Week 1 – Temperance

Temperance: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation

As part of the Plan for Attaining Moral Perfection series,  I will be living one of the 13 virtues described by Benjamin Franklin in the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.  You can read how all this got started here.  This week I’ll be focused on living the virtue of Temperance.

Today will be hard since my New England Patriots are playing in the Super Bowl.  We’re hosting a party for the game, and there will likely be plenty of things to eat and drink.

If you’re interested in the book that inspired this, it is available for less than $4 including shipping on Amazon.  If you buy it through my link, by clicking on the image, I get 14 cents for the referral.

Plan For Attaining Moral Perfection

I’m currently reading, when I get the chance, the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.  You can pick it up on Amazon for less than $4 including shipping.  In the book, Franklin talks about his goal of moral perfection. To help with successfully implementing the strategy, he breaks up the task into thirteen different virtues.  The plan is to focus on one at a time, for the duration of a week.  After one week of practicing a virtue, it should become more of a habit.  The focus then goes to the next virtue for the following week.  After thirteen weeks, the cycle then repeats, allowing for 4 complete cycles per year.  Franklin kept track of how well he adhered to each of the virtues on a daily basis using a chart seen here.  A black mark is placed in the box for “every fault I found upon examination to have been committed respecting that virtue upon that day.”  After several rounds of this exercise the idea is that there will be fewer and fewer black marks, and you will get closer to attaining moral perfection.

A chart used by Franklin to track progress

I am going to try this methodology out.  Moral perfection seems like a good goal to have.  I may even create a phone app for this(if one doesn’t already exist).  Seems like it would be practical.  I can already predict a large black mark on my chart for Super Bowl Sunday.  There will be more on the details of the virtues and updates on my progress in future posts.