Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Simplicity Of It All...

I love the sun.  Not just because it gives your skin a healthy glow.  Not because it provides you with just the right amount of vitamin D.  It's happy.  It comes up and says "Hey, look at me.  I'm happy.  I'm gonna help you be happy too."

I've tried really hard over the last few months to find a simpler way.  I've always made happiness an adventure that was nothing short of complicated.  There's always been a Catch 22 when I entered into a contract with happiness. What I've realized is that happiness doesn't require a contract.  Happiness is simple to obtain.  You just have to be willing to see it when it's standing in front of you.

In my desire to find the bright side of my failures, I've found forgiveness and care.  My failures have given me the ability to forgive, not just myself but others.  Challenges don't seem so challenging anymore.  Wrong-doings don't seem so wrong.  Words said in arguements don't seem so harsh.

All that said... I'm giving myself a huge challenge.  I'm entering this challenge knowing that I might want to quit.  It's not going to be easy.  But it will make me more aware of myself and others. My intention in this is that my soul will be awakened.  Intention is powerful. 

I. Will. Not. Quit.
I. Will. Not. Quit.
I. Will. Not. Quit.

Without further adieu...

He tested himself on these virtues:

  1. Temperance- "Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation."
  2. Silence- "Speak but not what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation."
  3. Order- "Let all of your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time."
  4. Resolution- "Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve."
  5. Frugality- "Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself."
  6. Industry- "Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions."
  7. Sincerity- "Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and if you speak, speak accordingly."
  8. Justice- "Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty."
  9. Moderation- "Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve."
  10. Cleanliness- "Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation."
  11. Chastity- "Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness  or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation."
  12. Tranquility- "Be not disturbed at trifles or at accidents common or unavoidable."
  13. Humility- "Imitate Jesus or Socrates."

I've been researching this challenge for a little over a month.  I think I delayed because I didn't want to hold myself accountable.  But... I'm ready.  I think.  It doesn't matter.  I'm done wasting time.  Even though Mr. Franklin tracked his progress daily, my plan is to track my progress weekly. Each week, I will focus (and I mean, REALLY FOCUS) on one topic.  I might not follow the order, but I will hit each one.  Not only will I hold myself accountable but I'll have all of you to keep me in line. 

My hope is this... In my desire to maintain simple and authentic living, I might be able to help another find simple and authentic living.

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