I'm reading Walter Isaacson's "Benjamin Franklin: An American Life" right now, and it's interesting how relevant it is to some of the things I'm focusing on (and struggling with). I'd always heard that Franklin carried a notebook with him, and that he wrote down his virtues (core values) and systematically worked to improve himself in those specific areas.
What I didn't know was how tempted he was to not do those things. For example, one of the virtues he struggled with was:
"Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time."
Hey - that sounds like something I'd like to do, and something I work on!
How relieved I was to find out that Franklin had trouble with that one, too. According to Isaacson's account:
[Franklin] likened himself to the hurried man who goes to have his ax polished but after a while loses patience and declares, "I think I like a speckled ax best."
I certainly identify with that one. Pick up this book (click on the title above to see it on Powell's, the best bookstore in the world) if you haven't read it - it's very well done, and great for aspiring productivity geeks like me.
Next time I'll talk about how Franklin kept score to track how well he did with his Virtues.