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Focusing on One Virtue to Perfect

One of Stephen Covey's first concepts in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People deals with Benjamin Franklin's concept of character development.  As opposed to personality traits, Franklin tried to become a better person, one virtue at a time.  His virtues included:

  • temperance

  • silence

  • order

  • resolution

  • frugality

  • industry

  • sincerity



  • justice

  • moderation

  • cleanliness

  • tranquility

  • chastity

  • and humility


Not a bad list of items to work on.  Just attempting to improve on one per year would yield a tremendous result.  From a productivity perspective and certainly in concert with GTD philosophy, getting things done takes discipline, tranquility, order, resolution...we could continue.

I posted earlier in the week about working on virtue as an important part of being more influential. Franklin would agree and I suspect that David Allen would too.  He said recently in a Lifehacker interview that "You only need to fine tune the engine to the point where it's not on your mind."  Sounds like a process of virtue/character improvement to me.  We're not talking about virtue in a moralistic way.  It's about getting things done, based on a lifestyle that is constantly trying to improve.

Which virtue will you focus on today?