I am inspired by… Benjamin Franklin

via washingtontimes.com
via washingtontimes.com

After reading Gretchen Rubin’s book called The Happiness Project, I longed to be equally inspired.  She recommended The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin as a place to start.  Given his prominent role in the history of the United States of America, I thought Ben Franklin’s story would center on his life as a diplomat but his story was much livelier than I expected!  Benjamin Franklin was actually something of a “self-help” expert.  He “conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection.”  After deciding on 13 virtues that he wanted master, he created a little book in order to graph his progress.  His decision to create a system of self monitoring and seek to “acquire the habitude” of all of the virtues by focusing on only one at a time was truly a stroke of (behavior analytic) genius.  My personal application is much smaller in scope – focusing only one habit I would like to acquire (30 minutes of exercise three times a week or more) and one habit I would like to moderate (enjoying desserts three or times a week or less) – but I have Ben Franklin to thank for 7 weeks of success so far!

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