Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Benjamin Franklin's Thirteen Virtues

I have been reading Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography (which is quite entertaining - I highly recommend it) and came across a section where he describes 13 virtues he tried to live by. Each week he would focus on a different one. He ordered them in a way that they would gradually build one on the other. I think this is a great idea, and am thinking about doing this over the next 13 weeks. I will let you all know how it goes :)

Here they are if you are interested in trying this too!
1. Temperance - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
The most difficult part for me will be limiting my coffee and sweets intake. I'm guessing this week will be great for my waistline ;)

2. Silence - Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
I'm going to have to think more about how to put this into practice. At least it will make me more aware of my topics of conversation.

3. Order - Let all your things have their place; let each part of your business have its time.
This is challenging in a small apartment, but I also firmly believe everything needs to have its place - including work!

4. Resolution - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
I might skip this one, or change it a bit to be more about fulfilling commitments and thinking carefully before making new ones.

5. Frugality - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; that is, waste nothing.
I can already tell that this one is going to be a challenge! We try to live a very frugal lifestyle, but I still find it tempting to splurge on a latte or one more top or an organizational item for the house. I need to think long term before spending money.

6. Industry - Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary action.
This one is also going to be tough - I really enjoy unwinding with a few shows from netflix (to say nothing of the time I spend on facebook, blogs and pinterest). But I can see how this will help increase my productivity exponentially!

7. Sincerity - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

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.
I like the part about not resenting injuries - it's very easy for me to get caught up in thinking about any slights from work or my personal life.

10. Cleanliness - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.

11. Tranquility - Be not disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable.
Another good one - trying to keep calm when things beyond my control go wrong is a challenge for me.

12. Chastity
I don't need a week to practice this one - I'm always faithful to the Hubs :)

13. Humility - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
This week will sum it up nicely :)

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome! Thank you for sharing this. I will definitely be trying to live these out, as well!