Improving Yourself to Improve the World

By Ben Tran

Virtue 1- Industry

  • Be productive with your time and avoid procrastination.
  • I chose this virtue because I struggle with being extremely lazy. I tend to keep important tasks in the back of my mind until I know I can't procrastinate any longer. And by that time, I'm starting it at 3 a.m and the assignment is due tomorrow in class.

Virtue 2- Frugality

  • Go out of your way to waste as little as you can.
  • I tend to spend money and waste food. I spend money on candy or luxuries I don't really need. I also have a bad habit of drinking out of water bottles instead of drinking the filtered water from my refrigerator.

My plan to incorporate these Virtues in my life was simple because these are simple virtues.  For industry, I would actually work in class instead of putting them off till late at night and try not to waste any time accomplishing  task. For frugality, I would grab a cup and drink water from that instead of grabbing a new water bottle every time I'm thirsty. And try not to eat out or spend so much money on unnecessary things.

However, I don't think I followed the plan at all. In reality, I still procrastinated till late at night to accomplish anything. And I spent so much money on things like candy and games. The only part of the plan I actually followed was using less water bottles but even then I still fall back into the habit of grabbing water bottles when I'm thirsty.

In conclusion, I would say that my experience was pretty much a failure. I barely accomplished 1/3 of my plan and probably less than that. 1 week later I feel like I reverted back to my old habits and I as a person have not changed one bit.

So what would Franklin say about this? I think he would give me the advice he gave himself.  "My intention being to acquire the habitude of all these virtues, I judged it would be well not to distract my attention by attempting the whole at once, but to fix it on one of them at a time; and, when I should be master of that, then proceed to another, and so on". Even two virtues may be hard for me and that's why I need to spread my attention to each one at a time. Then in time they will just become good habits.

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