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Taking a Break


When we carry cognitive loads all day, which is likely all of you reading this, we have to put them down periodically.

And much the same as when we carry a physical load; and can shift from arms to legs, abs to shoulders, right to left; we can load balance cognitively by shifting from diverse focus to tight focus; and among listening, observing, reading, talking.

At some point though, we we need to shut it all down, kick back in our metaphorical Barcalounger, and let our minds float off on their own for a while.

Franklin Roosevelt understood this. Throughout his adult life, as governor of New York to president of the United States -- on the day the stock market crashed and the day the Pacific Fleet was destroyed at Pearl Harbor -- Roosevelt paused every late afternoon for cocktail hour. He brought together the people working around him, often made the cocktails himself, and paused from the day’s occupation.

On Pearl Harbor day, this pause was between drafting his “Day of Infamy” speech, and his speech to the nation in front of the joint session of Congress he was asking to declare war.

Roosevelt’s best was essential nearly every day of his adult life, and no day more than this one.

Essential to our best is rest and recovery. Roosevelt offers a formidable example of how strength is nurtured and refreshed.


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