Ben’s Virtues, Core Values, and Patience

3 Minute Read

Ben Franklin has a solid set of virtues that just about anyone can apply, even today. 

He used the card on the right to focus on each value once a week for 13 weeks, thus cycling through the entire list 4 times a year.

Ben’s Virtues are:

  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. Tranquillity. 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.

There’s an outdated and thus terrible app in the App Store by the name of Ben’s Virtues, and while it will crash and not work, I love the concept of reproducing this chart on your smartphone for daily recording.

Taylor Pearson recently published an essay titled How to Discover Your Values and Use Them to Make Better Decisions. I spent some time this morning going through his exercise. I’d recommend taking the time to do it yourself.

If you take the time to go through that exercise, or at least read through his essay (admittedly, like most of his excellent content, it’s too long), you’ll realize that this list of values that you come up with at the end is intended to be iterated on. It’s not a final list. You’ll adjust it as things change and you gain a better understanding of where you’re at and what’s important to you.

I wound up inculding “Patience” as one my core values… and wrote as the description “Always wait calmly for what you want. Getting worked up over delays is not helpful”.

I jumped over to check Slack, and noticed that someone still had not completed a 2-minute task that an hour earlier I indicated as urgent. I started getting worked up. Then I looked down at this thing I had wrote on the page called “Patience“.

I’m thinking perhaps I should add another core value, called “Impatience: Always get pissed at the person who takes too long to do a simple task” – It’s probably more accurate!

Back to Boston, Still Learning

Been somewhat absent over the past few weeks… managed to transplant myself and most of my earthly posessions from Orlando, Florida back to my hometown of Lynn, Massachusetts. There’s a whole new laundry list of challenges that I need to deal with back here… and none of them have to do with coaching water skiers!

As I pick away at those things that I have to do better bit by bit, I might not be the most frequent blog poster ever.

However, one thing I do almost every day is read the newspaper internets. You can see the things that I find interested over on the right side of this page. For lack of anything better to say in today’s blog post, I just wanted to point out today’s lesson from none other than 50 Cent.

50 Cent’s first major album was mostly amazing. I’m down with albums that nearly every track is a banger, and Get Rich Or Die Tryin’ is exactly that. I’ll spare you the long story, but Curtis Jackson has been shot in the face multiple times and ya he’s still here kicking… for whatever good that is.

I have a tendency to spend prolonged hours at bookstores, browsing and power-reading through a couple books while I’m there. I’ve looked at The 50th Law once or twice and browsed it quickly – more jokingly than anything else. It’s a full leather bound piece of work complete with the golden edged pages just like you’d find in the Bible. I thought it was laughable, but after reading this excerpt, it’s on my to-buy list:

When you work for others, you are at their mercy. They own your work; they own you. Your creative spirit is squashed. What keeps you in such positions is a fear of having to sink or swim on your own. Instead you should have a greater fear of what will happen to you if you remain dependent on others for power. Your goal in every maneuver in life must be ownership, working the corner for yourself. When it is yours, it is yours to lose — you are more motivated, more creative, more alive. The ultimate power in life is to be completely self-reliant, completely yourself.
as seen here

Good words… I know I need to learn how to be more self-reliant. Also very interesting today was this post about different money metaphors