Saturday, March 15, 2003


On Thursday I attended a FranklinCovey workshop on becoming more organized to accomplish more. It was offered at work, and I went with a great deal of skepticism and some reluctance. But I figured every little bit helps and even if I didn't swallow the system whole, just being prompted to think about how to live with more intention would be worth it (esp. since my company was paying).

So I've been mulling over one of the assignments they suggested, identifying values. I set aside my objections to their language and have been thinking about what sort of list I would compose—and why. The "Franklin" part of the company is named after Benjamin Franklin, so I pulled out my Norton Anthology of American Literature, vol. I, 2nd edition, and found the section in Franklin's The Autobiography where he describes his "bold and arduous Project of arriving at moral Perfection" (pp. 454-463). He uses the old-fashioned word "virtues" rather than "values," and lists and defines thirteen Virtues.

One of Franklin's Virtues I would choose for my list, because it is such a problem for me, is Order: "Let your Things have their Places. Let each Part of your Business have its Time" (p. 454). I am comforted that Franklin, too, struggled with Order.
Order...with regard to Places for Things, Papers, etc. I found extremely difficult to acquire....This Article therefore cost me so much painful Attention and my Faults in it vex'd me so much, and I made so little Progress in Amendment, and had such frequent Relapses, that I was almost ready to give up the Attempt, and content myself with a faulty Character in that respect (p. 460).

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