Quite often when we think of Benjamin Franklin, we think of Benjamins…those being hundred dollar bills. We think of him also of course as a US President and some may know he was talented in a variety of different ways from an author, postmaster, musician, a printer and even a scientist, and more….very interesting.
What is quite fascinating however is what Franklin created to improve himself….the Franklin Makeover. No, it wasn’t about fashion or cosmetics or anything at all about his appearance. What Franklin created for himself was a mental makeover. Yes, a makeover that focused on key attributes to make him even more successful in life and in business.
This week I learned about Franklin and how he created this makeover for himself. I was fascinated that he was a self improvement focused leader. Hundreds of years later my Master Key Master Mind (MKMMA) class is studying what he created and how he improved his own key attributes. It was interesting to learn that he was way ahead of so many others of his time. Awareness is the beginning of change . It intrigues me that Franklin took this to heart and began his MAKEOVER.
Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues
Franklin’s goal was to improve his own character by focusing on 13 virtues or attributes, which he developed at age 20! He practiced these his whole life. He chose these virtues he wanted to improve:
- “Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.”
- “Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.”
- “Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.”
- “Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
- “Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.”
- “Industry. Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
- “Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”
- “Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.”
- “Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.”
- “Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.”
- “Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”
- “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.”
- “Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.”
Franklin did not try to work on them all at once. Instead, he would work on one each week “leaving all others to their ordinary chance”. By his own admission, he fell short of them many times, yet believed the attempt made him a better man contributing greatly to his success and happiness.
Following the Franklin Makeover as our guide, this week our MKMMA class launched a 13 Week Makeover Plan! Very exciting and like Franklin we are all taking one virtue or attribute for each week. We each prioritized the following virtues by which ones we each felt will benefit us the most. Notice the “newer” list we are working with:
Self-control, Kindness, Discipline, Decisiveness, Persistence, Courage, Specialized Knowledge, Taking Initiative, Well Organized, Pleasing Personality, Enthusiasm, Imagination and Seeing God in Others.
Week by week we will be watching for and noting when we see or experience the attribute in focus, recording each on our simple spreadsheets.
So no makeup, no new clothes, no TV shows….just powerful self improvement focus for a what we expect will be a huge return!
Stay tuned for the weeks ahead….thank you for the inspiration Benjamin!