Suchi Sairam

Nov 29, 2022

Simple 18th Century Guidance for Good Living from One of America’s Most Fascinating Polymaths - 13 Qualities and 2 Questions for Good Days, Every Day

Simple 18th Century Guidance for Good Living from One of America’s Most Fascinating Polymaths - 13 Qualities and 2 Questions for Good Days, Every Day

These days, you trip and fall into another personal development coach.

 

That’s not a bad thing, if it is creating more self-awareness and self-reflection - But how much has to be triggered from the outside? At some point, does this need to be self-guided?

 

And, do the basic principles really change with the time?

 

Looking at Benjamin Franklin, it is self-guided and the basics don’t change much with passing of time - This 18th century American polymath had the wisdom at age 20 to develop a list of “13 Virtues” to guide his daily life.

1/ Temperance - Eat not to dullness; 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 employ'd 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; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10/ Cleanliness - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

11/ Tranquility - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

12/ 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.

13/ Humility - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

 

He also used a simple technique to plan and reflect on each day.

·       Morning - plan work by asking “What good shall I do this day?”

·       Evening - reflect the day’s work with “What good have a I done today?”

 

Uncomplicated - No fluff - Clear virtues and simple questions.

 

Where can we look for personal development? Follow the example of a man who had the curiosity to be a scientist, inventor, writer, publisher, statesman, and philosopher.

 

Look inward.

Suchi Sairam

Multi-cultural Artrepreneur A little business, a lot art & culture Chronically curious | Accidental Author | Chai-aholic kalavandanam.com | dancingdeepa.com