43 Folders

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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Franklin's Virtues

I find references to "Franklin's 13 Virtues" and the re-created form he used in various places on GTD sites. What surprises me is that everyone seems to be copying his list of virtues.

When I read Hyrum Smith's book (10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management) on the Franklin Planner (before Franklin and Covey joined) he related the story that as a young man Franklin came up with his list of virtues, showed it to a Quaker friend who told him he left one off -- Humility.

At the end of his life Franklin said that the only one he didn't make much progress on was Humility, and came to the conclusion that people couldn't impose virtues on you, that you had to determine them for yourself.

Part of Smith's program was to write your own "constitution" where you state those things that are important to YOU, that would guide your life. I found that to be an interesting and energizing project when I undertook it.

So here's my question -- did Smith relate Franklin's story accurately? If so, why all the interest in Franklin's virtues rather than his process of determining your own?




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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