Ben Franklin’s Simple Plan for Living the American Dream [VIDEO]
Ben Franklin is one of the people to whom many, if not most of us, look up. At least in the United States--and right here in East Texas.
In addition to being one of our cherished forefathers, he was also a prolific "writer, printer, political philosopher, politician, Freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat." [Wikipedia]
So, I think it's safe to say this guy knew how to get things done. And done well.
Thankfully, because he was such a prolific writer, he left us some blueprints, if you will, on how he lived his life. We know at least a bit about the way he thought about life and the best way to pursue it. He even left behind examples of his own personal daily planner. Which, I must say, seems remarkably modern--give or take a few things.
Some of the "highlights" Ben Franklin left us on how to win at life?
A few of the highlights? He definitely lived up to his maxim "early to rise," etc. He woke at 5 a.m. every morning. However, you don't necessarily have to get up at the crack of dawn to be successful in life, contrary to popular notion. People have different Chronotypes, or "propensity [...] to sleep at a particular time during a 24-hour period." What a relief.
One of the biggest takeaways here is that Ben always asked what he called the morning question. "What good shall I do this day?" Answering this question sets an intention for the purpose of each day and can help you return to focus when you're inevitably distracted.
After waking, he incorporates details like washing and even a morning prayer of sorts to what he referred to as "the powerful Goodness." This was followed by breakfast and digging into the steps of his daily plan. Afterward, he focused on engaging in some work or study he was engaging in, which given his polymath nature, could've been a variety of things.
This is work outside of your regular "work." So perhaps it's studying an instrument, reading an educational tome, learning a foreign language, etc. He felt it was important to do this work before getting into the daily grind of the tasks at hand.
Then he'd delve into a four-hour block of work, proper. After which he'd set aside two hours for lunch and do what may be referred to as "shallow work." These are the tasks that must be done but don't require so much intense concentration--may be paying bills, for example. Next, another four-hour block of work.
From 6 to 10 p.m., he set aside time for dinner and downtime. Perhaps this was playing music or spending time with friends. The point here is, he scheduled time to truly relax. He also made sure he put his workspace and home back to "neutral." That way when he came in to work the next day, he was ready to go.
Finally, after setting the intention that morning, he'd reflect on the morning question to see how things went and to make adjustments, if needed.
I found this a very compelling watch. The video's creator delves into what he considers the most important things to remember and even some things he would change or add. Regardless, we know this was a man who accomplished much in so many different areas. Although we always want to take inspiration, it's always important to take what works for you, remove what may not, and truly make it your own.
Here's the video:
I'm curious, after watching--what do you consider most important? What might you take away or add to this list? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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