Saturday, February 18, 2006

Advice for Traveling Workers 2

A continuation of an incredibly wise excerpt from the papers of John R. Mott regarding wise living during frequent business travel.

See Part 1

II. Suggestions on the Care of the Physical Life of the Traveling Secretary

Let us get a genuine vacation before the year's work begins. It is imperative, because in traveling work, more possibly than in any other, we need reserve power. One month spent in real vacation will do far more for us than two months spent in the ordinary so-called vacation. By real or genuine vacation I mean a complete change from our regular work. This involves cessation from speech-making, from executive work, from all efforts to move men, from receiving or writing letters and telegrams, from weighing problems and elaborating plans, from talking or thinking shop or associating with men whose presence makes it difficult tot keep from such talk or thinking, from close application to prolonged study, from working on schedule time. It would not be bad to imitate the German professor who stopped his watch and clock when he went on his vacation. It involves making special provision for agreeable physical exercise. This should include the real recreation, or the play element. It should be a form of exercise which affords intense pleasure.

It emphatically does not involve neglect of exercise for the cultivation of the spiritual life. Nor does it involve ceasing from all intellectual employment. I am convinced that if a man spends one solid hour each day on purely intellectual work, on an entirely different subject from those which command his attention the rest of the year, he will enter the new year with even greater freshness and grip and with less likelihood of breaking down than the man who gives his mind no solid work. Of course there may be exceptions to this rule, for example, the case of a man who has had a serious breakdown, or who is threatened with nervous prostration, or the case of a man who has been reading closely all the year. In a word, a vacation, such as I mean it, involves active, congenial, and healthful employment of body (chiefly), mind, and spirit on new lines, without any suggestion of pressure or driving or treadmill, and all in the midst of surroundings conducive to realizing thorough recreation.

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