivated and developed, until you have children. Have you children ?
41. Individuality is not complete without an enjoy-able home, nor are the nervous strain and difficulties of gregariousness balanced ; the homing tendencies are so woven with the mating instinct that they may be grouped together, each adding to the other. Have you a home which you enjoy ?
42. Finally, a desire to control and direct sex so that it yields great energy and great happiness is largely dependent upon a great ambition for life in general. Do you seek to stimulate and increase your ambition for life ?