Around eight years ago when we were in St. Thomas on vacation, I wrote down the following values. I had just finished a book about Benjamin Franklin and felt it was important to have my own values down on paper just as he had his. They are as relevant today as they were then. I would add a few more sentences now but we’ll leave that for another post.
Family & Love
Love your family, friends, neighbors, & others. Build trust & spend time with your family. Love thy neighbor. A strong family is the foundation of a strong nation. Love your wife as you love yourself. Help your family in every way you can.
Lose no time; be always employed in something useful. Use every skill to improve at work what can be improved. Help others achieve their goals and you will be helped when achieving yours. Take advantage of every good opportunity to gain resources (time, money, trust, etc.) in honest ways to use in doing good.
Resolution & Planning: Long-Term Thinking
Resolve to perform what you ought, perform without fail what you resolve. Plan your work and work your plan. Set goals much higher than you think you can achieve, work step-by-step to achieve them. Do what’s improtant and waste no time on what’s simply urgent but not important. Ask yourself these questions daily. What good shall I do today? What good have I done today?
Sharpen the Saw: Self-Worth
Learn everything from everyone & use what you have leant. Take classes & teach those less fortunate (learn by teaching). Exercise mind and body continuously. Evaluate yourself & take actions to improve continuously.
Make promises you can keep & keep the promises you have made. Do not justify unjust behaviour. Live a life based on solid principles. Be trustworthy in all aspects. Inspire trust in everyone. Lead others by example & let actions speak louder than words.
Frugality & Wealth
Do not waste the fruits of your work or that of others, ever! Acquire only what’s needed & research before buying anything. Be frugal with your time as this is a resource which cannot be replenished. Build wealth step-by-step by living a straigt life.
Never forget those who have helped you. Return the favors ten times over. Help others as you have been helped. Thank immediately for even a small favor (if possible publicly). Thank your helpers generously.
Patience & Pro-activeness
Be patient with others (especially the children and the elderly) and even with yourself. Those who patiently work at their goals will achieve them. Be proactive so that there will be time for patience.
Honesty & Sincerity
Be extremely honest with yourself, since there’s no better judge of your own actions. Be sincere with others and you’ll notice the difference in how you are treated. Sincere communication is refreshing to the human soul.
Order & Cleanliness
Order, in one’s mind, home, workplace, & life in general promotes focus, clear thought & better communication with others. Do not react to chaos, respond by helping restore order. Keep a clean heart by reconciliation on daily basis.