The useful man never leads the easy, sheltered, knockless, unshocked life. At thirty-six he ought to be prepared to deal with realities and after about that period in his life, until he is sixty, he should be able to handle them with a steadily increasing efficiency. Subsequently, if he has not injured his body by excess indulgence in any of the narcotics (and by this term I mean, here, liquor, tobacco, tea, and coffee), and if he has not eaten to excess, he very likely may continue to be achievingly efficient up to his eightieth birthday and in exceptional cases until ninety.
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Source Notes: The Diary and Sundry Observations of Thomas Alva Edison ("Sundry Observations"; chapter 6, "Man and Machine"; section 34, "Age and Achievement" ), ed. Dagobert D. Runes (1948).
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