Dagdha's Blog

My Twelve Virtues

Posted in Uncategorized by dagdha on February 15, 2010

Recently I attended a Franklin Covey seminar for work taught by a man named Mike Bechtle, a rotund and jovial man in his late 50s with a wry wit that accented his undeniable charisma.  During this wonderful class, Mike shared an anecdote about the wildly successful Benjamin Franklin, who in his lifetime was an author, printer, satirist, political theorist, politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, soldier, and diplomat.

At the age of 28 Franklin composed a list of thirteen virtues he personally felt were important guides for living.  For the rest of his life he cycled through his list, constantly trying to improve himself according to these virtues.

Although it is not my hope to be the next Benjamin Franklin, I found it peculiar that I had never explicitly determined what virtues I strive to live by.  So even though it has taken me over a week to finally sit down and write them out, here is a list of twelve virtues (and personal definitions) that I feel are most important to me and the way I want to live my life:

  1. Honesty – Let truth dictate my words and actions, and to seek the truth in all matters.
  2. Knowledge – Constantly pursue new realms of study in order to mentally grow.
  3. Wisdom – Learn from experience and try not to repeat previous mistakes.
  4. Charity – Give what I can, be it time or resources, to those whom I can help.
  5. Humility – Acknowledge my shortcomings, refrain from pointing out those of others.
  6. Loyalty – Remain faithful to others, so long as is morally justified.
  7. Temperance – Exercise moderation and self-restraint, avoiding excess in all things.
  8. Adventure – Explore the unknown and live life fully in order to gain greater wisdom.
  9. Frugality – Do not waste nor indulge in that which does not benefit others or myself.
  10. Ambition – Consistently strive to achieve goals that facilitate personal growth.
  11. Optimism – Maintain a positive attitude regardless of circumstances; pessimism achieves nothing.
  12. Integrity – Be truly honest with myself.

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