How BC Forbes uncovered why businessmen were successful
Alex Pang writes in Psychology Today about Forbes magazine founder B.C. Forbes and how he uncovered the secret to success for many of the executives he interviewed.
Pang writes, “According to Forbes, successful people revealed that ‘How we spend our non-working hours determines very largely how capably or incapably we spend our working hours.’ It was essential to recognize that ‘Real recreation quickens aspiration,’ and helps ‘to increase our fitness, enhance our usefulness, spur achievement.’ Too many people ‘confound recreation with dissipation,’ wasting their time on idle amusements and subverting their careers. Other more senior executives ‘are committing suicide by overwork.’
“But this did not mean that recreation was the purpose of life, or that work was to be avoided. America’s industrialists had ‘taught effete aristocrats of Europe that industry is no disgrace, that honest work and money-making soil not the best of hands.’ Indeed, the idle rich ‘are of all men the most miserable,’ Forbes argued, for ‘[w]ithout toil there can be no blissful relaxation or recreation.’ Hard work and healthy rest balanced and justified each other. ‘The person who has no work,’ Forbes said, ‘can have no recreation, no relaxation.’
“So what sorts of rest were the most restorative? Choosing a hobby, Forbes argued, couldn’t be done on a whim; ‘You need to settle that wisely and not by chance.’ Recreation had to balance a busy life. Office workers and sedentary professionals needed sports and exercise; merchants and traders would benefit from retreats in contemplative and artistic activities; executives bearing the solitude of leadership needed the companionship of others in similar situations. Forbes was especially keen on exercise, advising readers to join a golf club or gym, or even ‘move into the country where you will have to walk a mile to catch the train even in the dead of winter.'”
Read more here.