How do you decide what’s important to you on a day to day basis? How do you decide what principles to stand by and what moral code to uphold?
Today we are constantly bombarded by news and social media messages from all around the world. This 24-hour news cycle has changed the way we absorb information, and it has shifted the way we identify reliable content. In fact, it has even changed the way that we think about what is important and how we envision success.
If you’re like me, you find it difficult to cut through the noise and develop a clear understanding of what is truly important to you. The challenge of cutting through the noise has led me to go back in time to explore the writings of some of the leading thinkers and professionals of the past.
Here are Benjamin Franklin’s 13 principles he believed led to success:
Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation. Temperance is not a trait that comes easily to many people. We live in a world driven by consumerism and excess, and we are constantly being sold on bottomless brunches or all you can eat buffets. Still, there is a growing movement of temperance and minimalism, especially among young people. The growth of this movement is something to watch out for moving forward.
Speak not what may benefit others or yourself, and avoid trifling conversation. We live in an age of connectivity and “always on” engagement. Too often we’re caught up reading our Facebook News Feed and updating people on our every thought and action. Interestingly, we are seeing a push away from this hyper connectivity towards “digital detoxes” and the growing popularity of silent retreats.
Let all your things have their places. With more information comes a greater need for order. If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he would be blown away by the number of organisations, apps, and programs available to people looking to streamline their lives.
Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. Goal setting is a top priority for most millennials and young people, yet people still struggle to follow through on their resolutions. Once you make a decision about something you want to accomplish, try your best to stick to it by setting out a definite plan for accomplishing it.
“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” – Benjamin Franklin
Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself. For example, waste nothing. Frugality isn’t sexy, but it is seductively addictive. While most people would prefer to live a life of luxury and drive luxury sports cars all day, the skill required to live frugally and within your means translates into an amazing strength of will and character.
Plus, it can actually be fun. Living within (or below) your means during good times is one way to ensure that you can survive when times are tough. There are a number of resources available online that provide advice on how to save money on everything from rent to food to transportation and leisure travel.
Lose no time. Always be employed in something useful, and cut off all unnecessary actions. Being busy for the sake of business is not helpful. Rather, being productive by doing only that which is useful to you or someone else is key to success. Always be looking for ways to cut out unnecessary actions.
Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly. Being truthful and sincere in your thoughts, words, and deeds is one of the best ways to achieve happiness and develop stronger relationships with those around you. While you may look for ways to avoid telling the truth because it might be hurtful or damaging, consider what affect it will have on you if you constantly have to hide how you truly feel.
Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty. Effectively, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don’t be rude.
Avoid extremes. Forbear resenting injuries so much you think they deserve. Avoid becoming overly obsessive about any one thing or idea. Live a life of balance and moderation and you will be much better at making challenging decisions.
“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.” – Benjamin Franklin
Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation. Pretty straight forward, don’t be a slob.
Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. Try your best, then don’t worry, be happy. If you aren’t able to accomplish a goal but you’ve still tried your very best, there is no use worrying.
Rarely use venery (sex) but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation. While this may seem like a rather antiquated principle, the power of chastity is not to be underestimated. There is a growing population of people who are self-diagnosed sex addicts or porn addicts. Addiction to pornography and sex can affect productivity and the ability to focus on long term goals.
Imitate Jesus and Socrates. Again, while this may seem rather dated, there is much to be said for emulating the lives of those who have lived simple and influential lives. Clearly, some of these virtues are more relevant than others, but most of the principles mentioned represent areas of personal development that nearly everyone on earth struggles with in one way or another.
Benjamin Franklin suggests that in order to develop yourself properly, you should focus on improving one quality at a time rather than trying to tackle all thirteen points at once. It is with this in mind that I urge you to take a look at your own habits and areas of interest and to choose one principle to focus on improving over the next week.
Which one of these habits will you implement first into your life and why? Comment below!
Self-Sabotage: How to Stop Holding Yourself Hostage
It was easy to put the blame on “2020” but now we are here in a New Year…so how long are we going to use that line? While the turbulence of last year certainly shook things up, it’s not a license for us to no longer hold ourselves accountable. At the end of the day, choices and perspective can make a huge impact on the trajectory of our lives. So…is it time for you to assess whether or not your decisions are the ones actually holding you back? (more…)
Here’s When Self Improvement Becomes Ineffective
I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on self-help books and seminars over the past three years. I’ve devoted thousands of hours reading blogs and listening to podcasts about personal growth and self-improvement with the goal of finding the answers that would “fix” me. After my divorce I became addicted to the idea that the answer to my happiness and healing was in a book, podcast or a blog. I kept waiting to read or hear that magic “Ah Ha” tip that would change my life forever. (more…)
Your Life Has a Meaning: Here’s How to Find Out What It Is
Knowing the purpose of one’s existence in the world is a lingering thought for everyone. Some people may interpret it as a quest, as they try out new adventures and learn new skills. Meanwhile, others may view it as a mystery that slowly reveals itself as they spend their time on Earth. They say that their complete realization of their purpose would not come in this life but the next. (more…)
10 Life Lessons I Learned in 2020 and What to Expect Next
The year 2020 has been full of ups and downs. And it is something that this generation has never been through before. And like most people, I put a lot of effort into planning, organizing, and setting goals for everything I wanted to achieve. The beginning of the year 2020 was great until the pandemic hit, everything changed. (more…)
Self-Sabotage: How to Stop Holding Yourself Hostage
To All the Social Entrepreneurs Out There, Keep Going
The Truth About Marketing Every First Time Founder Should Know
Success Is Never Owned and Rent Is Due Everyday
5 Smart Goals to Make This Year Your Most Successful Ever
55 Inspirational Quotes That Will Change Your Life
(Images) 52 Motivational Picture Quotes For An Epic Year Of Success
30 Famous Quotes That Will Inspire Success In You
40 Rare Motivational and Inspirational Picture Quotes
72 Positive Thinking Quotes For More Inner Strength & Growth
3 Prince EA Videos To Change Humanities Path To Greatness
(Video) What Is Success? An Entrepreneurial Story To Inspire You
(Inspirational Video) What If Today You Knew You Were Going To Take Your Last Breath?
How To Make Enough Money From A Blog To Quit Your Job – Kate McKibbin
How Finding Your Passion And Becoming An Entrepreneur Can Lead To Happiness – Chiquita Searle
- Success Advice4 weeks ago
5 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Write Down Your Goals
- Life3 weeks ago
3 of the Most Important Life Lessons You Can Learn From Sports
- Life4 weeks ago
How to Discover the Fears That Impede Your Behaviors and Thwart Your Plans
- Life4 weeks ago
How to Crush Fear, Beat Imposter Syndrome, and Create a Fulfilled Life
- Motivation3 weeks ago
How to Use the 3 Sins of Motivation to Achieve Your Goals
- Entrepreneurs3 weeks ago
Entrepreneurs: Here’s the Best Method to Help You Get Your Money Right
- Success Advice3 weeks ago
How Can I Stay Organized When I Have Too Much on My Plate? Here’s How:
- Life3 weeks ago
10 Remarkable Lessons From an Unconventional School Teacher