It must be something which appeals to the individual and is adapted to his capabilities. Some men find it advisable to have more than a single interest for the hours of recreation. Some form of athletics or of agriculture is often combined with an interest in art, literature, religion, or other intellectual form of recreation. Thus Gladstone is depicted as a woodchopper and as an author of Greek works. Carnegie is described as an enthusiast in golf and in philanthropy. Rockefeller is believed to be interested in golf and philanthropy, but his philanthropy takes the form of education through endowed schools. Carnegie's philanthropy is in building libraries. If the lives of the great business men are studied it will be found that there is a great diversity in the type of recreation chosen; but philanthropy, religion, and athletics are

very prominent--perhaps the most popular of the outside interests.

These interests cannot be suddenly acquired. Many a man who has reached the years of maturity has found to his sorrow that he is without interests in the world except his specialty or business. With each succeeding year he finds new interests more difficult to acquire. Hence young men should in their youth choose wisely some interests to which they may devote themselves with perfect abandon at more or less regular intervals throughout life.

The more noble and the more worthy the interest, the better will be the results when considered from any point of view. Indeed, the interests which we call the highest are properly so designated, because in the history of mankind they have proved themselves to be the most beneficial to all.

CHAPTER X

THE RATE OF IMPROVEMENT IN EFFICIENCY

NO novice develops suddenly into an expert. Nevertheless the progress made by beginners is often astounding. The executive with experience is not deceived by the showing made by new men. He has learned to accept rapid initial progress, but he does not assume that this initial rate of increase will be sustained.

The rate at which skill is acquired has been the subject of many careful studies. The results have been charted and reduced to curves, variously spoken of as ``efficiency curves,'' ``practice curves,'' ``learning curves,'' according to the nature of the task or test. Some of these dealt with the routine work of office and factory. In others typical muscular and mental activities were observed in a simpler form than could be found in actual practice.

Five of my advanced students joined me in strenuous practice in adding columns of figures for a few minutes daily for a month. Our task was to add 765 one-place figures daily in the shortest possible time. No emphasis was placed on accuracy, but each one tried to make

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the highest daily record for speed. The results of our practice are graphically shown in Curve A of Fig. 1. As shown in that curve for the first day our average speed was only forty-two combinations per minute, but for the thirtieth day our average was seventy-four combinations per minute, We did not quite

double our speed by the practice, and we made but little improvement in accuracy. The most rapid gain was, as anticipated, during the first few days. We made but little progress from the sixteenth to the twenty-third day, and also from the twenty-fourth to the thirtieth day.

Of the six persons practicing addition, five of us also practiced the making of a maximum grip with a thumb and forefinger. Just before beginning the adding each day this maximum grip (or pinch) was exerted once a second for sixty seconds, first with the right hand and then with the left. Likewise at the completion of the addition sixty grips were taken by the right hand and sixty by the left. The total pressure exerted by each individual in the 240 trials (four minutes) was then recorded and expressed in kilograms. The result of the experiment is shown in curve B of Fig. 1. The average total pressure for each of the five persons was for the first day 620 kilograms; for the twenty-fourth day 1400 kilograms. Our increase was very rapid for the

first few days, and no general slump was encountered till the last week of practice.

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