Ben Franklin On The Excelerated Life

“Dost thou love life?” Then, be sure you are living your Excelerated Life™.

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ben franklin and the excelerated life

I once read that people take a quote more seriously if you attribute it to Ben Franklin. Here on April Fool’s Day is a tongue-in-cheek look at some quotes from America’s first Renaissance man and what he could have meant had he been familiar with the Excelerated Life™.

Do It Today

“One today is worth two tomorrows.”

This covers the entire Excelerated Life™ principle of Action.

Excelerated Movement™ says action is necessary to reach our goals and movement is a prime component of action. Excelerated Self-discipline™ means we do today the things we say we’ll do to take that step toward our goals. And we use Excelerated Productivity™ to be sure our movements are both effective (doing the right things) and efficient (doing things right).

Memento mori. “Remember death”. We are not promised any tomorrows – only the moment we have right now. It is important to do the things necessary to create the life we want moment to moment to moment.

So get started today. Action taken today is worth twice as much or more as actions postponed to be done later, if at all.

You Need Energy and Persistence

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

This quote refers to two Excelerated Life™ practices: Excelerated Fundamentals™ for energy and Excelerated Habits™ for persistence.

To keep our energy high, we need to mind the fundamentals of eating, moving, and sleeping – eating a healthy diet, exercising our body, and getting sufficient rest. Without these three fundamental practices of self-care, we won’t have our highest energy.

Persistence requires that we take the small steps, day after day after day, until we reach our desired outcome. It is difficult, if not impossible, to rely solely on willpower alone to “make” ourselves do the task consistently. When we tap into the power of habit, though, we use willpower wisely to automate our best behaviors, and then we can take willpower out of the picture.

If you want to conquer things, i.e., your BIG goals, keep your energy high by minding the fundamentals and use the power of Excelerated Habits™ to be persistent and consistent.

No Worries

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”

Here I think Franklin was referring to Excelerated Positivity™, Excelerated Acceptance™, and Excelerated Focus™.

Excelerated Positivity™ isn’t a shallow, sappy happiness that ignores the negative things that happen to us. Instead, Excelerated Positivity™ builds our resilience and ability to bounce back when “bad” things happen. (Of course, events aren’t “bad” or “good”, they just are. It is our beliefs and interpretations that color them with judgment.)

I am reminded of a quote by Michel de Montaigne: “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened.” One way to “keep in the sunlight” is to use Excelerated Focus™ to fix your attention on your true desires and pay less attention to all the things that “could” go wrong. Then, when something does go wrong, as it inevitably will, Excelerated Acceptance™ allows you to identify and accept the things you are struggling with. Accepting – even loving – what is lets you focus your energy on dealing with real obstacles, rather than squandering your energy worrying about all the things that could have gone wrong, but didn’t.

Have Patience

“He that can have patience can have what he will.”

If you endeavor to live an Excelerated Life™, you strive to accomplish meaningful objectives through Excelerated Accomplishment™. Those meaningful accomplishments are centered around you performing to your highest potential as you give your best in Service to the world.

Of course, you don’t reach these lofty – and often difficult – heights in a few steps. You can’t sprint up Mount Everest. If you’re serious about it, you are committed to being your best self, your Excelerated Self™. Excelerated Self-discipline™ helps you do what you need to do to keep taking the steps toward your goal.

Don’t expect to achieve your BIG goal in a few short steps. You’re in this for the long haul. Have patience and, in true Excelerated Self-discipline™ form, keep doing what you say you will do.

Use Time Well

“Employ thy time well, if thou meanest to get leisure.”

Have you ever said, “I just didn’t have time to exercise today”? Or, “I don’t have time to prepare healthy meals”? How about “I don’t have time to work on my BIG goal today, too many chores”? Well, you have time for what you make a priority. What is important to you?

Here, I think Franklin was addressing Excelerated Simplicity™ and perhaps Excelerated Organization™, two practices to help simplify your life to make the best use of the time you have. The focus is not to do more and more work, but to make time for important things, such as building relationships and personal development.

The basis of time management is goal setting, or in our parlance, Excelerated Goal Setting™. If you don’t have a goal, how do you know what is important (and not merely “urgent”)? Why do you want to achieve a particular goal? What are your reasons? Are they important to you?

Now, look at how you are currently spending your time. Do your current activities reflect the things that are important to you? This is the nuts and bolts of getting things done. This is how you can be sure you are working on the tasks that are important to you, based on your own priorities.

Remember another quote from Franklin, “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

Don’t Say Hurtful Things

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”

One-on-one, heart-to-heart conversations are a keystone of Excelerated Relationships™.

Some things are hard to say and hard to hear – but they still need to be said . . . and heard. This can be difficult when speaking to a loved one. It requires tact. It requires diplomacy. And it requires courage to “speak the truth with love”.

But words that are untrue, words that purposely hurt, words that tear down instead of building up don’t need to be said and should not be said. Don’t say them. It is tempting, especially when emotions are high, to deliver a zinger, to put people in their place, to have the last word.

You have a responsibility as a spouse, partner, parent, friend, and colleague. You can do harm or you can choose to do good.

Do It Now

“Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”

We’ve all heard this one many times. And, like Ben’s other gems, it has hung around and been repeated because of the truth it expresses. Here I believe Ben was addressing both Excelerated Movement™ and Excelerated Accomplishment™.

The cause and cure of procrastination is far too broad a subject for the scope of this essay, but consider this: Procrastination is a symptom, not the actual problem. Find the root cause and correct that, and procrastination is no longer an issue.

One of the primary reasons for procrastination is fear: fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of other, even more irrational, things. But remember, your potential lies just on the other side of fear. The key is to see fear, not as a warning that something is wrong, but as a sign that something is right, that growth is just ahead. (Of course, we’re not talking about fear that warns of real danger: a poisonous snake or a train coming toward the crossing or someone pointing a gun at you; you get the idea.)

Excelerated Accomplishment™ gives you a reason to get moving and Excelerated Movement™ gives you the steps to take. One way to overcome fear is to get busy. Then, taking small steps toward the goal allows us to bypass the amygdala — that part of the brain that triggers the fight or flight response.

Do It Now, Part 2

“You may delay, but time will not.”

Again, we are talking about Excelerated Movement™ and Excelerated Self-discipline™. (These seem to have been two of Franklin’s favorites.)

We could even start with Excelerated Goal Setting™ for without a BIG goal, even if you exhibit Excelerated Movement™ and tap into Excelerated Self-discipline™, where are you going? You could head off in a hundred different directions . . . all at once.

We might even go further back, to the Foundational principle of Get On Solid Ground™ and the practices of Excelerated Acceptance™, dealing with the things you’re tolerating, and clarifying your Excelerated Values™; practices that prepare you for your life of flourishing and well-being, meaning, purpose, and service.

If you have a solid foundation, a worthy BIG goal, a series of steps to lead you in the direction of your goal, and the discipline to take a step every day – then delay is not a problem for you. You’ll be eager to get started and keep going till you hit your target.

Do It Now, Part 3

“Well done is better than well said.”

Most people say that want a better life. A few make the effort to define what that means for them. Fewer still define a definite goal, write it down, and do something about it. Brian Tracy, a leading speaker and author in the field of personal development, estimates that less than 3% of Americans have written goals.

When you use Excelerated Goal Setting™, Excelerated Accomplishment™, and the other practices in the Excelerating™ principles of Goals and Action, you become a person of action rather than a person who merely talks about what they’ll do “someday”. You put yourself in that top 3%. Well done, you!

The Best Investment

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

Here, of course, Dr. Franklin is referring to the Excelerated Life™. Knowledge is information put to use and following the Excelerated Life™ principles allows you to take the knowledge from Positive Psychology researchers, leading coaches, and experts in the field of personal development and performance and put it into practice. It’s the best investment.

Of course, I don’t know if Dr. Franklin meant exactly to speak as I have interpreted him. Possibly, he meant something else entirely! But, I think he’s given some good advice to us, don’t you?

So, until next time, “Embrace the Excelerated Life™!

I think Ben Franklin said that.

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