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Living Life Like Ben Franklin

I know my Calendar says Hot Head Chili today but I think we covered that a bit yesterday so I thought Instead I would talk about Ben Franklin since this is his birthday

Ben Franklin was a very accomplished man. In his 20's he created a plan he called "A project of moral perfection" and he spent his whole life working on it. Today in celebration I thought I would take a look at it because let's face it, he was amazing! 
A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author and printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman and diplomat.
Polymath is another way of saying Renaissance man which you can see from the above quote he was.

At an early age, he realized that his argumentative ways were rubbing people the wrong way so he decided to reform himself. In his late 20's he sat down and wrote a list of virtues he thought were needed to arrive at "moral perfection"

  1. temperance
  2. silence
  3. order
  4. resolution
  5. frugality
  6. industry
  7. sincerity
  8. justice
  9. moderation
  10. cleanliness
  11. tranquillity
  12. chastity
After consulting with a friend he decided to add one more, humility

His plan was to practice each virtue for a week then repeat until he became the master of each. He did continue this practice throughout his life but as his public responsibilities began to take more and more of his time he devoted less time to them and felt he had fallen short of his goal. He did say in his biography  that it had been very worthwhile and he was a  better, happier man than he might otherwise have been

“My intention [is] to acquire the Habitude of all these Virtues,” Franklin wrote, emphasizing the habitual aspect. He attempted to gain mastery over his vices and passions as he governed himself. This self-mastery, Franklin believed, would lead to true happiness rather than the fleeting pleasure and unfortunate consequences of vice."

Note the word Habitude. This then ties back to what I was thinking about last year about gaining certain habits and making them a part of my daily routine. That more than anything else has told me I need to get back into practising those habits and continue working them as Ben did until the end of his days.

I may not achieve perfection but I will be a happier person for it. What do you think?

Comments

  1. You do know that Ben Franklin had quite the reputation with the ladies, right? "Chastity" was pretty much hypocrisy for him.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That may be but that is only one facet of this. There are benefits to making a plan and building good habits. And no one is a saint dear not even you! :)

    ReplyDelete

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