The lighter side of Benjamin Franklin to kick off the New Year

1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

Many of us are fat and slow because we eat and drink what’s put in front of us. Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs. Then we eat too quickly. Before our brains knows we’re full, while it still thinks the pain in our stomach is from hunger, rather than the muscle lining being stretched from all the food we stuffed down there, we go looking for Twinkies and cupcakes. At 40 years of age, we think we can eat and drink the same way we did at 20. And then we blame it on the food makers, the fast food restaurants and the lack of good medical care.

2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

It’s too late for this one. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook have made idiots out of the smartest people on Earth. When will people learn that if you can’t say it to a person’s face, you shouldn’t put it on social networks? Are they that dumb that they think they’re completely anonymous? I guess so. Just look at all the politicians who’ve lost their jobs because of social networks. I’m not going to bother preaching on this item. The consequences are too great. At least we can ignore them on social sites. It’ll be much worse if people started acting like idiots in person.

3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

If you want to succeed, you need to be somewhat organized. Be organized in your things and in your time. This doesn’t mean you need to be a neat freak; you just need to know where things are, in your environment and in your head. This doesn’t mean you have to be like Felix Unger. Oscar Madison knew where his things were. It was only when Felix touched Oscar’s things that trouble ensued. People have their own way of being neat. If you don’t like it, there’s the door! If you don’t know who Felix and Oscar are, google ‘The Odd Couple’.

4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

There are many things we leave undone, because we have more important things to do at the time. If something breaks because we didn’t get to it, then hey, shit happens. At that point, that becomes the important thing and we make time for it. In the end, everything works itself out. So in other words, don’t sweat the small stuff. And no, it’s not all small stuff. The stuff we’re working on, preventing us from doing your stuff, is all big stuff.

5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

The rich are that way because they know the value of money and spend it like misers. Those who want to be rich but are always broke spend money as though it grows on trees. Be frugal with your money, and you will become rich one day. You may turn into a miserable old person as well, but that’s a choice you need to make. Be rich and live like a pauper, or be a pauper and live like a king. That’s a tough call.

6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

This is a no brainer. If you sit on your butt all day long, you will not accomplish anything, except get fat and make advertisers very happy. Find something to do. Get a job, find a hobby, start a business, write a book, write a blog, but do something. You can’t sit on your butt all day you’ll leave a dent in the couch. Make sure you move around a bit, sit on one side for a while, and then move around to the other parts of the couch. When you’re in a store, don’t dilly dally either. Don’t walk down every aisle in the store to get the milk that you know is in the last aisle. Make productive use of your time. When you’re walking down these aisle, pick up things to snack on while watching TV.

To truly live, you have to think and feel

“Life is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy for those who feel.” Horace Walpole

In order to truly enjoy life, you have to think. If you can think, then you can laugh. Without laughter your life becomes a miserable existence.

In order for you to love and to be loved, you have to feel, but be careful. Once you begin to feel, one of the feelings you’ll become acquainted with is heartbreak. Being able to feel means loving, and sometimes loving those who don’t or can’t love you back. That is the tragedy of life.

That is why you also need to be able to think. Use your thinking abilities to laugh at these tragedies, to know there will be other opportunities to love, and to know that one day, you will find the right person who you will truly love, and who will truly love you back.

Make sure the person you find can think, as well as feel. If they can’t think, they can’t laugh with you. If you can’t laugh together, then that really will be a tragedy.