To secure enduring concentration we may have to ``pull ourselves together'' occasionally, but the necessity for such efforts should be reduced. This is accomplished by developing interest in the task before us, through application of the fundamental motives such as self-preservation, imitation, competition, loyalty, and the love of the game.
If the task before me is essential for my self-preservation, I shall find my mind riveted upon it. If I hope to secure more from speculation than from the completion of my present tasks, then my self-preservation is not dependent upon my work and my mind will irresistibly be drawn to the stock market and the race track. If I wish my work to be interesting and to compel my undivided attention, I should then try to make it appeal to me as of more importance than anything
else in the world. I must be dependent upon it for my income; I must see that others are working and so imitate their action; I must compete with others in the accomplishment of the task; I must regard the work as a service to the house; and I must in every possible way try to ``get into the game.''
_This conversion of a difficult task into an interesting activity is the most fruitful method of securing concentration_.
Efforts of will can never be dispensed with, but the necessity for such efforts should be reduced to the minimum. The assumption of the attitude of attention should gradually become habitual during the hours of work, and so take care of itself.
The methods which a business man must use to cultivate concentration in himself are also applicable to his employees. The manner of applying the methods is, of course, different. The employer may see to it that as far as possible all distractions are removed. He cannot directly cause his men to put forth voluntary effort, but he can see to it that they re-
tain the attitude of concentration. This may require the prohibition of acts which are distracting but which would otherwise seem indifferent. The employer has a duty in regard to the health of his men. Certain employers have assumed to regulate the lives of their men even after the day's work is over. Bad habits have been prohibited; sanitary conditions of living have been provided; hours of labor have been reduced; vacations have been granted; and sanitary conditions in shop and factory have been provided for.
_Employers are finding it to their interest to make concentration easy for their men by rendering their work interesting_.
This they have done by making the work seem worth while. The men are given living wages, the hope of promotion is not too long deferred, attractive and efficient models for imitation are provided, friendly competition is encouraged, loyalty to the house is engendered, and love of the work inculcated. In addition, everything which hinders the development of interest in the work has been resisted.
How will a salesman, for instance, develop interest in his work if he makes more from his ``side lines'' than from the service he renders to the house which pays his expenses? How can the laborer be interested in his work if he believes that by gambling he can make more in an hour than he could by a month's steady work? The successful shoemaker sticks to his last, the successful professional man keeps out of business, and the wise business man resists the temptation to speculate. Occasionally a man may be capable of carrying on diverse lines of business for himself, but the man is certainly a very great exception who can hold his attention to the interests of his employer when he expects to receive greater rewards from other sources.
_The power of concentration depends in part upon inheritance and in part upon training_.
Some individuals, like an Edison or a Roosevelt, seem to be constructed after the manner of a searchlight. All their energy may be turned in one direction and all the rest of the world disregarded. Others are what we call scatter-