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(Photo credit: Encyclopedia Brittanica. (n.d.) Benjamin Franklin. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Benjamin-Franklin)  

“no copyright infringement is intended”

“I propos’d to myself, for the sake of clearness, to use rather more names, with fewer ideas annex’d to each, than a few names with more ideas; and I included under thirteen names of virtues all that at that time occurr’d to me as necessary or desirable, and annexed to each a short precept, which fully express’d the extent I gave to its meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin (Retrieved from http://www.thirteenvirtues.com/)

Welcome to my series on developing character. The above quote reminds us how even the Founding Fathers worked on self-improvement during colonial America and beyond. Instead of “reinventing the wheel”, I will be using Benjamin Franklin’s framework for working on my own character over the next year.

This series will cover each character trait I will be pursuing over the next 12 months. This series will run once a month on the first Sunday of each month. In that discussion, I will examine the character trait I am pursuing and will explain what my goals are in relation to that character trait. I will begin my journey in October (my birth month). This posting will examine all the traits I am seeking to add to my character or improve, month by month until October of next year. I was going to wait until January and work through them like a New Year’s resolution but decided my birth month would be more appropriate.

These are the character traits (virtues) that I will be working on over the next year:

  • Discriminating
  • Tolerant
  • Forgiving
  • Content
  • Detached
  • Humble
  • Compassionate
  • Patient
  • Disciplined
  • Grateful
  • Minimalist
  • Contemplative

Just like Ben Franklin, I will start with one virtue. As I progress I will be adding virtues to my tracking list. I will work through these traits in the order I have displayed them above. October will examine discrimination, November will examine discrimination and tolerance. December will examine discrimination, tolerance, and forgiveness. I hope you see the pattern I’m following. This is the same process Benjamin Franklin used when improving his character.

Each month I will define the character trait I am pursuing, along with how I will evaluate my progress (I’m still thinking this through). This will be a terrific journey and I am very excited about it. If any of you are interested in getting more detail about Benjamin Franklin’s life and how he did all these things (planning his day, etc.), I highly recommend reading the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. I am not including a link because there are multiple paid and free versions of this book on all of the major online book venues (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, etc.). Just so you know, I used the free version I found on Google Books.

See you next month when I kick this off.

Until next time…

Dave

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