Introductory Essay

The purpose of this blog is to map out my progress on perfecting myself in five different virtues of life, through daily posts that track my progress on said virtues, as well as “grading” on how well I did on these five virtues, with a ranking scale of 1-10 (1 being the worst, 10 being perfect). It is important to note that three of these five virtues come from Ben Franklin’s view on what virtues are necessary for human perfection, and I am using his strategy of tracking my virtues and how I do on them throughout the week (albeit I’m focusing on more than one at a time, which Ben Franklin does not do in his tracking). Though I currently do not know much about the effectiveness of his prioritization of his virtues, hopefully, this blog will assist in my understanding of his virtues, in which I can make an opinion on their effectiveness and importance. I ultimately feel that the idea of being more productive with my time as my workload increases is a large motivator for working on these virtues, as many of them deal with some aspect of improving productivity within the time one has. 
As for the virtues I selected, three come from Ben Franklin’s Virtues, and the rest are from my own choosing. Benjamin Franklin defines the virtue of industry as the idea of always doing work with the time you have, and rid of those activities that only waste time. I believe that this one can connect to myself since during my work time I can be easily distracted by meaningless tasks, which causes me to take longer to reach my goal. Working on this could increase my time doing other productive activities, making a more fulfilling day. Another one of Franklin’s virtues is cleanliness, or the idea there should be no tolerance towards mess in the mind, body, and physical workspace. This would be a good virtue to work on as at my working desk space there are many distractions that keep me from the task at hand. Additionally, I struggle with keeping my body “clean” due to a lack of sleep from a bad sleeping habit, which only further decreases my productivity. Working on these would not only conserve time but make the time I have be more productive and efficient. The last of Franklin’s virtues that I have chosen is tranquility, which is defined as not being disturbed by minuscule or inevitable setbacks. This applies to me because often a small conflict, such as leaving the house later than normal, will spiral into me thinking that everything else is going to go wrong, in much more drastic ways. By controlling these anxieties and changing my mindset about them, I could improve my work ethic and mindset by not dwelling on the small trifles in life. For virtues outside of Benjamin Franklin, temperance is one that Aristotle prioritized and defined as taking life in moderation (though Benjamin Franklin also has moderation, he applies it only to food and drink, so using Aristotle’s definition would allow a broader area of improvement for myself). I believe moderation would be an important virtue for me to work on since I am prone to procrastination, and instead of taking assignments in small moderations, I will wait till the last minute and do all the work then, which results in a sloppier execution. Lastly, I believe that having productive downtime for myself, or the thought that when one is not actively working, they are using their time to do something mentally stimulating, yet still enjoyable. This would be an important virtue for me since I can get stuck in loops where I scroll mindlessly through my phone, never getting truly satisfied with myself and what I am engaging in. Instead, I could be more productive with my off-time such as reading a book or doing puzzle games, at least something that is more fulfilling and practical with my time. Overall, I believe that all of these virtues combined can definitely help me become a more perfect person, especially in the aspect of efficiency of work and time management. 
Ultimately, I hope by blogging my progress on mentioned virtues I can at least develop more healthier and beneficial habits. Though I do not think in the limited time I am doing this project I will make lots of progress, at least I predict that I will be more mindful in the future towards my faults when it comes to becoming a more efficient and content person. Optimistically, I can see myself improving on these virtues past the designated blogging stage, especially if I see improvements within said stage. Overall, I believe that the virtues I have selected for myself can really make a positive impact on my life if I am mindful of it and put in the effort to make these beneficial changes to my lifestyle. 

Tuesday, November 9

Today is the first day of my two week journey for moral perfection. The two primary virtues that I focused on today were health and responsibility. The weather today was spectacular for November, so I took the opportunity to go on a walk through my neighborhood. It seems the fall colors have finally begun to show their faces, which made the walk all the more enjoyable.

I also got started on my homework much earlier than I ordinarily do, in an effort to take my first steps towards responsibility. I started working around 5:00 in the afternoon, which is fairly good for me. I normally start at 6:00 at the earliest, usually closer to 7:00. I have a Calculus test tomorrow, so I need to give myself plenty of time to prepare for it.

Besides all the studying, I had a nice day. I did well on my Psychology test, although I wasn’t exactly worried about it. Altogether, I think the first day of this journey has gone well, and I am exited for future posts.

Connor Burrows


I’ve decided to start my first ever blog. I’ve created this blog to help me keep my virtues present in my life and to share the journey with the internet. The main reason that I am starting this blog is because of the one and only Benjamin Franklin. After reading Franklin’s Moral Perfection auto biography, I was enlightened of some very important virtues that I wanted to implement into my everyday life. While reading this autobiography, I realized that 5 of his virtues were things I needed to improve on, so like any other individual I’ve decided to write about my experiences of these virtues and how I go about implementing them into my life.

The first virtue that caught my attention was Order. In my life I get very caught up in everything and seem to lose my sense of order. Whether it is forgetting to do my homework for school, or losing track of items at school, order is very important and is something I need to improve on. To improve on order in my life, I plan to keep track of things in the notes tab on my phone. I think this will help keep track of everything in my life and allow me to maintain order. The second virtue I want to improve on is Tranquility. Tranquility is an important virtue for me to improve on because I tend to freak myself out over little things when they really aren’t a huge deal. I’m going to try and improve on this by looking more to the future rather than the present and see if this problem will affect me in the future. The third virtue I’m going to work on is Humility. I’ve already got decent humility, but being humble is something I believe is very important and everyone should be good at it. I will gain better humility by listening to others, and being grateful for what I have. The fourth virtue I’m going to implement into my life will be Sincerity. I want to gain better sincerity, because it will bring me close to my family and friends and allow me to be the best individual I can. I can learn more about sincerity and how to improve on it. My fifth and final virtue to improve on is Frugality. I would like to improve on being frugal because I tend to buy things as soon as money comes to my grip. Being able to save that money and spend it on things I need will help with my overall happiness. I’m going to do this by putting a budget on my spending per week.

My hope for this virtues experiment is to be able to change my life in a positive way and to become the best person I can. I predict that I will be able to maintain at least 4 out of the 5 virtues. The one I see myself struggling with a little will be staying frugal during black Friday. Besides the frugality on black Friday I believe that I have a very good chance of improving on my important virtues. To be able to improve on all of these virtues listed is gonna be difficult, but I know that with hard work and dedication, I can do whatever I put my mind to.


To me, the process of writing a blog holding me accountable for the virtues I have picked out is very important. There were several motivating factors behind this, including wanting to better myself, not only for myself but for the community around me. This blog will allow me to keep track of my progress, and make sure that I am doing my best to carry out these virtues. My relationship with Ben Franklin is mostly just my admiration for him. Franklin had a very busy life filled with new inventions and opportunities and people and whatever else you could possibly think of, but he was also able to achieve the life he wanted by sticking to his virtues. I believe that his motto of doing everything little by little is so great because it is so reasonable. 

The five virtues I have chosen to work on myself are temperance, sincerity, health, tranquility, and forgiveness. For temperance, I will try my best to be more laid back, and not get so worked up all of the time. I will try to stay calm when I would usually freak out, it will take time but I believe that I can do this. For sincerity, I will do my very best to be the most sincere I can. I tend to find myself not meaning things when I say them, or doing something that I know is not right, so I will really be focusing on this one. For health, I really want to work on this. I have been a pretty healthy person starting this school year, I go to workouts 4-5 times a week, walk whenever I can, eat healthy (when I can get myself to), but sometimes I think that my mental health is the one I need to work on. I tend to be a very happy person, but most of the time I am beyond stressed out. To work on this I will take 30 minutes each day to really focus on myself and doing something that makes me happy, and takes my mind off of whatever it is that is stressing me out. For tranquility, I find myself to be very laid back, most of the time. I like to stay out of drama and not have anything to do with it. Sometimes though, I will stand up for my friends when I know they won’t stand up for themselves. I find that to sometimes get myself involved in drama that is completely unnecessary, so I will do my best to help my friends but also know my worth and not become involved in the unnecessary drama. Lastly, I will really work on forgiveness. I tend to hold grudges where they are not needed, and I find it to get in the way of my happiness. I believe that everyone deserves a second chance, and knowing that everyone makes mistakes including myself, I think it is unfair to not forgive. It does suck having to let something go that has really bothered you, but in the end it is so much better.

My hopes for this experience are to improve myself and my mindset. I hope that by having this blog I will be able to keep myself accountable, and continue to better myself. All of my virtues are very simple, but very important to life, and I believe that I will really be able to improve myself with them. I hope this will help make my life a little brighter, and everyone else’s around me. My prediction for this is that I will be able to improve, but I do not think that I will be able to reach the ideal sense of perfection, just because of the short two-week period we have to do this. Overall though, I think I will see a lot of improvement and growth within myself even if it is just two weeks. 

Day #1: November 9, 2021

My first day of morally perfecting myself went relatively well. Usually when I first wake up, I pop out of bed, do my morning routine and leave. However, today, I made my bed first thing and made sure my room was tidy before going to make my breakfast, working on my order virtue as well as cleanliness. With balance, I spent an hour with my older sister after doing homework. This also combined with order, as I planned out an hour to do homework after school with zero distractions. My patience for the day was definitely my least worked on virtue for day one, yet I didn’t feel super impatient with myself and others, which is a good thing. Lastly, kindness is something I feel like I work on subconsciously everyday. Now being more aware of it though, changes my perspective for sure. I tutored a friend in math and also worked on the can food drive for Johnson County Christmas Bureau. Overall, I would give day one a 8/10.

My Virtuous Journey: an Introduction

I have chosen to undertake the goal of bettering myself on a virtuous level to help myself become a better person overall. This goal will help me with every aspect of my life when it comes to personal relationships as well as overall happiness and well being. If I am able to improve myself virtuously, I will be happier with myself and the people around me will be happier to be in my presence. I do not undertake this goal as some original idea, but am doing this in large part because of inspiration gained from Benjamin Franklin’s own strive for moral perfection. Although I acknowledge the difficulty in trying to achieve perfection, I do know that it is an admirable task that Ben Franklin himself found important enough to continue throughout his entire life. The knowledge gained from Franklin’s own experiences will certainly prove to be beneficial in helping me achieve my goals of bettering myself. Much of the reason for this is that Franklin and I have pretty similar desires to better ourselves and to be very inwardly reflective as to get rid of the internal problems that may cause us fault. Franklin himself described this as a very arduous task that is easy to fail. This own admission by one of the most important figures in history has forced me to mentally prepare for the task at hand. And really focus on specific virtues that I myself would like to work on improving.

I have selected five of these virtues which I have found to be the most important things on which I can improve myself around. The first virtue I chose is resolution, or being able to do with confidence what needs to be done. Often I will not do what needs to be done, because I will get too preoccupied with unimportant things, when I need to be focusing on the things that are important. The second virtue I chose was order, or making sure that I give everything in life its proper time. This goes along with resolution, in that having better order will allow me to really focus on finding what is important. The third virtue I chose was industry, or being as efficient as I can with what I do. I often waste too much time in my day not trying to be as efficient as I could be and this would help out immensely. The fourth virtue was moderation, which is not using anything to excess. For me I think that this would mainly be my phone and technology in general, as I really need to take more frequent breaks from them. The final virtue was justice, which I chose because sometimes I feel that if someone treats me in a certain way for some amount of time then I will not believe in their ability to change and I will not give them the fairness I would give a complete stranger. In conjunction all of these virtues which I would like to share with Ben Franklin will help me to become a better and more efficient person.

I hope that I will have similar success to what Franklin had with his virtues, and I think that careful observation and logging will be important to that success. It is easy to forget what you did in a day, but if you log it in some way you will have that memory with you forever. My hope is that I can come out of this virtue experiment as a better and more virtuous person. I think that it will all come down to if I can complete these virtues in the order that I listed because I can never focus on my justice if I do not have the resolution to make time for the important things in my day and leave time for focusing on virtues. If I can focus on each one of these individually and try and master each one before moving on to the next I will have the best success. I believe that overall I will have good success with this project, because it will force me to be more inwardly, looking at my flaws and where I can improve.

Luke Kounkel – Introduction

For this project, the virtues I am choosing to focus on are order, industry, tranquility, disconnection, and humility. I have struggled with my work ethic and the workload that results from it since middle school and I want to turn it around. Because of my workload and the perfectionist procrastination style I’ve adopted, my mental health has also been suffering over that period of time. Ben Franklin recognized his faults and decided to move towards a morally perfect life. Throughout the course of this blog I hope to improve in each section and seek the same path Franklin went down. 

Order, industry, and disconnection are three that I want to focus on for the sake of productivity, tranquility and humility for my mental health. For disconnection I plan on having a period each day when I will set my phone in a separate room and focus without it. With order and industry, I plan on making an ordered list of everything I need to accomplish each day and with the virtue of industry, following through each to completion. For the virtue of tranquility and humility I plan on taking 30 minutes each day away from any distractions and spending time reflecting on my life.

My hopes for this project are to create habits of productivity and self-reflection that will help me in the next several years of schooling. I foresee all of this plan going well as long as I can make the first few days stick. With that being said, I am ready to chase worldly perfection through the virtues.


The Quest for Moral Perfection – An Introduction

As of tonight, I am embarking on a two week journey towards moral perfection. I have two major reasons for committing to this goal. First, and foremost, I am doing this as a project for school. Objectively speaking, I don’t have much of a choice. However, I do not see this as a dull, dreary homework assignment. Instead, it is a challenge that I must rise up to meet. I do not aim to, nor altogether expect to meet every nuance of each virtue to which I am committing. Rather, I plan to give a steadfast effort to achieving each of them, as Benjamin Franklin attempted throughout his life with his thirteen virtues. My relationship with Franklin is strictly academic, save for my day-to-day interactions with technology derived from his many scientific endeavors. I have not read any of his works nor examined his life to any great extent beyond that which I have been assigned to in school. Furthermore, I have my fair share of scruples with regards to many of his beliefs, especially in his younger years. I do, however, believe that he did a fairly good job of redeeming his questionable, if not condemnable, views as he progressed through life. Reservations aside, I have a great deal of respect for his dedication to perfecting himself, and I am aware that it requires an unimaginable level of willpower to dedicate one’s entire life to such a goal.

I have committed to working towards five virtues which I have deemed myself to be, at least to some degree, lacking in. The first of these virtues is Order. I am, regrettably, quite unorganized most of the time. I struggle to keep both my physical and mental space orderly, and I find this to occasionally be quite frustrating. I am committing to recording all of my homework and other tasks that are to be done each day in an organized manner on this blog. The next of the virtues is Resolution. I have found throughout my life that I struggle to commit to long-term projects (rather ironic, as I am currently committing to a two week plan to fix this very problem). I especially struggle to commit to personal projects such as art, exercise, and other fun and/or healthy activities. I am committing to painting a miniature over the next two weeks, spending at least a while every day working on it and recording my progress on the blog. The third virtue on my list is Confidence. This one is slightly less tangible, and I don’t struggle with it quite as much as the others, but I still feel that it is important. I often struggle with acknowledging my victories, instead fixating on my mistakes. I am committing to find at least one success every day to celebrate and discuss on my blog. My fourth virtue, and one of the most important, is Health. Any semblance of physical fitness I had was utterly destroyed when quarantine began. I have never been good about exercising, so I gladly accepted an excuse to stay inside 24/7. I want this to change, as exercise is immensely important to a long, healthy life. I am committing to going on at least a mile-long walk every day. The final virtue on my list is Responsibility. I tend to procrastinate, putting my work off until the last minute. I wouldn’t say that I’m lazy, but I could definitely do a better job of separating my work into responsible segments. I am committing to doing my work before the deadline is right on top of me to help reduce stress and create a more healthy balance of life and work.

As I said before, I cannot reasonably expect myself to meet every requirement of every virtue on every day. My true goal is to give a good effort and hopefully improve myself. I will not be discouraged by my inability to achieve perfection. Instead, I will acknowledge my failures and learn from them, hopefully avoiding the same mistakes in the future. I truly hope that this will have a lasting positive impact on my life as a whole, and I am glad to have the opportunity to work on such a unique, challenging, and engaging project.


My motivation behind this blog is to show my progress on five virtues important in my life: order, cleanliness, balance, patience, and kindness. This blog will track the different ways each day I improve myself in one or more of those areas. Benjamin Franklin strived to morally perfect himself in life. Franklin made it very clear that he was not working on these all at the same time, but instead working on every virtue one day at a time, similar to me. I strongly respect Benjamin Franklin and all of his wisdom, and I think this idea is something that many people, including myself hopefully, will and would find beneficial for life.

The five virtues I’ll be working on are order, cleanliness, balance, patience, and kindness. I chose order because I think when I’m more organized, I feel more at peace physically and mentally, making days and weeks run much smoother with a nice to-do list and plans for my weeks ahead. I chose cleanliness that goes kind of hand in hand with order and making sure my room is clean as well as mind, whether this is making my bed before I leave for school or going to a yoga class. I also chose balance because I think it is important to balance friend and family relationships as well as school and extracurriculars. Balance also kind of goes with order with the idea of making a plan and making sure I am balancing all my responsibilities. Patience is another virtue I chose because I think sometimes I get very impatient with not only those around me but also myself and don’t give myself the time of day to breathe and kind of regroup. Lastly, I chose kindness. I believe I already strive to be kind to those around me everyday, but would like to make that a priority and put good and positive energy into the world rather than stress and negativity. 

My hope for this process is to obviously improve as a person but also to keep these lessons for the future and turn them into habits. My prediction is that I won’t be 100% successful but that I will most definitely benefit from focusing on these virtues. I am looking forward to seeing what this does to me and my daily life.

Nicholas Karr – Day 1

Today, I did fairly well in a few of the virtues. Order is still a weak point, as I didn’t sequence my time well and still have a lot of work to do. I did make a couple todo lists. On the other hand, flexibility went well. I had to give an unexpected presentation and did it well. I thankfully didn’t encounter any serious scenarios involving tranquility, but I did use it during my lunch period. A few yellowjackets were chasing me. I previously would have been much more panicked about it, but I’ve gradually changed. I also did fairly well at industry. Robotics was the hardest place to maintain that because it required a lot of persistence to set up a slow computer. There is still a lot of industry to achieve before I go to bed in math homework.

The laptop in question. It’s a struggle to maintain my tranquility with something so slow.

Connor Lawson – Day 1 Update

For my first day, I did an adequate job. When I woke up, I put my alarm on snooze, and when my dad hollered for me to get up, I mumbled about how I would. I sat there for 30 seconds, contemplating whether to lay down for a few more minutes or get up immediately. As my brain cleared the fog of sleep away, I remembered about my virtues I chose, specifically sincerity, and that I must be sincere by staying true to my word and get up, so I did. For my self-control virtue, I did eat 3 Oreos that I packed in my lunch, and I snacked on a few chips. In terms of how much junk food I would usually eat, this is an exceptional start, and I hope to slowly improve on limiting the amount of junk food and candy I eat. I did not lie once for the entire day, which was a top-notch start to my honesty virtue. I kept as calm as I could, only grinding my teeth a little and staying silent when my dad started smacking his lips when eating, which is one of my pet peeves. This was about my tranquility virtue. I did not do much, if anything, with my diligence virtue as I did not have to study for any tests today because I don’t have any tests soon.

Connor Lawson – Blog Introduction

My motivation for this blog is to change my habits and become a better person. I wish to keep true to the virtues I have chosen. Benjamin Franklin was a man who kept true to many virtues. He created a process, in which I wish to replicate to some degree, to start and maintain virtues that he wanted to keep. 

Here are my virtues and strategies to commit to them: Honesty: Do not lie to others or yourself in any fashion. I will remind myself every time I might lie that it is always better to tell the truth, because the lie becomes evident eventually. Sincerity: Act accordingly to how you speak. I will always keep promises, to do this, I will set reminders on my phone for when I promise to do things. Tranquility: Do not get angry or upset at small or meaningless trifles. I will keep calm, tell myself that it’s not worth getting angry at, and take deep calming breaths. Diligence: Study for each test for at least an hour each day for 2 days before a test. I’ll Tell my parents to remind me to study, and tell them when I have tests. Self-Control/Nutrition- Minimize eating junk food and candy. I will limit the amount of candy/junk food in sight, this way I am not tempted to eat them.

I hope to gain and stick with at least one or two of these virtues even after the project. I believe that through committing to these virtues I will be able to better myself. I predict that I will be able to stick with most of the virtues, I believe I will make multiple mistakes, but for the most part I will stay true to the virtues.

Nicholas Karr – Introduction

Welcome to a blog where I will aim to achieve moral perfection and publish accounts of my progress. I created this blog because I want to become a better person. I have known of Ben Franklin for most of my life and had always kept a rough account of his inventions. This is my first time hearing about his virtues. They gain credibility due to Franklin’s credibility.

There are five different virtues that I hope to improve on. The most important is industry. Since it relies on rigid time management, it will be the most difficult. It also relates to another one of my choices: order. I plan to work on the effective ordering of time aspect of those two by practicing it by doing work early. I will also attempt to become more organized as part of order. The next virtue is flexibility. Changing can be difficult to me, but I can do things such as changing an aspect of my daily routine. Another useful virtue is resolution. I have a tendency to give up on projects halfway through them and never return. The best way to ameliorate this is to see a project through to its completion. Tranquility will be one of the most difficult things for me to focus on as it doesn’t come up that often and it leads me to think irrationally. It could be improved in the same way as flexibility.

As part of this blog, I hope to improve gradually in each of the virtues. I predict that I will be able to improve in at least 3 of the categories. Tranquility may never come up. I hope to put a focus on industry as it factors in to some of the other virtues. Thus, I begin the challenge and will write another passage tomorrow.