It’s quite the list of virtues and certainly nothing easy to live up to. 1. The virtuous path needs to be broken down to give each area some concentrated time of intention and effort. “TEMPERANCE. 9 Highlights from Peter Thiel’s Startup Class Notes. In addition, Franklin explains that the “precept of Order requires that every part of my business should have its allotted time“. My 13 Virtue notebooks contain lists of them as defined elsewhere, including the Puritan Cardinal Virtues, Socratic virtues, Gandhian ones, Islamic, Buddhist, journalistic, Girl Scouts and bushido (the seven virtues of the samurai warrior), to name a few. In addition to these foundational principles, I wanted to provide a way to transition, or at least, simply bring balance to being frugal: force yourself to experience the freedom from frequency. This is essential to any habit development. Scott. There’s not much to love about a daily commute, but I certainly enjoy listening to a good audio book. Thanks for coming along, 12. Don't miss another Wisdom Project column; subscribe here. Don’t get upset about the little things, as it does more harm than good. Franklin placed each one of the virtues on a separate page in a small book that he kept with him for most of his life. waste nothing. Being free and clear puts us in a better position to say yes, when presented with the right opportunity. ", Order: "Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. 13. Self-confidence is a virtue but egotism a vice. Ben’s booklet w/ 13 Virtues. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”, 10. He said the following in his autobiography: “Tho’ I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it.”. “JUSTICE. 3. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”, 13. Organize your life; pay attention to ALL aspects of your work Those that are forced to be, and those who do so intentionally. Franklin wisely decided not to try to tackle all of the 13 virtues at once. Temperance: "Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. 7. As a scientist, politician, inventor, entrepreneur, and in the … Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues Read More » Live your best life by following Franklin’s example and adopting his 13 virtues. 10. But it does mean that the person fails to follow Franklin's guidelines. He could easily talk for hours, but it offered little in the way of learning. It is limiting of course. You might say that it was Benjamin Franklin’s disillusionment with a sermon on Philippians 4:8 that was at least partly responsible for his conceiving of “the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection” that is his 13 virtues. Silence. I first want to visit some of the more familiar recommendations that are offered when considering frugality. Since Franklin's thirteen virtues and their principles are classified as adherence character traits or rules, I've divided them into personal and social traits. Read the first one here (on Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life). Times have certainly changed, yet the premise is still relevant. You also need to realize that no one is perfect. The following are those virtues, which are as relevant today as they were in the 1700’s. For example, some people have genetic inclinations toward eating or drinking alcohol in excess. Rather, he realized that to acquire knowledge he must instead listen, which often meant silence. Here’s a list of the 13 virtues which Franklin committed himself to: 1. For example, frugality is a virtue, yet being stingy is a vice. Chris Muller, in his Money Mozart article, The Top 10 Reasons Frugality is So Liberating, provides near instant euphoria with just the first reason: you retire earlier. Benjamin Franklin's Thirteen Virtues. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. Benjamin described the influence of Frugality, as well as Industry (next in our list), as “freeing me from my remaining debt, and producing affluence and independence.”. The weekly tasks were often fun. Every 13 weeks, the cycle repeats itself. This social phenomenon is where someone will buy pants, but not have a shirt or shoes that really go with it, so to complete the outfit, will buy new shoes and a new shirt. He collaborated thirteen virtues he thought were imperative for moral righteousness and gave them all explained a short sample of the meaning of each of those thirteen virtues. Franklin’s “meticulous execution” of his 13 virtues was embodied in a chart he developed in order to observe and quantify his growth toward perfection. I can always pick it back up again, as I did before writing this column to see whether it held up. Being calm, cool and collected means you will avoid the tendency to be perpetually perturbed. By achieving order Franklin expected to be able to have more time for the pursuit of his studies and other projects. Instead of using a notebook, you can use your iPhone by downloading the Virtues App. This is my second Good Life guide. It’s quite the list of virtues and certainly nothing easy to live up to. Don’t gossip, spread rumors, or be deceitful. Stopping doing what we shouldn’t, and start doing what we should. His ideas, methods, and techniques are used everywhere today. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. “SINCERITY. A wise life is a virtuous life. Don’t lie; be honest and fair He defines each virtue, explains how … Franklin secured many valuable orders through his job as clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly. There are a number of examples of his chart available, but here is one for reference. But remember the saying in Poor Richard's Almanack that "all work and no play make John a dull boy," so you can overdo things too. Avoid trifling conversation. From these books, I’ll share insights, conclusions, and questions from history’s greatest thinkers and doers on finding purpose, meaning, and fulfillment. Two were lifted from Franklin's list. Franklin was ambitious and had many interests. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”The first virtue selected by Franklin was not to overindulge in food or drink. A keen sense of frugality will be a balance of “prudence in saving” while “lacking in wastefulness”, with the maturity of growing financially independent. Having the surplus to pursue a specific direction, with purpose. I concluded that it's as solid now as when I first took the plunge back in college. Order. Subscribe to “Daring to Live Fully” by RSS or by email, and get free updates. Is it any wonder we have trouble with frugality when we’re so given over to complete sets, make sure everything goes together, and feel compelled to keep the cycle of adding more stuff going. It never works. 5. Great. If you’re curious why I’m doing this, the first one will help. Chastity may seem old fashioned, but practicing restraint, especially in this area, benefits us personally and our culture is significant ways. Self-improvement experiments can be gratifying even while they're self-improving. He kept track of his progress in a notebook, where he marked his success or failure on every day of every week.If the above didn’t impress you, his approach for forming habits should. This no doubt was born from his role as a printer, but an essential virtue all the same. “CLEANLINESS. Wisdom In All Things Special Series. Everything should be balanced and engaged in moderately. Multiply it by four, and you get 52, the number of weeks in a year. Humility is to "know how low you need to go." Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues. That is, he resolved to always do right, and to avoid any wrongdoing. Modern social science has since proved that tracking and accountability are two key components of successful habit formation. Franklin developed his list of 13 virtues based on the moral virtues he had come across in his readings. He was a printer, publisher, writer, scientist, inventor, and activist to name a few of his many roles. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”, 12. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has famously given himself. Sometimes, I just learned something -- or something about myself -- and other times, 13 Virtues became a reason to do something enjoyable or interesting, especially in categories such as Creativity or Erudition. In other words, he wrestled with the very same human urges, flaws and proclivities that now fuel our New Year's resolutions and the ever-booming market of self-help books. By adopting this virtue Franklin wished, first, to gain knowledge, which he noted one acquires by using the ears instead of the tongue. Here’s the methodology that Franklin developed in order to attain mastery over the 13 virtues which he had selected: In his autobiography Franklin includes the chart which he used: Franklin then proceeded to do the following: Franklin was one of the first people to recognize that recording your behavior helps you to change it.In fact,he turned self-development into a science by observing, monitoring, and measuring his behavior. 2. Be smart and be careful. Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. His food and wine-drinking habits led him to be plagued with the gout for much of his life. Just as important was his method of tracking his progress. Rather than attacking all 13 habits at once, Franklin took them on, one at a time, week by week. I am a better and happier person for my years of enjoyable labor in the virtue labor camp. And although I have fallen short of that lofty goal many times, the enjoyable years I have spent working on 13 Virtues has led to demonstrative progress toward a more virtuous life. Along with each virtue, Franklin included a principle to follow that—in his opinion—would define a person of good character. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”. Actually measuring progress is invaluable, not only because it helps us change, but because it shows us our strengths and weaknesses. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”, 11. The road to perfection can take many routes and is worth the journey, even if you never arrive at the destination. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. Ever since I wrote about Ben Franklin’s 13 virtues and his diary back in 2008, I really wanted something like it for myself and for our readers. In order to accomplish his goal, Franklin came up with a list of 13 virtues which he would strive to live up to. He defines each virtue, explains how they build upon one another and outlines how to chart one's progress. He realized that taking on all 13 of these virtues at once was a recipe for disaster. The wisdom Franklin used here shows how well he understood the world of self-improvement. Live life by doing what is right. When in his late 20s, Benjamin Franklin listed thirteen virtues that he felt were an important guide for living. ", Moderation: "Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. In fact, keeping track of how well you do in maintaining the virtues and having positive character traits, as Franklin did, is worth trying. Other long-lasting effects are less tangible but no less real. He accounted for his progress on a chart and shared his scheme with others. “It was about this time I conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. Franklin tried to follow these guides in his life, although he often went astray. As this is my second Good Life guide, I humbly ask for any and all feedback, advice, thoughts. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”. He would also select one of the virtues to focus on for a full week.
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