Benjamin Franklin’s Method for Persuasion

Persuading others to your point of view requires patience and endurance. Franklin assumed that people change their minds only slowly and indirectly. Ben would say: “If you don’t win the bargain today, go after it again tomorrow.” Here are some of the tips Franklin recommends for initiating persuasion:

1. Be clear, in your own mind, about exactly what you’re after.
2. Do your homework, so that you are fully prepared to discuss every aspect and respond to every question or comment.
3. Be persistent. Don’t expect to “win” the first time. Your first job is just to start the other person thinking.
4. Make friends of the person you are bargaining with. Put your bargain in terms of that person’s needs, wants, advantages, and benefits.
5. Keep you sense of humor! read more

The Founding Fathers and Faith

I’ve read a lot about our Founding Fathers. They were men of great faith, and great action on that faith. I read the following quote and it reminded me of our Founding Fathers, especially George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and James Madison. Yes, and others. Here’s the quote:

“God blesses us according to our faith. Faith is the source of living with divine purpose and eternal perspective. Faith is a practical principle that inspires diligence. It is a vital, living force manifest in our positive attitude and desire to willingly do everything that God and Jesus Christ ask of us. It takes us to our knees to implore the Lord for guidance and to arise and act with confidence to achieve things consistent with His will.” (Ulisses Soares, Ensign magazine, May, 2017, page 34.) read more

Benjamin Franklin and Tranquility

One of the character traits that Benjamin Franklin wanted to pursue to perfection as described in his “Project for Moral Perfection” was Tranquility. He defined it thus: “Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.”

And who hasn’t experienced “accidents common or unavoidable”?

In watching the news channels on TV, I am convinced that this character trait has fallen into disrepair, or at least is being disregarded, along with politeness and consideration. Franklin went on to add this advice: read more

Benjamin Franklin’s Advice on Drinking

“Life with fools consists in drinking; With the wise man living’s thinking.” Benjamin Franklin.

A word to the wise is sufficient. You may ask: “What is the connection between drinking and thinking?” According to a report from Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, there is an inverse relationship. That is, the more you drink, the less you think.

Most colleges and universities have active abuse prevention programs. These programs are established to help students focus on their education instead of participating in drinking or substance abuse. Learning to avoid alcohol altogether or at least to handle alcohol responsibly can have a big payoff later in life. “Even though a number of people have tried, no one has yet found a way to drink for a living.” –Jean Kerr, playwright. read more

Benjamin Franklin Sincerely

In his “Project for Moral Perfection” one of the character traits Benjamin Franklin wanted to become morally perfect in the application of was Sincerity. He described this trait as: “Use no harmful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.”

Franklin also wrote a book and titled it “The Art of Virtue.” If you haven’t read it, or even heard of it, go and find it. It’s worth the trouble!

In that book Ben proposed that one of the principles for happiness is truth and honesty. How true that is. He added: “If the rascals knew the advantage of virtue, they would become honest men out of rascality.” Then, about himself, he added “That is my only cunning.” read more

Benjamin Franklin and the Constitution

“The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself!” –Benjamin Franklin

Of course Franklin knew these words were directly in the Declaration of Independence, which was upheld by the United States Constitution. He helped draft both of them. But the meaning of the direct words is vouchsafed by our Constitution.

And he was a printer by trade, so he was careful with words. So he knew what he was saying. That is, that the Constitution protects you unalienable rights to pursue happiness, you still must pursue it and “catch it!” It’s all up to you. read more

The Ages of the Founding Fathers

The Founding Fathers were industrious and positive thinking men. They lived not only fruitful lives, but lives full of activity, wisdom, leadership, and friendship.

Benjamin Franklin, who took part in most of the life changing events of his time, lived to be 84. He died in 1790.

George Washington, the indispensible man, our nation wouldn’t exist without his accomplishments, died at the age of 67. He died in December of 1799, just before the new century was rung in.

Patrick Henry also died in 1799. He was known as America’s noble patriot and the first national hero. He was only 63 when he left his family of 17 children. read more

Philadelphia—Independence not Cheese

It’s absolutely a fact that the Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson, in Philadelphia. Jefferson was a member of the committee assigned by the Continental Congress to create such a document if one should be needed. The committee was made up of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman. They chose Jefferson to write the draft for their review and approval. He did. At the Graff House. The committee approved it with only minor changes. read more

The Founding Fathers and Prudence

Carefulness, caution, and good sense. That’s what they meant by prudence. That’s kind of like what Benjamin Franklin defined as “Moderation” in his Project for Moral Perfection. He defined moderation as “Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.” Moderation should be used in all your decisions and actions. Use reason and common sense to solve most problems.

Most of the Founding Fathers seemed to think along these same lines. Use common sense, which is not so common any longer. read more