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Monday, September 14, 2009

Let the experiment begin!

I've decided to conduct an experiment and I'm taking you along for the ride... Some of you may know that I have had a longtime fascination with Benjamin Franklin. When I was in my early twenties I happened upon his Autobiography and was introduced to his 13 Virtues. Ben came up with his list of virtues while in his twenties and tried to lead his life following these virtues. Ben's follow through was remarkable. He put together a scorecard in a small book, which he carried at all times, and he would evaluate his performance on a daily basis. He did this for his entire life, and while one can debate his success with mastery, I am convinced it was huge contributing factor to his accomplishments and life well lived.

Since reading "The Autobiography of Ben Franklin" I have mused about what virtues I would be interested in applying in my life and from time to time came up with lists of the qualities I wanted to pursue. Unlike Ben, I did not follow through.

In addition to tracking all of his virtues on a daily basis, Ben would choose one for additional study each week. In one year each virtue would get concentrated attention four times. I particularly like this idea and will be conducting a year long experiment by focusing weekly on one of the 13 virtues that I think will contribute to EVERYDAY BLISS.

Recently I decided to blog about my experience on the Master Cleanse and I discovered that telling the world I was doing it kept me from letting myself off the hook. I blogged because I said I would, I didn't quit the cleanse when it became inconvenient. Pretty much letting you in on what I was doing helped me to keep my promise. I've decided to capitalize on this powerful trick to keep my personal promise to play my own version of Ben Franklin's game for the next year.

In my version of Ben's pursuit I will concentrate on each of my 13 bliss virtues over the course of the next 52 weeks. Each quality will get 4 weeks of specific attention and I will blog about the impact this has in my daily life. This first week I will explain how I came up with my 13 virtues, develop the general game plan and answer any questions you may have. I will begin the actual game next week. I believe strongly that what one focuses on one gets and bliss is something worth focusing on! As you follow along it is my hope that you too experience a little more bliss in your everyday life.

In my next post: Why "Everyday Bliss?"

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise


  1. This is a wonderful list! I am glad you included creativity.

  2. And I thought of you when I picked it Jaye! I think some of your creations will play prominently when I get there!

  3. I feel so honored! Perhaps I'll get you to start sewing yet! or at least get back to scrapbooking!


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not 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 extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - 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 to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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