Is your day like Benjamin Franklin’s?

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  • September 20, 2009

I received an email this morning as a reply to my MondayMotivator from
Liz and she had forwarded an email that contained the following
article. I thinks it’s great and shows how Ben Franklin became the
amazing man he was. Maybe you can incorporate some of his ideas into
your day.

 Enjoy.

 —————–

 When I was growing up, I bought my school supplies, notebooks,
pencils, and even penny candy at “Ben Franklin,” our local five and
dime store. That’s how Ben Franklin came to be a VIP in my world.

 Later I learned how impressive he truly was (worthy of an entire store
chain being named after him, not to mention the $100 bill). Just the
other day, I came across an essay about Franklin and the scope of his
legendary inventions and accomplishments.

 They include the lightning rod, (which some say has saved more lives
than any other invention), bifocals, the Franklin stove, the catheter,
the odometer, and…swim fins! Franklin has more patents than anyone
in history, plus he established a fire department, a sanitation
department, a hospital, and America’s first lending library.

 And, yes, he helped found a nation-he signed the Declaration of
Independence and the U.S. Constitution and turned the tide of the
Revolutionary War.

 What most excited me about the essay was a page from Franklin’s
autobiography that showed his daily routine-the key to his remarkable
success!

 5:00 Rise, wash, and address Powerful Goodness; contrive day’s
business and take the resolution of the day; prosecute the present
study; and breakfast

 8:00 – 12:00 Work

 12:00 – 2:00 Read or overlook my accounts, and dine

 2:00 – 6:00 Work

 6:00 – 10:00 Put things in their places, supper, music, or diversion,
or conversation; examination of the day

 10:00 – 5:00 Sleep

 He used his time well-he worked hard, was always studying something,
and enjoyed daily play or “diversion.”

 But here’s what really jumped out at me:

 He began and ended every day with a question. Each morning, Franklin
asked himself, “What good shall I do this day?” And each evening he
asked, “What good have I done today?”

 He started every day by getting clear about what action steps he would
take that day to fulfill his highest intention of doing good. At the
end of the day, he gave himself a little performance review, holding
himself accountable for his actions and patting himself on the back
for his accomplishments. Clearly a winning formula!

 Do you have a daily routine? If so, does it bear any resemblance to Ben’s?

 Over the next week, why not try incorporating a bit of Ben’s routine
into your day:

 When you wake up in the morning, sit up in bed for a few minutes and
ask yourself: What good shall I do today? Then visualize the actions
you will take to do that good-see yourself taking those actions.
Make sure your routine includes some work, some “learning,” and some play.
Before you go to sleep (ideally by 10 p.m.-remember, Franklin said,
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and
wise”), spend a few minutes reflecting on the good you did during the
day. Acknowledge not only your accomplishments, but the ways in which
you showed up during the day (with kindness, care, and dedication).

 Adopting some of Franklin’s routine may not lead you to any lightning
bolt-inspired inventions, but it will put you in life’s greater flow
of inspiration and happiness.

 Happily,

 Marci Shimoff