I admire both George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. So If I learn who originated this I'll put a link back to that. In the meantime I'll share this here.
This is a challenge to better ourselves. Like managing our time wisely and trying to find inspiration to do better, here are some more tools to help make ourselves better individuals. So here is the e-mail:
The traits he is known for—honesty, courage and honor—did not come naturally to him, he worked hard at them every single day. It's often said that it takes 30 days to form a habit. We're going to put that to the test. Each month this year we try to become better citizens and human beings one small step at a time. Each challenge will be posted here and we encourage everyone to keep a running journal of their experiences. Write down everything—and review it often. You'll be amazed to see how fast things that once seemed difficult to you are now almost routine. This list was an eye-opener for me…hopefully, it will be for you as well.
And remember, this is a challenge, not a contest. We aren't keeping score and there will be no one to watch over you to make sure you honor your promises. But we can promise that those who practice the first virtue (diligence) and stick with this for a year will be changed forever. This is a support group like never before and, if we are successful.
THE STARTING POINT
Below are some items pulled from the writings of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin that we've identified as key things to start with and focus on every day. Think of these as "baseline" items to have in your life that are in addition to those things you add as part of this challenge. Many of these will seem daunting at first, but by adding them to your Monthly Tracker and concentrating on them each day they'll become more and more routine.
- EVERY ACTION MUST BE DONE WITH RESPECT TOWARD OTHERS AROUND YOU.
- SHOW NO DELIGHT IN THE MISFORTUNE OF OTHERS, EVEN THOUGH HE BE YOUR ENEMY.
- IF ANYONE COMES TO SPEAK TO YOU WHILE YOU ARE SITTING, STAND, EVEN THOUGH HE WILL BE YOUR INFERIOR.
- BE NOT HASTY TO BELIEVE FLYING REPORTS TO THE DISPARAGEMENT OF ANY.
- ASSOCIATE YOURSELF WITH MEN OF GOOD QUALITY.
- IF YOU ESTEEM YOUR OWN REPUTATION, TIS BETTER TO BE ALONE THEN IN BAD COMPANY.
- LET YOUR CONVERSATION BE WITHOUT MALICE OR ENVY.
- SPEAK NOT INFURIOUS WORDS NEITHER IN JEST OR IN EARNEST.
- ALWAYS STAND WHEN A LADY ENTERS YOUR CIRCLE OR STANDS BEFORE THE TABLE.
- READ YOUR SCRIPTURES DAILY.
- HAVE A PICTURE OF SOMEONE YOU ADMIRE. WHEN HAVING A TOUGH DAY MOVE IT NEAR YOU.
- MAKE A GOAL EVERYDAY. WRITE AND PONDER IN THE MORNING, REVIEW YOUR SUCCESSES AND FAILURES AT END OF EACH DAY.
- GATHER OTHERS TO SUPPORT HONESTY.
- ALWAYS LOOK A MAN IN THE EYE.
- ALWAYS HAVE A FIRM HANDSHAKE.
- PRAY FOR OTHERS.
- LOOK FOR WAYS TO SERVE OTHERS AT ALL TIMES.
- ALWAYS SAY WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY.
- BUILD TRUST THROUGH YOUR ACTIONS.
- DO NOT PARTAKE IN BASHING THE BIBLE.
- DO NOT FIGHT WITH THOSE WHO ARE NOT WILLING TO SEE ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE. WHEN IN BATTLE (ARGUMENT) REPEAT THE OTHER SIDE UNTIL THEY SAY YOU HAVE THEIR ARGUMENT.
- BUILD, NEVER DESTROY.
- ASPIRE TO INSPIRE.