Hello! I am creating a blog in the attempt of moral perfection, simulating the experiment performed by Benjamin Franklin throughout his life. As he famously quoted, “I wished to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into.” I am striving to do the same thing here. While Franklin’s experiment with virtues was an ongoing task, I am putting the trial on a smaller scale of two weeks, using five virtues (three of Franklin’s and two of my own) instead of the thirteen like Franklin. As an American student, I am familiar with Benjamin Franklin as a founding father. Through American history classes, Franklin has been a main topic during the American Revolution and further. I am motivated by the idea that I can better myself and set goals to further enhance the quality of my life and happiness. While I believe that no one can possibly be perfect, the concept of moral perfection and the attempt to get there can be really helpful when it comes to self-improvement. I hope to do this by focusing on my five virtues.
The first virtue I want to work on is Tranquility, or the idea of staying calm through difficult situations and finding your way to the eye of the hurricane. I often become anxious and emotional over things that truly don’t make much of a difference in my life. I want to focus on my successes rather than the things I deem to be failures. My goal is to find peace with where I am at in my life whether that is in school, relationships, or tennis while still being able to make progress in these areas. To do this, I am going to meditate each morning for ten minutes and reflect on what I have accomplished in order to start my day off content with where I am and where I am going. The next virtue I wish to develop is Moderation. While my organization is something that I am proud of, I would like to be able to find time, no matter how busy my schedule is, to spend time with friends, family, and most importantly, myself. To do this, I am going to plan out my week in advance so that I make sure I have time to enjoy myself and spend time with the people that I love. Order is another one of Benjamin Franklin’s virtues that I hope to improve. Because I am already working on moderation with my schedule and being organized in that aspect, through this virtue I am going to focus on my tidiness when it comes to my room and physical things. I will start with a deep clean of my room and then continue to do the little things to keep it neat, such as putting laundry away and throwing away papers and assignments that I no longer need. Patience is also another virtue I would like to concentrate on when it comes to thinking about the future. I want to minimize that feeling that I always have to be moving forward and looking ahead because I feel like I tend to miss things in my present life because I am thinking about the place I want to be at later in my life. Whenever I feel myself getting overly anxious about something in the future– college, tests, etc.– I will repeat this phrase silently to yourself three times: “Now is the time to be aware of the present moment. I let go of the past and the future.” I will record how many times I say that every day and try to reduce the number of times I say it to show that I am finding it easier to stay in the moment. The last virtue deeply connects with Patience: Joy. I want to recognize the things that bring me the most joy and try to do those things as much as I can. In order to figure this out, I will journal one thing per day that I find brings me the most happiness. At the end of two weeks, I will have a list of things that bring me joy and I will strive to use that to find much more enjoyment in the future. These five strategies will be the things I use for the next two weeks to really enhance the concept of moral perfection.
I am hoping to gain a better understanding of myself and where I am at mentally and emotionally in my life at the end of these two weeks. I want to be able to develop strategies that will help me improve myself. I predict that this is going to be very hard for me because I am pretty tough on myself and feeling content is something I struggle with every day. I am excited to attempt moral perfection and I really want these goals to succeed because it would make my life so much better. While I am not expecting this to go completely smoothly, I hope that I will at least take something out of it and learn something from this experience.