Motivational Monday: Character Virtues

MM: Philipians

This Bible verse is supposed to be what inspired Benjamin Franklin during an 80-day voyage from London to Philadelphia to list out his 13 virtues of life.  Franklin wrote the 13 virtues during his 20s and kept a daily journal on how well he did on each virtue, through his entire life.

I began thinking about the 13 virtues after a church sermon yesterday on character.  How do you really develop character?  What people in your life helped you develop the character you have today?  More importantly how do you develop character and keep growing to become a better human being?

The biggest answer seems to be self-discipline through habits.  Are we in the habit of constantly filling our minds with what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, as the verse suggests?  And how do we make a habit of it?  I know personally I have to have a daily self-check off system, otherwise the daily grind happens and I forget what my goals were to start with.  In the past my check off system has always been for goals, but I was thinking how much more powerful a list of virtues would be for growing character.

To get a starting point, here are Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues:

  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, cloaths, or habitation.
  11. Tranquillity. 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.

I am beginning to work on my own list or different words that inspire me more.  Are there any words that stick out as important to you?  Or words that you would change?

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