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Life Lessons From Benjamin Franklin - Business Insider
War Room Contributors
14 Lessons From Benjamin Franklin About Getting What You
Want In Life
Dumb Little Man | Apr. 29, 2012, 12:09 PM |
290,282 |
Benjamin Franklin was a man of action. Over his lifetime, his curiosity
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and passion fueled a diverse range of interests. He was a writer
(often using a pseudonym), publisher, diplomat, inventor and one of
the Founding Fathers of the United States.
His inventions included the lightning rod, bifocals and the Franklin
stove. Franklin was responsible for establishing the first public library,
organizing fire fighters in Philadelphia, was one of the early
supporters of mutual insurance and crossed the Atlantic eight times.
Self-development was a constant endeavor throughout his incredible
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Benjamin Franklin was clearly a man who knew how to get things done.
Here are 14 action-inducing lessons from him:
Less Talk, More Action
“Well done is better than well said.”
Talk is cheap. Talking about a project won't get it completed. We all know people who constantly talk about the things they are going to do but rarely ever take
that first step. Eventually people begin to question their credibility. Taking action and seeing the task through to completion is the only way to get the job done.
Don’t Procrastinate
“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”
This is probably one of the first quotes I remember hearing as a teenager. With an impressive list of achievements to his credit, Benjamin Franklin was not a man
hung up on procrastination. He was a man with clear measurable goals who worked hard to turn his vision into reality. What are you putting off till tomorrow that
could make a difference in your life today?
Be Prepared
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
You need a plan to accomplish your goals. Charging in without giving any thought to the end result and how to achieve it, is a sure way to fall flat on your face.
Think like a boy scout. Have a realistic plan of attack and a systematic approach for getting where you need to be.
Don’t Fight Change
“When you're finished changing, you're finished.”
Whilst many of us don’t like change, others thrive on it. Either way change is inevitable. The stronger we fight against it, the more time and energy it consumes.
Give up the fight. Focus on proactively making positive changes, instead of having change merely thrust upon you. Wherever possible, try to view change as a
positive instead of a negative.
Get Moving
“All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.”
There’s a reason we use the expression, movers and shakers. Movers are the ones who take action, the people who get things done, while the immovable are
sitting around scratching their heads wondering how others could possibly be so successful. Which group do you want to belong to?
04/05/2012 10:47 p.m.
Life Lessons From Benjamin Franklin - Business Insider
Avoid Busywork
“Never confuse motion with action.”
We are always running around doing things. We rush from one meeting or event to the next, sometimes without achieving a great deal. At the end of the day,
how much of our busywork are we proud of? How much of that running around improves anyone’s life (including ours) for the better? Make your motion mean
Give Yourself Permission to Make Mistakes
“Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”
If we fear making mistakes, we become scared to try new things. Fear leaves us nestled in our comfort zone. Staying in your comfort zone rarely leads to
greatness. Taking risks and giving yourself permission to make mistakes, will ultimately lead you to whatever your version of success may be.
Act Quickly on Opportunities
“To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”
Opportunities are everywhere. The trick is being quick enough and smart enough to seize them when they arise. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that
something won’t work or can’t be done, allow yourself the freedom to ask what if?
Continue to Grow
“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
We all have vices of some description. The key is to keep them under control or preferably eradicate them entirely. Be kind to those around you, whether they
are neighbors, family, co-workers or friends. Never accept that you have finished growing as a person.
Keep Going
“Diligence is the mother of good luck.”
Have you ever looked at a successful entrepreneur or business person and thought how lucky they are? Most of the time, luck has nothing to do with it. Hard
work and sacrifice on the other hand have everything to do with it. Successful people deal with failure. They tackle their demons head on. They pick themselves
up and keep going.
Know Yourself
“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self.”
Understanding ourselves is not easy. Sometimes we just don’t want to see ourselves for who we really are. It’s much easier to hold onto a romanticized version
of ourselves or to simply view ourselves through other people’s eyes. Start by being brutally honest with yourself. Follow through with understanding,
compassion and acceptance.
Don’t Self-Sabotage
“Who had deceived thee so often as thyself?”
We spend so much time worrying about other people hurting us, yet fail to comprehend the damage we inflict on ourselves. If you are using negative self-talk,
lying to yourself or indulging in addictive behavior you are self-sabotaging. Life can dish up enough challenges without us adding to the mix. Be kind to yourself.
Treat yourself like you would a best friend.
Don’t Give Up
“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
Achieving our goals can be downright exhausting. There will be days when you want to give up. There will be times when your energy levels flatline and you
wonder why you bother getting out of bed. Yet you push forward, day after day because you believe in yourself and you have the determination and strength to
back up that belief.
Wise Up
“Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”
Benjamin was definitely onto something with this one. Who hasn’t had the thought - I wish I could know then, what I know now? Unfortunately there is no time
machine; there is no going back. The key is to wise up as early as you can to start forging a life of purpose, achievement and happiness.
Thea Easterby is a freelance writer. Her blog offers inspiring tips on writing, career change and personal development.
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04/05/2012 10:47 p.m.
6 steps to resolve conflict - CBS News
(MoneyWatch) COMMENTARY Yesterday a good friend of mine called me in tears. She said she had a very upsetting
interaction with someone she had known for many years and didn't know what to do about it. Our conversation during those
first few minutes was dominated by a flurry of emotions. Based on my experience coaching couples to resolve their financial
disagreements, my master's education in clinical psychology, and my life coach experience with Robbins-Madanes Coach
Training, I've distilled a few key steps that may not resolve every conflict, but will certainly help to improve communications.
Here is the six-step process I followed with her:
1. Drill down. When you get upset, you become flooded with hormones and emotions. Your mind can start to resemble a bee
hive of activity -- racing thoughts and a lack of clear focus. Your goal at this stage is drill down and to really try to figure out
what you are actually most upset about. I know; you're probably upset over 20 different things, but your job is to keep drilling
until you hit the core of what is most upsetting. Once you get past feeling angry and thinking that your boss is a jerk, you may
find that there is something deeper that is really troubling you. Are you upset that your boss called you out in a meeting when
he knew you didn't have the answer or that you're really upset you weren't prepared? The answer will have a profound effect
on how you handle the situation.
2. Get positive. No, I'm not calling for pep talk. It's critical you do your best to determine the other person's positive intent.
What's positive intent? Well, negative intent is when you attribute the other person's behavior to them wanting to hurt you and
do you harm. When you are in the middle of a heated argument, negative intent comes naturally. "Why is he doing this to hurt
me?" is a perfect example of assigning negative intent -- the assumption that he is trying to hurt you. It's difficult to resolve a
conflict if you think the other person is hell-bent on doing you harm. Instead, play detective and try to figure out their positive
intent. What positive outcome were they trying to achieve? Once you do this, understanding and empathy can begin to flow.
3. Step in their shoes. This is easier said than done -- especially when emotions are running hot -- but if you really want to
resolve the disagreement or conflict, this is essential. Pretend you are the other person and answer these questions: What are
your goals? Which of the six human needs are you trying to meet? What must I have been thinking and feeling in order to
respond/react the way I did (remember to continue to assume positive intent!)? There is no truth, only interpretation. When
you can step into the other person's shoes you can begin to see and understand their interpretation which can help you resolve
the conflict.
4. Rub the "magic genie" lamp. Get clear on precisely what you need to have happen. Maybe at this point you realize it's not
worth it to resolve the conflict, or alternatively, that what you really need is to rekindle the relationship. Whatever it is, figure
it out. Stop focusing on what you didn't get and all the things that didn't work out and start focusing on what you need to have
happen now. Notice I haven't suggested what you "want" to have happen. You may want a heartfelt apology and a dozen
roses, but what really is the minimum you need in order to have the conflict resolved? Your answer will be your guide going
5. Create a game plan. Now that you've taken a step back and tried to figure out their perspective and what it is you want to
accomplish, now's the time to determine the best course of action to get you what you need. Should you send an email? A
phone call? Call in a mediator? What can you do that will increase the chances you'll get your wish from step 4? Your game
plan should focus exclusively on only those things you can control. While your wish from step 4 may be that the other person
apologizes, this is not an effective game plan because you can't control this. Instead, what can you control? Scheduling a
meeting? Yes. Having a civil conversation about what happened? Of course. Taking responsibility for things you would have
done differently? Absolutely. Do you see what's happening here? You are controlling what you have control over to create an
environment where an apology is more likely versus sitting back and waiting for an apology.
6. Execute. Now that you know what you need and what you control, go get it done.
04/05/2012 11:34 p.m.
6 steps to resolve conflict - CBS News
I went through this process with my friend, and while she is still hurt and affected by what happened, she has a greater
understanding of the other person's "side" and is actively doing what she has control over to get it resolved. Resolving conflict
is not a simple task, but by keeping these guidelines in mind, it can be less painful and more effective.
© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.
Robert Pagliarini
>> View all articles
Robert Pagliarini is obsessed with inspiring others to create and empowering them to live life to the fullest by radically
changing the way they invest their time and energy. He is the founder of Richer Life, a community of passionate people
who want to learn and achieve more in life and at work. He is a Certified Financial Planner and the president of Pacifica
Wealth Advisors, a boutique wealth management firm serving sudden wealth recipients and affluent individuals. He has
appeared as a financial expert on 20/20, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew's Lifechangers and many others.
Follow @rpagliarini
04/05/2012 11:34 p.m.