Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week Four, Q1

Resolution: “Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

Personal notes:

  • Act like you would if someone challenged you.
  • Do not approach things mildly when you could approach it aggressively.
  • Be indomitable; not lackadaisical.
  • Act with purpose in everything.

Fuck this hurts. All the pressure is on my neck. Pain shooting down my back. Eyes hurt. Can eyes hurt? I don’t know. Focus dummy. Need to get out of this choke. Try one more escape. Damn. He countered. I’m gassed. Got nothing. Choke is tightening. All right, I’m done. Waaaait a minute. Is he talking shit?

I can’t explain the rage that exploded inside but I can tell you that at that very moment I violently threw him over my shoulder. If we were in a bar, I’d roar like the Hulk and pretend to throw a tree like a Scotsman. But why focus on a moment like this? Because those 5 minutes sum up one of my greatest weaknesses in life: the failure to use resolve unless directly challenged.

Why is it so difficult? Why does it take a lack of oxygen for my brain to wake up? Am I alone in this? Is Resolve a muscle? Do I need to focus on it at the gym? Whip it into shape? Maybe. I guess that’s why we’re here.

In the weekly email I asked you to come up with a long term goal. What’d you do? I signed up for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and paid for a year in advance. Another goal is this blog. Write for one whole year. To cement the commitment, I invited a group of close friends to follow along. Nothing keeps you honest like peer pressure and the risk of wasting money.

Some observations:

  • Find something that will help you build your resolve. I specifically focused on martial arts as a means to bring focus and discipline back in my life.
  • There’s a lot out there. Groupon is a fantastic place to start. Do something.
  • When I joined, I was surprised how many moms were in the Jiu Jitsu class. Don’t restrict yourself to what is expected or typical of your demographic. Experiment. Expand.
  • It felt good to share this blog with close friends. To be honest, I was nervous and embarrassed but forced myself to bite the bullet. Their surprising words of encouragement and support were heartfelt and motivating. It was a kind reward. Don’t be embarrassed to share with those closest to you. 
  • Don’t be your own obstacle. Sometimes, just getting there is a victory. I intently walked to the Jiu Jitsu school but then walked right passed it. About a block away I stopped, turned around and forced myself to go in and sign up.
  • It feels good to stand tall.

With this blog we’re choosing to change who we are and build a better life. This is not without setbacks. Last week I had a few failures. The key component missing in Order was Resolve. I’ll spare you the joy of finding an accountant – wahoo midlife excitement – but it felt great to get a win. As for legal stuff, I got yelled at for using LegalZoom. Apparently it’s much better to find an actual lawyer that deals in Estate Planning. Friendly tip, Family Law is a euphemism for Divorce Law. Made for an awkward phone call.

In the end, I’d love to hear your own thoughts below. Share your comments. It may help with your own process. It certainly helps me with mine. 


4 thoughts on “Resolution”

  1. I tend to be a “why do today what you can put off till tomorrow” kind of girl, so this one was tough for me. E.g. I purchased a Groupon for Bikram yoga, to go for the first time in 4 years… And waited until the date of expiration to attend and sign up for my month. But so far that’s what I like about the week-to-week virtues. You don’t have to fix yourself all at one time. Just do something toward that week’s goal. This week (frugality) I will NOT sign up for any expensive classes 😉 And sadly I’m not allowing myself on Amazon.

  2. On the topic of resolutions, I typically never make any solid ones over the New Year. This January, however, I said, “I want to read fifty books this year.” My wife (and mother of my three kids) said, “Oh yeah?” While I think personal hobbies commitments are a necessary part of life, I understood her point that they shouldn’t be made at the expense of other priorities. After thinking more about it, I changed my goal to 25 pages a day. Do-able, right? I just need to carve out that extra bit of time for me each day. After reading this week’s email, I began getting up an hour earlier in the AM to do what I said I would do. Granted, it has only been a few days, but hopefully I can continue to act with purpose and make this a habitual routine.

    1. Love it. And seems doable. Honestly, if you pick up a book each day it’s a victory. The pages will sort themselves out. One day you’ll read 50, another day you’ll fall asleep after 2. Only thing I’d offer is to schedule a cheat day (or weekend). These habits become pretty powerful. By planning a few cheat days, you avoid beating yourself up if you miss a day. Great stuff.

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