(本館)  (トップ)  (分館)

Portal Site for Russellian in Japan

The Conquest of Happiness(松下彰良・訳)

back Next  Part I(Causes of Unhappiness), Chap.5:Fatigue   Contents(総目次へ)

* From Free animation library

Leaving on one side those rich men who are merely fools, let us consider the commoner case of those whose fatigue is associated with strenuous work for a living. To a great extent fatigue in such cases is due to worry, and worry could be prevented by a better philosophy of life and a little more mental discipline. Most men and women are very deficient in control over their thoughts. I mean by this that they cannot cease to think about worrying topics at times when no action can be taken in regard to them. Men take their business worries to bed with them, and in the hours of the night, when they should be gaining fresh strength to cope with tomorrow's troubles, they are going over and over again in their minds problems about which at the moment they can do nothing, thinking about them, not in a way to produce a sound line of conduct on the morrow, but in that half-insane way that characterises the troubled meditations of insomnia. Something of the midnight madness still clings about them in the morning, clouding their judgement, spoiling their temper, and making every obstacle infuriating.
The wise man thinks about his troubles only when there is some purpose in doing so; at other times he thinks about other things, or, if it is night, about nothing at all. I do not mean to suggest that at a great crisis, for example, when ruin is imminent, or when a man has reason to suspect that his wife is deceiving him, it is possible, except to a few exceptionally disciplined minds, to shut out the trouble at moments when nothing can be done about it. But it is quite possible to shut out the ordinary troubles of ordinary days, except while they have to be dealt with. It is amazing how much both happiness and efficiency can be increased by the cultivation of an orderly mind, which thinks about a matter adequately at the right time rather than inadequately at all times. When a difficult or worrying decision has to be reached, as soon as all the data are available, give the matter your best thought and make your decision; having made the decision, do not revise it unless some new fact comes to your knowledge. Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.