The Ben Franklin Principle

The end of one year and the start of the next is my time to evaluate and assess what I’ve accomplished and what I’ve yet to accomplish.

I believe a goal not written down is merely a wish. Therefore, I try to be very specific about what I want to accomplish by writing down my goals. I actually add them to my phone using the “Notes” feature so I can refer back to what I want to work on and what I want to accomplish.

Ben FranklinThe first principle in my book, All the Right Reasons, is the Ben Franklin Principle.

Something I love about the story of Ben Franklin, a founding father of the United States, is when he was a teenager, he decided to write down important things that he wanted to pattern his life after. We translate those as values.

He wrote 12 things down, and later, added a 13th — humility. He decided he wanted to pursue a life of perfection by following these 13 very important principles. (Franklin’s 13 virtues can be found on page 8 of All the Right Reasons.)

He kept track of how well he did weekly. He picked one value each week. Franklin tracked in his notebook how well he did in following that virtue or that value. He did that throughout his life.

As he reflected late in life, when he was 79 years old — almost 60 years later — he said he never actually obtained perfection when it came to living his individual value system.

But he felt like he was a much better person because he had attempted to hit those values throughout his life.

Identify Your Core Values

I love the Ben Franklin Principle. Identify your core values. What makes you you? What’s your guiding light, your North Star? Do all you can to be perfect in those values you’ve established for yourself.

Although many of us will never hit it — I know I won’t — it gives me something to work toward. To become better and improve my life.

An Invitation for 2019

That’s an invitation I give all of you as we start 2019. Work toward becoming just a little better, a little kinder, a little happier, and a little better in your relationships with others.

And if you do, I believe you’ll find 2019 to be an awesome year.

This and 11 other timeless principles for living a life in harmony can be found in All The Right Reasons. Book sales benefit the USANA True Health Foundation to help ensure impoverished children and families reach their fullest potential.

Photo: Joseph Duplessis, Public Domain, Link
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