Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues for the Next 45 Years

MathFourBon45Birthday_350I just turned 45 years old.

Like, 2 hours ago.

Some birthdays cause you more pause than others. This is one of those for me.

I’m feeling like I’m at the midpoint of my life. Age 50 should be the middle, right? But I can’t help but think I’m past half-way.

Will I live to be 90 years old?

Looks like there’s a 2/3 chance I’m over half-way to death. According to the Society of Actuaries’ life expectancy calculator, I have only about 1/3 chance of living to age 90.

I don’t know much about actuarial stuff. But I do know it’s based on averages. Which means about 2/3 of my same-aged peers will be dead in 45 years.

Two out of three of us won’t be around.

Goodness!

What should I do with the second half of my life?

I want to do a better job on the last half of my life.

Which means it’s time again for a manifesto – thing time a personal one.

Of course this one’s off the cuff. It’s almost 4am. I’m brand new to being 45 and half dead. So it should be interesting.

My birthday buddy suggested I look at Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues, so I based my next 45 years manifesto on that. (My 13th is based on Franklin’s actual 12 virtues.)

I’ve taken care to make each one actionable AND measurable so they can be more easily assessed. And easier to do.

For the next 45 years, I will…

  1. Track energy input and output; keep a food and exercise journal.
  2. Pause .5 seconds between sentences; leave time to decide to not say negative things.
  3. Remove one item of clutter each time I leave a space.
  4. Make a daily “will do” list and assess its completion each evening.
  5. Make a “daily waste” list of lost time and money.
  6. Pause after each 15 minutes of work to evaluate effectiveness and stay on track.
  7. Begin each personal engagement with the thought, “This person has loves, fears, accomplishments and regrets, just like I do.”
  8. When impressed with another’s actions or appearance, say it out loud.
  9. When angry, say it out loud.
  10. Make my bed every morning and clean one personal area each evening.
  11. Write down things that annoy me; announce their minority.
  12. Look at my body in the mirror for 30 seconds each day.
  13. Qualify my opinions and thoughts so as to not be attributed with something that isn’t mine.

And it’s all numbers.

I have 13 focuses. I have 45 years gone and 45 to go. I’m going to be 1/3 of my peers to make it to 90.

And that’s math!

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