What We Can Learn from a Bald Old Guy in Pantaloons
You probably already know that Benjamin Franklin was one of our more prolific and fascinating founding fathers. He was a ladies’ man who also left behind an astonishing legacy of inventions and improvements that we still employ and enjoy today (been to a library recently?). How did he manage to pack so much accomplishment into one lifetime? Lifehack.org has some insight.
1. He cultivated productive habits.
Famously known for his 13 virtues, in which he organized a 13-week plan focusing on one of his thirteen virtues of temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility, Benjamin Franklin not only implemented important moral goals, but also found ways to hold himself accountable by marking his own progress. In addition, he formed a time table schedule that had his day planned from the time he rose at 5am until he went to bed at 10pm.
2. He took risks.
Ben Franklin was by no means a cautious man. Famously known for writing letters in the name of “Silence Goodall” while working at his brother’s printshop, he also ran away to Philadelphia after his brother began to abuse him, ultimately running a successful print store.
4. He was a champion of the common person.
Never identifying with the elite, throughout his life Franklin identified himself as “B. Franklin, printer.” A strong believer in the power of community, he not only organized meetings and founded a library for his fellow citizens, but he also believed that pouring into “the common good” had a divine element. He is quoted stating: “To pour forth benefits to the common good is divine.” In other words, common people can find transcendence in giving back to their own community.
5. He was an early riser.
Famously quoted saying, “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise,” Benjamin Franklin rose at 5am every morning, asking himself the question “what good shall I do today?”
9. He was frugal.
Ben Franklin included frugality as one of his 13 virtues. He realized the importance of living debt-free and spending minimally. He is quoted saying, “a penny saved is a penny earned” and “when you run in debt, you give to another power over your liberty.” In order to live a productive life, it is helpful to not be plagued by the stress of debt.
For more about Franklin’s productivity habits, click on the link above.