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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Whimsical Conclusions

WHIMSY - extravagant, fanciful, or excessively playful expression; an odd or fanciful notion. [Whimsy week starts here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.] 


Once again my experiment has surprised me. During the most recent Creativity and Passion weeks I experienced a palpable increase in Bliss and awarded myself with three and five bliss boosts respectively. In the case of Passion week I actually graded myself lower on my weekly grading scale then during the previous week but even so, my experience of Bliss had gone up. I thought I would easily continue the trend but I can't say that was the case. I just didn't get in the whimsy groove as much as I was hoping. All in all I am not awarding myself any bliss boosts and will be giving myself a 2 on my 10 point scale.  I think  the highlight from this week was my little Whimsy Study and I did start to get in the groove with some flash Inspiration searches yesterday but it didn't really amount to the whimsical breakthrough I felt last time  out.


If you are interested in reviewing last whimsy week's fun click on any of the following:


I find myself thinking about Ben Franklin here. Considering that he concentrated on his various virtues over the course of a lifetime, I have to believe that success was very different from week to week and virtue to virtue. Ben and I are conducting our evaluation in very different ways. Like me, Ben concentrated on one specific virtue each week, but he also kept track of each virtue on a daily basis.


His chart looked like this:



The  top of the page showed the virtue he was concentrating on for that particular week and had a column for each day of the week. The rows had each of the virtues listed and then each night before he went to bed he would give himself "a black mark" for every virtue he violated. His goal was to live a "clean" mark free life so the fewer dots the better. Franklin admits never living a completely vice free life, he was particularly known for womanizing and drinking after all, but over time his pages were cleaner.


Ben had this to say about his project:


"I conceiv’d the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wish’d to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into"


Perhaps it would be boring if the trajectory were always in one direction or another. Regardless of the outcome each week it is always interesting to be playing. I love having a context for looking at things and even if I can't always score myself highly, like Ben, 


"Tho’ I never arrived at the perfection I had been so ambitious of obtaining, but fell far short of it, yet I was, by the endeavour, a better and a happier man than I otherwise should have been if I had not attempted it."


Just playing the game definitely makes me happier!


Next Post: Everyday Bliss Open House... tune in for fabulous prizes!

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

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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.

Benjamin Franklin Quotes

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