Is there an intuitive way to understand why nature selects the path that minimizes the action? I've seen it proven that the Euler-Lagrange equations are equivalent to Newton's laws (at least in Cartesian coordinates). So I can understand it mathematically. But on a more common-sense level, what the heck is an action, and why is it always minimized or made stationary? Maybe another way is to pose the question historically. Why did they call it "action"?