Once in a while, I borrow a post for my blog. This week I’ll be sharing something from one of the greatest of all Americans, Ben Franklin … Living the dream is a good way to organize your life and after 200+ years, this advice is still worthwhile.
Benjamin Franklin is regarded as one of the wisest and most practical men in history. The following list describes the most important standards he ever subscribed to. In his autobiography, Franklin dedicated fifteen pages to this short list of principles – the most he had ever dedicated to one subject. He felt that he owed all of his success and happiness to this plan and concluded that he hoped “therefore, that some of my descendants may follow the example and reap the benefit.” Although Franklin was revered as wise, he did not always come across this way. So if you are wondering if you are feeling up to the task, consider this: Benjamin Franklin had only two years of schooling; and now, 150 years after his death, the world’s greatest universities are still showering him with honors! If a man with TWO years of education could make this work, we would be considered foolish not to try it.
THE PLAN: Apply, in order, these principles, one at a time, for an entire week. When you have finished, begin again with number one and repeat the cycle. After one year you will have completed the 13 principles a total of 4 times. In doing so, these principles become habits, your productivity, confidence and the way you are perceived will advance greatly.
TIP: Each week carry your assignment on a 3×5 index card and review it throughout your day as a reminder.
1. Temperance – Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. Silence – Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. In other words, learn and apply the art of listening, you have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
3. Order – Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have it’s time. Apply order to all parts of your life: your daily routine, your desk at work, your schedule and appointments
4. Resolution – Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve. Even if in the past you have not completed your resolutions, make a small one to work on this week and stick to it. It can be as simple as resolving to hit the gym twice this week, actually look people in the eye and great them good morning before you slide into your office, or making one new friend.
5. Frugality – Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing. This does not necessarily mean pinch every penny, nor does it only apply to finances. Our gifts and talents are things we often forget to share. Search for ways in which you can bless others as well as yourself with your abilities, do not let them go to waste.
6. Industry – Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. Sincerity – Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly. Practicing sincerity is a quick way to gain confidence as a loyal person. This trait will earn you respect as well.
8. Justice – Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. Moderation – Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. Cleanliness – Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes or habitation. Being presentable in appearance as well as in habitat speak volumes for the type of person that you are. If you take the time to keep these in top shape, you will be viewed as a well established, put together individual who handles that they have with care.
11. Tranquility – Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. The greatest leaders are those who can handle a pressure situation by remaining calm and collected.
12. Chastity – Never misuse venery to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
13. Humility – Imitate Jesus of Nazareth and Socrates. The humble are not the shy and meek, they are the bravest warriors of them all for they possess both confidence and selflessness.
Live The Dream,