This is a timely post for me. Ben Franklin offers words of wisdom that could not have come at a better time. It is funny that the week, I was supposed to tackle INDUSTRY. I took the day off. Funny.
INDUSTRY — Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
LOSE NO TIME
Have you ever thought about time? You have just as much time as a millionaire. You have just as much time as a successful artist. You have just as much time as a hobo on the street. Time is the great equalizer. We all have 24 hours a day to get our work done. and then it is over. How is it then, that so many people seem to more out of their time than others? The answer is productivity, knowledge, money, technology, and leverage. The responsible person will trade all of these things for a more precious commodity of time.
You have all the time there is in the world. This will make your rich. Those who leverage their productivity, knowledge, money, and technology will no doubt be further ahead financially than those who do not. You gain time by increasing these other activities. Leverage money knowledge and technology to increase productivity, thus shrinking the time it takes to get things done. You gain time. You are free.
ALWAYS BE ENGAGED IN SOMETHING USEFUL
One of my favorite quotes is “All things are permitted. Not all things are beneficial.” What is beneficial to your narrative art comic book career? Ideally, the things that are actively making money, bettering your future, or helping others. All that other stuff is just fluff.
I took this last week off from blogging, because I was redirecting my energy to win this weight loss competition. Was that beneficial? Well, it earned me $50. It allowed me to get in really great shape, and hopefully, it will give me an new, renewed energy to keep posting, sharing, and helping. So, yes. I think it was very productive. The problem is it may not get me to my ultimate goal, which leads us to the last advice for Ben Franklin.
CUT OFF ALL UNNECESSARY ACTIONS
When you are trying to get somewhere, if anything gets in your way, you won’t get there. It you let yourself or any other obstacle get in your way, you won’t get there. If you keep piling things on your plate, you won’t focus on what is most important. You won’t get there.
People try to set goals, but I don’t think that is very useful. I like to visualize targets. They are shorter. More meaningful. and you can hit them quickly which gives you more momentum and more rewards.
By focusing on my weight loss, I abandoned other goals. Like, updating my blog everyday. Continuing to focus on things that aren’t getting me anywhere is pointless. I want to take direct actions to get exactly where I want to go.
Mark Twain said “I can show a man how to get everything he wants in life. I just can’t find a man who can tell me what he wants.” If you don’t know where you are going, you will never get there.
One of the ways you can start finding your target is to follow Ben Franklin’s advice and start cutting off everything that you know you don’t want. In the art world this is known as “subtractive” sculpturing. I don’t know if this story is true or not, but apparently Michaelangelo was asked how he makes such realistic sculptures. He said, “I start with a big, chunk of marble. I see what I want to make. And then I just take everything away that is not it.”
When you have a clear picture of where you want to go in your life, it is easy to take away the pieces that don’t fit. Many of us don’t have a clear picture. We only have a hazy fog in front of us and we are moving along in hopes that it may lead us somewhere. And then we’ll be content when we find it. Some of us never find it.
If this is you: Ask yourself what you really want in your life. Write some ideas down. Write what principles you want most in your life. Start pinpointing what you want to get out of your life. Then start subtracting everything in your life that you know will hinder that goal. Start adding things that will help it. Then revisit the process again, reevaluate to see if this is getting you closer to where you want to be.