Monday, January 11, 2010

Ben Franklin: A man of Inspiration

You know, when I was in school I learned about Ben Franklin as a inventor and a polititian. One thing I didn't know anything about was that we was a writer, a business man and a very inspirational creative person.

I am always kinda down in the dumps because it seems there is always something going wrong in my life. It drives me crazy cause really I just want to have peace of mind and sucess in all that i do. I want to be able to say I am really happy about my life. And then things happen that through me off balance and I never feel like I am prepared for it.

The other day I was thinking to myself I NEED MORE FOCUS!!! I need to focus my energy so that I can accomplish a very specific set of goals. But how does a person accomplish that when it seems like life has it's gun aimed at your head and is ready to shoot right between the eyes.

I often like to listen to podcasts while working cause I want to hear about positive things and learn new things. I am constantly trying to improve the person I am so I can honestly have better peace of mind and more joy. How else can I spread joy to others if I am always down and sad.

So I was listening to Dave Ramsey cause I love hearing him talk and help others. He mentioned a few motivational speakers and I decided to look them up. One being Zig Ziglar. As I was looking for info on him I ran across a podcast on Ben Franklin and actually really learned a lot. Unfortunately I don't know how to post other peoples podcasts or I would put it up hear. But I think one of the interesting things I found out about him is that he had a list of items he called his Plan of Conduct. I wanted to list them here not just as a reminder to myself but just to share some motivational ideas he had.

Benjamin Franklin
(1706 - 1790)

Plan of Conduct

Those who write of the art of poetry teach us that if we would write what may be worth the reading, we ought always, before we begin, to form a regular plan and design of our piece: otherwise, we shall be in danger of incongruity. I am apt to think it is the same as to life. I have never fixed a regular design in life; by which means it has been a confused variety of different scenes. I am now entering upon a new one: let me, therefore, make some resolutions, and form some scheme of action, that, henceforth, I may live in all respects like a rational creature.

1. It is necessary for me to be extremely frugal for some time, till I have paid what I owe.

2. To endeavour to speak truth in every instance; to give nobody expectations that are not likely to be answered, but aim at sincerity in every word and action -- the most amiable excellence in a rational being.

3. To apply myself industriously to whatever business I take in hand, and not divert my mind from my business by any foolish project of growing suddenly rich; for industry and patience are the surest means of plenty.

4. I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of every body.


I think when I look at these things they pose a great challenge to live up to them but obviously they are wise words since so many respected him in his time. So I hope you will look at these things if you are reading my blog today and take it to heart. I am also including some of his other goals that he strived to live up too. Please enjoy.

God Bless,


The following information is being sited from

His "Plan" was made up of 13 virtues, each with short descriptions:

1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.

2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.

3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.

4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.

5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.

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.

8. Justice: Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.

11. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.

12. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

He committed to giving strict attention to one virtue each week so after 13 weeks he moved through all 13. After 13 weeks he would start the process over again so in one year he would complete the course a total of 4 times.

He tracked his progress by using a little book of 13 charts. At the top of each chart was one of the virtues. The charts had a column for each day of the week and thirteen rows marked with the first letter of each of the 13 virtues. Every evening he would review the day and put a mark (dot) next to each virtue for each fault committed with respect to that virtue for that day.

Naturally, his goal was to live his days and weeks without having to put any marks on his chart. Initially he found himself putting more marks on these pages than he ever imagined, but in time he enjoyed seeing them diminish. After awhile he went through the series only once per year and then only once in several years until finally omitting them entirely. But he always carried the little book with him as a reminder.

Benjamin Franklin's 13 virtues are unique and obviously served him well since he is one of the most respected and most accomplished men in the history of the United States.

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