I just finished reading “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger were I discovered a new challenge – the 13 virtues of Benjamin Franklin.
At the end of the book he mentions the 13 virtues of Benjamin Franklin that I had no idea existed. I wanted to share those habits with you as you might find them interesting and helpful as I believe success online is connected with how you feel and how you treat others in your offline world. Benjamin Franklin was one of the main architects of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and also a scientist so it’s safe to say that he would be considered a “successful person” in today’s evaluation terms and therefore I was interested in looking closer into these habits. It’s said that he created this self-improvement list on an 80 day journey between England and the United States.
His plan was to practice one habit or virtue per week and when he had finished the 13th habit he would do the circle again and therefore complete the cycle 4 times a year. This way these virtues became habits for him that gave him more comfort and happiness.
I’m going to list them out here down below and my input and thoughts on how I can improve using it.
(“Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.”)
I started this one last week. Some months ago however I started analyzing everything I was putting into my body thoughtlessly. On the list was alcohol, pizza, sugary soda, candy and not enough fruit. But, instead of trying to fix everything at once (which usually doesn’t last) I focused on removing one thing every month. I started with the sugary soda’s and shortly after I started feeling more level throughout the day. Not as many ups and downs in my bloodsugar. The next month I focused on removing another unhealthy habit from my diet. This way of improving slowly gives your body the chance to slowly adapt and it becomes easier for it to adjust to the new diet and therefore gives you more chance of actually sticking to it long-term. The next month I removed alcohol entirely. Suddenly it just felt right. The feeling waking up every day fresh with your mind totally clear and ready to go to work on your business or whatever I want to do is something that has brought more value in my life. Drinking alcohol was not doing anything good for me or my business so the rational thing to do was just to quit it altogether. For me it was more of a social thing – quitting was easier than I thought. From thereon I have just added / removed one thing every month to slowly adapt a new healthier lifestyle. I added more fruit and vegetables, and decreased my daily number of coffee cups from 6-7 down to 3 cups. In these 6 months my overall health has improved tremendously. I have more energy, I have more focus and stamina. I also just use simple math. I don’t put more into my body than goes out. I don’t overeat as I once did and try to stop before the stomach feels full. More balance and less excess. Why not try it? Slow improvement over time always wins versus going full force overboard.
(“Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.”)
This is were I’m currently at. I’m no different than other people and I have probably said things more than once that have not benefited me or anyone else for that matter. This week I’m aware of this behavior and I’m setting the goal of rather than criticising or talking peope or things down I’m going to praise them or just not speak. I can’t say that this has been a big issue with me in the past but I always feel that there is room for improvement. Also I have noticed that I’m not always aware of what I’m saying or how the words come out. When I’m aware and open to this I can see that I have some space for adjustments.
(“Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.”)
Who hasn’t thrown a we towel on the floor and left the dirty dishes in the sink overnight. These are maybe not big important things to most people. I used to be like this before just throwing my clothes on the floor and leaving things undone until the last minute. Until I realized that this was affecting me in some way. Having things untidy around you sends you the unconscious message that you are not a person of order and that you don’t have control over your things. Having things in order is knowing that you are in control of your life and situation. If you can’t pt your things in places how are you going to run your business? How will you get people to respect you as a trustworthy person?
(“Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.”)
Remember when your teacher said on the exam: “If you cheat – your only cheating yourself”. We’ll that’s kind of how it is in life in general and specially if you plan on having a business online. Cutting corners and postponing things is mainly going to affect you. If being and entrepreneur is what you want the you better start making goals today and working on achieving them. Nobody is going to do that for you. If you cheat or cut corners you are eventually going to be called out on by somebody and it could be hard recovering from that. Be true to yourself, practice what you preach and people will see that and admire you for it.
(“Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.”)
It’s funny that even though I haven’t started this step “officially” it’s something I started month ago when I started to take my online business seriously. The money I used to spend on going for drinks now goes into paid traffic. I rent for cheap to save money. If I spend money today on something for myself it’s some kind of gadget for my business like video gear for my videos or something like that. I don’t look at those things as spending but more like investing. Also the money I make from my online business goes straight into more paid traffic so it becomes self-sustainable, building my email list for free.
(“Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.”)
Most of the time goes into working on my business but there are things that can improve. I check the news media too often. I like to keep up on current events but I know that most of the time it’s just clickbait and usually doesn’t provide any real value to my life. Wider spread news media all have some kind of agenda and are driven by money. They use fear and celebrity news to make you come back for more. This is something I’m very aware of and working on cutting out of my daily life as it really does not give me any joy. Instead I have increased reading books I can learn from. I do however enjoy watching flicks occasionally when the time is right.
(“Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”)
Today it seems sincerity is on the run for most people as it’s all about fancy images on social media or trying to the cool person to impress people. But I can tell you this that if your plan is to attract customers then you should go for sincerity. People can smell fake a mile away and then they won’t do business with you. Sincerity is saying what you truly mean instead of saying something that you think will please others. I know that I’m going to be working on that for sure as it’s the only way to go – can’t wait.
(“Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”)
Treat everyone the same as you would think they should treat you.
(“Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”)
Although my main focus is on my business I do take breaks. Don’t get so caught up in things that you get exhausted. Go out. Meet friends. Don’t overeat. Don’t overspend. Set your life in balance and you will become more happy. This week I’m going to balance more out my work versus freetime with family.
(“Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.”)
I’m quite in order in this area. I brush my teeth twice a day, shower once a day, clean clothes, do the dishes and vacuum! But there is always room for improvement and I think I would be able to bump my clothing closet to involve more shirts ( I tend to wear a little bit casual clothes ) for my business friends. Put on more cologne maybe?
(“Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.”)
I have girlfriend and I love her very much. Period.
(“Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”)
I have become more aware of the “State of Now” in the last year. When I was younger the best part always seemed ahead. But when you get older you realize that time just goes on and waits for no man but yet it seems like I haven’t done nearly all the things I wanted to. Today is the day. Not tomorrow. Now is the moment. You will not reach your destination one day. The journey is the destination. If you are not enjoying life today than it’s not going to magically happen one day. Start changing things in your life today. If you are going to be always waiting for some perfect moment – guess what – it will never come and you’ll be 40 before you know it. I enjoy listening to good music, having walks, hiking mountains and traveling. I’m going to be appreciating more the moment and the little things.
(“Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”)
Whatever your god is – do what you think would make this planet a better place.
What do you think? Do you want to take this challenge alongside with me? Let me know in the comments!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hafsteinn Thordarson is an online marketer sharing his progress as he goes along to motivate and help others wanting the same thing.
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