This week in the Master Key Experience we continued with our version of Benjamin Franklin’s list of 13 virtues in life. Here are his words on the 13 virtues he chose,
“I propos’d to myself, for the sake of clearness, to use rather more names, with fewer ideas annex’d to each, than a few names with more ideas; and I included under thirteen names of virtues all that at that time occurr’d to me as necessary or desirable, and annexed to each a short precept, which fully express’d the extent I gave to its meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin
Franklin’s intent was to create a acquire each and create habits to observe and follow the 13 virtues. He decided to follow on eat a time to master it and then progress onto the next. Over time each virtue learned would feed and build upon the next virtues.
Our Master Key version of 13 virtues follows the same pattern over 13 weeks but only two of the virtues, Kindness as @2 and See God in Others #13) are set in their order and we as Master Key students chose where the rest go in the order according to what we see as our weakest virtue first and our best virtue as #12.
My first week was to see and reflect on Decisiveness. I saw it everywhere. for example on TV the sports prognosticators chose their favorites for the upcoming end of the year awards for MVP, rookie of the year, playoff favorites and the like without hesitation and stood their ground when challenged. I saw it also in action as I went about my week in simple things when I asked questions about the weather what is a great place to eat.
Kindness was the virtue for week two. I saw people opening doors, letting other cars pass before them and I noticed people stopping their cars to let me cross the street.
Self Control was my word for week three. At first I didn’t see as much as I saw in the previous weeks. I did decide to get out of bed before the alarm went off at 6am and I started the day without waiting for the alarm to ring and positively affected my entire day. I was calmer more relaxed and felt like I was in control. For the past 3 or so years I have felt like I was only able to react to life. I was like a puppy with my head out the window of a car driving at 60mph. Everything looks great until a June bug slaps you in the cheek. Then you recover from that and think life in in order then a bumblebee whaps you in the forehead. I felt I was always flinching because I was thinking that something was going to abruptly change my course for the day. But not that day. I was relaxed and could think first and then act on what happened during the day.
I also kept seeing decisive moments and acts of kindness. In fact I was seeing even more of those moments than the days earlier. This is a progression I like and appreciate and it is sinking in.
Next week’s word is persistence. It means to me following through as promised, keep on working on something until it is done and done well and staying true to your word. Combining Self Control with persistence will allow me to use persistence or to persevere on the right things because my self control will keep me focused on the essential things in my life that I must be persistent with. (Keeping the main thing the main thing because it is the man thing)!
My name is Michael Puffer and I always keep my promises.