Sunday, May 18, 2014

Trait wish list

Life is a daily battle of trying to be better in habit and in execution of duty and actions. We are constantly fighting internal battles of reflection and questioning on whether we handled certain situations well, responded appropriately or gave it our best shot. How could I have done it better or what would that person I look up to have done in similar circumstances? A trait is a distinguishing feature of a person's character. In 1726 at the age of 20, Benjamin Franklin listed 13 character traits which he felt were desirable, but which he lacked. He thought that nurturing these in his life would bring positive change. He then worked on these desired virtues over four thirteen week cycles, fostering and indoctrinating himself with each trait daily. There are some character traits we aspire to but definitely know that we do not possess. I realise I am not very diplomatic at times in communicating and need to be more empathetic in relating with people around me. I also have been learning the trait of silence from Benjamin Franklin. Knowing when to be quiet and when to speak and listening more. If traits could be on a shopping list, which traits would you shop for? What is already in your checkout basket and how are you planning to work on making that trait a part of your life going forward? Below are the traits that Benjamin Franklin worked on. Do you identify with any, or you have your own long list?

Temperance: "Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation."

Order: "Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time."

Resolution: "Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve."

Frugality: "Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing."

Moderation: "Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve."

Industry: "Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions."

Cleanliness: "Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation."

Tranquility: "Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable."

Silence: "Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation."

Sincerity: "Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly."

Justice: "Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty."

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."

Humility: "Imitate Jesus and Socrates."

Have a great week as you shape your person both internally and externally.