We may have heard this a thousand times that every crisis is an opportunity. But have we ever realized how is it so? Lets take the case of this 21 days lock down. It is definitely a crisis unprecedented in modern history. Now we have two options- fume and fret and engage in all sort of negative thoughts and activities or work on ourselves so that a better version of us can emerge after 21 days are over. During this period, I will publish some articles on a wide range of topics each of which; I believe will help you guide towards forming the best version of yourselves. These will only make a crack at the door but should be enough for you to swing open the door of learning and take a deep dive into each of those subjects
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants ~ Isaac Newton
The sure shot way of becoming great is by learning from the greats. Now what sets a great person apart from the rest of us is his or her values and habits. One such individual was Benjamin Franklin, a writer, printer, political philosopher, politician, Freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, diplomat and one of the founding fathers of United States of America. The reason why I want to feature Franklin here today is because of his simple yet scientific method for value formation. I believe that each of us can use his method as it is or with a minor tweak and achieve tremendous positive changes in life. Franklin had identified 13 values that he wanted to excel in life. I am listing those values below with their definition. You can pick from these or select values which are more relevant to you. From personal experience I will suggest that you start from three most important values for you and build on top of that, after all; not everyone is a genius like Franklin
Benjamin Franklin's Values
1. Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. Silence. Speak not but 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 extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10.Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloths, 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 the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
13.Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates
Once you identify your values (which is the easy part) the most important part is to track those. For anything to work (not just these values) you should be able to measure and track progress objectively. Franklin used to maintain a 13 page habit journal like the one shown here. He used to focus on one habit a week and put a dot in the relevant box if he violated the habit that day in that week. The objective was to achieve a clean slate thereby leading a vice free life. For example, if I spoke without a reason to benefit anyone (which most of us are guilty of generally, I will put a dot against sil. on the day it happened
As you may have noticed, the focus here is avoiding negative habits. We can convert it to forming positive habits as well. You can use a journal or use any of the freely available mobile apps for this (whichever you are comfortable in). I use an app called Habits which is very simple to use and is Free. I am including some of my screenshots from my habits (not something to be very proud of as I have deviated greatly in last couple of weeks. But I will
get back on track very soon) You can track your habits (the ones you want to form) and tick them if you achieved that in that day
Do let me know if it was of any help to you in these gloomy times. Stay safe, stay positive