Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week Six, Q1

Industry: “Lose no time, be always employed in something useful; cutoff unnecessary actions.”

Personal notes:

  • Fully engage with what you’re doing; immerse yourself;
  • There’s not much time left; we’re getting old. Use time wisely;
  • Shut off distractions!

I’m exhausted. With sleep still in my eyes, I’m looking at a glaring screen this morning. Only one eye open. Hope this counts for Industry.

Industry: hard work; energetic, devoted activity at any work or task.

Simple definition, right? But does industry deal with “work” or the love of being engaged in a task? Regardless, “industry” had its intended effect this week. Whenever I started to drift, and that was often, I would catch myself. An encouraging mantra “Focus. Force the task finished. Start the next one.”

Drift happened most when I was at the computer tackling tasks. There were 2 points this week when I didn’t have to worry about drift: writing a short story and removing a tree stump from the backyard. It’s hard to argue “love of task” for the latter, but the hours melted away. Industry was on auto-pilot. I enjoyed the physical labor. If writing doesn’t work out, it appears I would be happy digging ditches.

Most days in the journal were listed as failures this week. That was unduly harsh. The week was more successful than I gave it credit for. The intended purpose was achieved: being aware of when drift occurred and righting the ship. There were noticeable periods when I didn’t have to “right the ship,” when everything proceeded smoothly. If the task was enjoyable or felt good, Industry took care of itself. I fell into work and gave over to it. I wish I could find that more often.

Anyway, since industry is over, I’m heading back to bed.