Posted by: nmontague | January 27, 2011

Virtue list – Industry

I mentioned before how I was looking at Ben Franklin’s list of virtues he would work on every week. I thought it was a good idea and I wanted to try it in my own life with virtues I wanted to develop. I did it for a while and then fell out of habit. However, with the start of the new year I’ve come up with a list of virtues I want to practice and basically put 1 on every week of my 2011 weekly planner. I have a total of 13 virtues, so I should go through every virtue 4 times this year (except 2 since i started 2 weeks late). I think this will be a good thing for me to work on in the long run and I am hoping that I can get alot out of this time around.

This week’s virtue is Industry. I felt like I had a good idea what Industry was, but as I’ve thought about it this week, I realized I don’t know as much as I thought I did. While I was driving home from work the other day, I was pondering industry and thrift. (Thrift was last week’s virtue. Personally I think I failed miserably at it, but then that’s the entire point of this exercise. Develop something each week and get better). I was particularly focused on the relationship between thrift and industry. Usually I think of Industry as focused more on hard work. But I realized while I was thinking that while thrift focuses on using our finances carefully, industry has to do much with using our time wisely. I had never thought of industry this way and I realized that this opens up alot more areas to this virtue. Because quite frankly, I don’t use my time wisely.

I think it was either that evening, or the next day, I looked up Mr. Franklin’s virtue list because he has industry on his list as well. His goals for Industry were:

  • “Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
  • Again, it hit upon industry in a way I didn’t think about before.

    So it seems to me that Industry requires hard work. A strong work ethic. But it’s also about just using our time wisely. Getting rid of things in our life that are unnecessary and spending our time doing things that are good and useful.

    I wanted to share what I’ve learned, because I am convinced that if we want to solve the problems we have in this nation, in this world, we have to start by focusing on building virtues, or also what I’d like to call “Christ-like” attributes. The Gospel shows us a way to live to help bless our lives and the lives of others.

    Now if only doing these things was as easy as learning about them, this world would be a much better place. I don’t think we’d have any economic problems if we all practiced industry well.


    1. Develop a list of attributes you wish to develop this year. Seek God’s help in this process. And then dedicate every week of the year for a specific attribute, focusing on that one. Customize this list to your personal desires and weaknesses.

    2. Work on a plan to use your time more wisely.

    3. Develop a strong work ethic and a love for it.


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