Ecopsychology image

Are you addicted to your smartphone?

Do you compulsively check your email daily?

Do you scroll through your newsfeed every spare second you get?

How do you think this might be impacting your stress levels? While spending extensive amounts of time online and on your phone might feel great in the short term, compulsive tech habits can fuel anxiety and stress.

Here are some of the reasons why you should seriously consider undergoing a digital Breakdown:

1. You will be in tune with what’s around you. 

When we’re plugged into our devices, it’s easy to live every day in a digital box and not even recognize what’s around us. I won’t go as far as saying that phones and other gadgets turn us into zombies, but we let the beauty of everyday life pass us by and we are not really present when we become overly reliant on them. We fail to take in the smells, sights, and sounds of life because we are too preoccupied with watching the next episode of a show and we just HAVE to know what Tiffany posted on Instagram this morning.

 2 . Better Conversations.

Hashtags and viral videos are not real forms of conversation. I’m talking about sharing your perspective with someone, them giving you theirs, facilitating a deep exchange and learning through face to face interaction, These are the deep conversations that occur when we’re not so plugged in. In the world where answers and points of views are so often influenced by others, unplugging forces YOU to really think about issues and the goings-on of the world and share YOUR ideas.

3. New Mindset.

It’s amazing the changes that occur in people’s lives when they unplug for a while. You will probably find yourself getting back into some of those great things that you used to do like your gym routine. Because you’re not constantly distracted, you will be able to use this time to focus and take care of the things that need to be taken care of. You may find yourself using this offline time to refresh relationships, make career changes, and try other things that usually ranked lower on your priority list than Netflix and Instagram.

4. Memory enhancement.

How many of you know 3 phone numbers off the top of your head? Yeah… I thought so. We are so dependent on our devices to store all of our information that we don’t even realize how we’re negatively affecting our minds. I think of the good old days when I could remember everybody’s number- now that’s down to my parents’ and my sister’s. Apart from phone numbers, unplugging aids us to be a lot more present in interactions, therefore making it easier to remember even the most obscure details about people and things.This is extremely important because those, “Wow, I can’t believe you even remember that” moments are usually accompanied by laughter and stories that aid in the bonding and learning the process.

5. Happier and healthier.

We all know that tech-driven anxiety, that fear of missing out on the latest event, conversation, product or content posting. It can lead to internet addiction (yes, it’s a thing) and unnecessary stress. When you unplug, it allows you to put things into perspective and focus on what’s important in your life. You will start to have better relationships, be healthier, and happier. There have been countless cases and studies that demonstrate nothing but positives when it comes to taking a tech break. Unplug for a while and start seeing positive changes in your life!

There’s much more than just these 5 points, but these are the ones that really hit me when I took a 3-month tech hiatus. All of these things manifested themselves almost instantly and got me thinking about what’s really important. I am plugged in pretty regularly because of business reasons and also to be aware of what’s going on in our world. That’s the beauty of tech devices, they bring the world right to you. If your morning ritual involves checking all your social networks and then rechecking them two minutes after, you may be in need of a digital BREAKDOWN.

Happy Blogging !!

Please feel free to drop comments !!



The restaurant manager who speaks with poise and grace to the patron complaining loudly about the wait service. The levelheaded friend you call in your greatest times of need. The compassionate but composed rescue worker who aids victims after a natural catastrophe. The partner who angers rarely, forgives easily, and assumes accountability for their actions. The successful CEO who balances her profession, her family responsibilities, and her personal hobbies with equal measures of calm and confidence.

What do these people have in common?

In two words: Emotional Intelligence. A relatively new trend in the realm of pop culture and psychology today, Emotional Intelligence — or EQ — has existed since the beginning of time. According to Psychology Today, the preeminent site for mental health education and information, Emotional Intelligence is defined as an aptitude for identifying and managing emotions, and the emotions of others. It consists of three primary skills: the ability to analyze interior emotions and the feelings of those around them, the capacity to apply emotions to tasks, and the facility to take control of emotions — whether it’s managing their own before they veer out of control, or having the strength and capability to make another person smile, settle down, or handle a situation appropriately.

Those with high Emotional “IQs” have been proven to enjoy more prosperity in life. Whether they’re in a social or professional environment, they thrive. Studies demonstrate they have fewer mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. Their personal lives aren’t train wrecks, precisely because they’re lived from the point of thoughtful — and meaningful — decisions. They outperform others, excel at their jobs, are happy in their relationships, and consistently work towards attaining positive results in all aspects of life. So, the question is, what don’t they do?

Here are 7 things emotionally intelligent people, as a rule, avoid:

1. They don’t get caught up in other people’s drama.

One of the hallmarks of Emotional Intelligence is empathy, and those with high EQs extend it to everyone they cross. But there’s an enormous difference between displaying empathy towards a friend or loved one and allowing another person’s rage or misery to incense, dominate, or merely influence one’s well-being. Think of the histrionic behavior of your co-worker who is “distraught” not because she’s going through a break-up but because her friend is. Or that cousin of yours who, instead of focusing on her individual personal crises, purposefully seeks out people who are distressed so that her problems disappear via distraction — a habit so ingrained she can’t seem to address her the complications in her own life.

Emotionally intelligent people, on the other hand, listen carefully, provide gentle, loving, but authoritative advice, and offer assistance. But they don’t permit others’ lives and reactions to rule their own.

2. They don’t complain.

Whining and grumbling implies two things — one, that we are victims, and two, there are no solutions to our problems. Rarely does an emotionally intelligent person feel victimized, and even more infrequently does an emotionally intelligent person feel that a solution is beyond their grasp. Instead of looking for someone or something to blame, they immediately think of how to constructively address the dilemma. They also know that their complaints influence the emotional responses of those around them, and instead search for ways to bemoan the dissolution of a relationship or a disappointment with a friend in private, effective ways — whether it’s taking a yoga class, meditating alone at a park, or simply getting their feelings out on the page.

3. They don’t always say yes — to others and themselves.

Like empathy, self-control and conviction are sure signs of an emotionally solid person. Emotionally intelligent people are well-aware that a second glass of wine will lead to negative consequences the next morning, just as they know that an invitation to go on a spontaneous weekend rendezvous will detract them from fulfilling their preexisting commitments. They are definitive about their decisions, rather than saying “I don’t know, maybe?” or “Perhaps I’ll skip the gym today,” which invites doubt — and with that, heightened anxiety, even depression.

The more often emotionally intelligent people exercise their right to say no, and the more frequently they rely on their willpower, the freer they are to concentrate on their ambitions and overall well-being.

4. They don’t gossip.

Emotionally acute people sidestep gossip as determinedly as they skirt drama. To involve themselves in scandalous talk, they know, is to shame another for a supposed error — and an emotionally intelligent person understands that all humans are equally deserving, and that what others might perceive as a mistake is an opportunity for improvement.

5. They don’t count on others for happiness or confidence.

Emotionally intelligent people are self-sufficient in all manners of life, including their contentment and peace of mind. They have learned that to bank on someone else making them feel joyful or worthy is to put themselves at risk for disappointment and hopelessness. Rather, they take their emotions in their own hands and find hobbies that delight them, strive for achievements that will lead to a sense of self-worth, and search within for love and acceptance.

6. They don’t engage in negative self-talk.

While few of us are entirely immune to thinking (or saying) pessimistic statements that begin with “I” (“I’m unattractive,” “I should have done better,” “I’m pathetic”), emotionally intelligent have the ability to curb cynical thoughts before they fall down the proverbial rabbit hole. Instead, they rely on facts to come to conclusions. For some, it’s a mere glance at their experience and accomplishments outlined on their CVs; for others, it’s the appearance of a clean and organized house, or an internal analysis of what they’ve done right.

After all, emotionally intelligent people acknowledge that negative thoughts are just that — thoughts — just as they recognize that the derogatory interior voices they hear are theirs to turn down, tune out, or silence completely.

7. They don’t dwell on the past.

People who exist more in their past than in their present are susceptible to a barrage of mental and spiritual grievances, from regret and nostalgia to agitation and trepidation. Emotionally intelligent people honor their pasts — the people they have loved, the mistakes they have made, the opportunities they’ve eschewed — but are mindful of the importance of living squarely in the here and now.

By learning from the past (instead of dwelling on it), the emotionally intelligent have the power to inform their present — without diminishing their ability to advance or harness three of the most vital emotions of all: Self-satisfaction, gratitude, and hope.

Happy Blogging!!

Please feel free to drop your comments !!


Before Mark Zuckerberg thought of Facebook, we were still connecting with our family and friends. Before the era of social media, life was lived, the sky was still blue, and the sun still shone. If you break up with social media, the moon will not fall down, the sun will not stop shining, every blade of grass will still be different and every snowflake will still be unique, but here are 8 things that will happen if you break up with social media.


1. You will be happier and more content with life.

In the virtual reality of social media, it’s very easy to compare your life with your colleagues and belittle yourself. We want to be like the other person, we like how their body looks, we love the things they have, life seems to be going forward for them while our life seems to be at a standstill. They got that dream job while we are still jobless. They visited the country on our bucket list. They got married and had a beautiful baby and our life pales in comparison.

On social media, everyone posts their nicest pictures and best moments. It is highly unlikely that anyone is going to put their bad moments on display for all to see. If someone travels around the world on holidays, there will probably be a picture of it on social media, but if their landlord should kick them out for not paying rent, they probably won’t mention it online. So, why compare your life to the virtual life you see on social media and feel miserable? It’s like comparing your worst moments with everyone else’s best. Breaking up with social media will make you happier and more content with your life. There will not only be no more pictures and posts to compare your life to, but you will realize that your life is not actually so bad.

2. You will be more productive.

You will suddenly realize that a lot can be done instead of scrolling up and down on social media. You will find ways to make your dreams more real. Have you always wanted to learn a new language or play the piano or guitar? Instead of wasting time on social media, you can actually invest that time into your dreams and watch them become reality. At work, you can get a lot done instead of peeping on your phone every now and then. It can be very easy to deceive yourself by trying to limit your social media use, but how many times has a planned 15 minutes on social media turned into 2 hours? You don’t fight temptation, you avoid it.

3. You will be grateful for your life.

Breaking up with social media will let you see the reality of the world. You will be more grateful for your life instead of being jealous and envious of the lives of others on social media. You will realize that your life is awesome, that you don’t need to let the ten things you don’t have that your social media friend does have prevented you from giving thanks for how lucky you’ve been in life.

If you have food, clothing, and a roof over your head, you are richer than 75% of the people in the world today. If you have savings in the bank, you are in the top 8% of the world’s wealthy today. If you woke up this morning with your health, you are more blessed than the 1 million people who will not survive this week. If you have not experienced the pain of starvation, you are more fortunate than 500 million people in the world today.

When you log out of social media and log into life, it will not be long for you to realize that what you have now and are taking for granted is someone’s prayer request. Whilst you envy your friend’s Ferrari on social media, someone is busily praying and fasting for your Toyota.

4. You will have an improved relationship with your family and friends.

Social media claims to be connecting you with your family and friends, but is it really? How often have you found yourself on social media while the real people around you go unnoticed? How often do you catch yourself scrolling up and down on social media instead of talking to the human next to you? Social media may claim to connect you with family and friends, but in reality it disconnects you from them. When you break up with social media, you will realize that calling, talking, and having dates without social media interruption is a great way to bond and connect with your family and friends.

5. You will see how beautiful the world is.

I bet you think you have seen enough of the world to appreciate its beauty. But, if you can put your phone in your pocket and not distract yourself with notifications, it won’t be long before you see that birds are not always white, some are actually pink. We are only here for a very limited time. Instead of spending most of that time on social media, we can spend it visiting the beach, the forest, and appreciating nature. At least then, if we die and go to the next world and we are asked how the earth looks, we can tell about how beautiful it really is.

6. You will be innovative.

When you are constantly distracted with social media, your brain is shut to real life issues and you become less innovative. When you break up with social media, you will be become more innovative and improve your life. Perhaps you need more money, but merely wishing for it doesn’t earn you any extra cash. If you drop the phone and stop distracting yourself with social media, an idea on how to earn that money might come to you.

7. You will be smarter and wiser.

When you log out of social media and log in to real life, you will spend your time wisely on useful things, like books and great websites that actually improve your life and enrich you with knowledge to make you a better person. You can find the time and exercise instead of perusing social media and complaining about how you never find the time to hit the gym. That time spent on Facebook could have been used on a great workout. Whilst others are wasting their lives on social media, you will be reading a life-changing book, hitting the gym, being innovative, and making your dreams come true.

8. Your future self will be grateful.

The future is not bright until you deliberately polish it today. If you do not give up unhealthy habits that get you nowhere, your future is going to be full of regrets about the things you could have done and didn’t do simply because you were too busy on social media. If you give up social media today and invest the time into your dreams, your future self will be happy that you had the time to learn Spanish, play the piano, to start that business or write that book.



Jeyta (Twitter: Jeyta_Paul)

Shubhankar Kumar (Twitter: Shubhankar_me)

Happy Blogging!!


Most people think that perfectionists have life figured out: They set high standards, they work hard, and they reap the rewards. However, perfectionists know that life with strict, self-imposed goals is far from easy. Still, no matter how many times we hear that perfection is unattainable, we will never stop chasing excellence — even if that means we have to endure a lifetime of the following issues too familiar to perfectionists.

1. We Are Not the Same as Overachievers

Perfectionists and overachievers share a lot of the same symptoms, but they truly aren’t the same neurosis. Both groups set similarly high goals, but overachievers generally are satisfied with any degree of success, while perfectionists must attain perfection, or we experience the regret, guilt, and unending stress of failure. As a result, we often procrastinate, trying to delay inevitable disappointment even as we are pushed forward due to fear of inaction.

2. We Won’t Be Caught Dead in Asymmetrical Clothing

One-sleeves, one-slits, high-low skirts, and other lopsided fashion trends aren’t daring — they are dreadful. Designers should know by now thatsymmetry is the essence of beauty. Striving to be asymmetrical is like trying to be ugly, and we perfectionists simply cannot stand being less than flawless.

3. We Can’t Watch Movies Without Pointing Out Errors

Just try to take one of us to the movie theater, and you’ll be thrown out 30 minutes later for all the talking we do. Even though directors tend to be perfectionists themselves, most movies contain a heaping handful of continuity mistakes and other issues that always make us cringe. Movies shot on-location tend to be worst of all because weather issues can cause obvious delays and differences, and sometimes location landmarks in the wrong city can be totally visible. Still, we’ll go to the movies as long as you don’t mind us gasping and pointing — and if you buy us popcorn with precisely distributed butter topping.

4. We Always Arrive Precisely When We Mean To

We might drag our feet when we have projects to turn in, but if an invitation says 9 p.m., you can expect us to be there at 8:30 at the latest. Perfectionists do not know the meaning of “fashionably late,” and to us, “on time” is definitely “absurdly early” to other people. As an aside, if ever you have the fortune of being invited to a perfectionist’s party — a rare occurrence, considering the energy and expense of excellent extravaganzas — your host will be affronted if you appear any later than she would.

5. We Have to Apologize for Saying We’re Sorry

Because we are plagued by guilt and feelings of inadequacy, perfectionists have a bad habit of apologizing for anything and everything. Even worse, we usually don’t feel that our apologies are perfect, so we have to apologize for that, too. It’s a never-ending cycle, and we’re sorry about it.

6. We Will Always Miss Being in School

Whenever someone says they hated school, we whimper. School is a perfectionist’s playground, with all sorts of authority figures just waiting to provide praise. The structure of school makes sense to perfectionists: Work hard, get rewarded. Unfortunately, success in the real world is not as obvious or easy to achieve.

7. We Don’t Take Teasing Lightly

Criticism is hard for perfectionists to take, even when it is well-intentioned. Most perfectionists see negative reviews as personal attacks, and instead of rising to the challenge, we get beaten down and depressed. Thus, when friends or allies tease us or make fun in any way, we have a hard time reacting properly to the joke. Instead of witty repartee, we perfectionists prefer artful puns, which usually do not send us into self-loathing.

8. We Hate Opening Up

Perfectionists hate flaws — especially their own. We have a hard time being vulnerable because it forces us to expose our flaws to other people. Many of our closest loved ones might assume they know us, but usually, we have only shown them our strongest face, revealing nothing of the insecurities below.

9. We Don’t See Our Own Success

Despite perfectionists’ appearance of control and confidence, we are usually absolutely crippled by uncertainty and self-doubt. Though you may think we found success, our low self-esteem tells us that what we have now will never be enough.

10. We Need You to Stick Around

For all of these reasons and more, perfectionists need loved ones in our lives to tell us when we are being crazy. When we screech at your unbalanced outfits, when we squeal in the middle of movies, and when we cry for days after coming in second place, we need you by our sides for comfort and support.


Jeyta (Twitter: Jeyta_Paul)

Shubhankar Kumar (Twitter: Shubhankar_me)

Happy Blogging !!


There has never been a better time to conserve your resources than now. We live in a technological age when things are not only meant to be faster and easier, but also cheaper. For entrepreneurs who are forward thinkers, saving money for their businesses should be a priority. Certainly tapping into certain tools to save money for your business will help your business run more smoothly without you always looking over its shoulder in terms of finances. Here are five types of tools to save money for your business.

1. Mobile payment systems

Evolving from the good old days, mobile payment systems have become more reliable for businesses to tap into. Yes, you can find such technology in small boutique shops to restaurant chains. With payment tools likeIntuit’s GoPayment, payment has become more flexible for the customer and more cost incentive for the business owner, who can use this cash register system to accept payments through nearly any smartphone. With this payment tool, your business can travel easier and can effortlessly take payments for your goods and services.

2. Cloud-based groupware


If you want to be more enterprise-focused but don’t want to pay for an Exchange server, cloud-based groupware could be the answer for your business. You may also want to go beyond just getting by with the standard Gmail and Drive. For your groupware needs, you could try Zoho and Google. Zoho offers several tools on its platform that can help you expand your business in a number of ways. Cloud-based groupware could be one valuable tool that does not drain your company budget.

3. Website builders

Website Under Construction

Having capable hands to help build your website could be beneficial to your business. It’s wiser to make use of website builders instead of relying on website design companies. The truth is that you have to consider the ranking of your website, cost, and efficacy when you are thinking of building a website. This is why it is important to be meticulous in your choice of who you hire to take charge of building your website.

4. Crowd sourcing

You may call it amateurish or undependable but you will be amazed at how many individuals and companies are using this tool to achieve their cost effective goals of funding their projects. Crowd funding or crowd sourcing can be a very helpful tool in helping to get your business off the ground and expanding on other projects for your organization. Crowd funding can be achieved through channels like Fundable and Kickstarter. If you are a business owner, you can use this unconventional medium to get your business off the ground and save on using the more traditional approaches to getting funding for your business.

5. Linux and Open Source


What Linux and Open Source have been able to accomplish during the past couple of years is to establish a more concrete business interaction between customers and hardware. It has been able to prove that more can be done with a user interface rather than the traditional process of simply a Start button or a task bar symbol. Linux and open source are actually business-ready platforms that prove that businesses can work with tools like human resource management, customer resource management, and other similar resources. Otherwise, such resources might not be accessible to business owners. By helping businesses attain more and save more money, the Linux server or the desktop has proven to be a valuable tool for businesses.

Although not all these tools can prove beneficial for your business, you should understand that there are many tools out there that are not only applicable to your business but can help you save more money and work more efficiently.


Jeyta (Twitter: Jeyta_Paul)

Shubhankar Kumar (Twitter: Shubhankar_me)

Happy Blogging !!


Introverts often get a bad reputation in the workplace: they’re deemed quiet and inward focused, even too shy. While it might be true that they love their solo time, introverts aren’t necessarily shy and, in fact, they make excellent group leaders in certain situations. For example, introverts are better managers than extroverts when working with self-motivated teams, according to research. That’s because introverts tend to be great listeners, allowing them to hear and encourage more good ideas from the team.



Jeyta (Twitter: Jeyta_Paul)

Shubhankar Kumar (Twitter: Shubhankar_me)

Happy Blogging!!!



If you are looking for ways to simplify your life, increase your productivity, and make a larger impact on the world around you, I suggest you study the life and work of Ben Franklin, the most influential American of the Revolutionary days. I recently read his autobiography and discovered that Franklin was a curious character: a true Renaissance man, single-handedly revolutionizing the colonies through his work. A printer by profession, Franklin founded the first nationwide newsletter, Poor Richard’s Almanack, and used it as a medium to spread practical and moral advice through the colonies. He also made fundamental contributions to the earliest civil departments in the soon-to-be-independent colonies. As an amateur scientist, he also discovered new approaches in 18th-century physics and meteorology. We could go on and on – the list of his accomplishments and awards would fill 20 pages.

The manner in which Franklin lived is remarkably simple. He lays it out in his autobiography. Here are 7 key takeaways from how he was able to create such a vast impact on the course of US history in just one lifetime.

(1) Develop A Plan For Your Life – And Write It Down

Franklin describes how, during a transatlantic ship journey he took in his early twenties, he wrote down a plan for his entire life. Towards the end of his life, he rediscovered this plan in one of his journals, and was astonished at how closely his life course fit with his early plan for it – even though he was not purposefully carrying the plan out.

This overarching plan gave Franklin a sense for the overall direction of his life. He took to implementing it. You can do the same with a written plan for what you want to do with your life. You can consider what you want to have, who you want to be around, where you want to go, and what you want to do with your life. Write out 5 central plans for each of these. Now, save the paper you have written it on, or record it online, then later in life you can review this to see how you are progressing.

(2) Build A Consistent Day-to-Day Schedule

Franklin planned out his schedule for the 6 working days of each week and maintained it for the majority of his working life. This allowed him to adjust to a routine. His detailed schedule included time for organizing, accounting, and leisure. Notice how simple the plan is. It only includes 6 actual working hours, yet Franklin was able to use this to great effect in his life. Also note the hour he devoted to organizing his space each day, and the questions he asked himself each morning and evening.

5: Rise, wash.
6: Powerful goodness! The morning. Morning prayer and plan for the day. [He asks himself], “What good business shall I do today?”
7: Study, and breakfast.
8-12: Work.
12-2: Read or overlook accounts, and dine.
2-4: Work.
4-6: Evening rest.
6: Put things in their places, ie: cleaning and organizing
7: Reflect on the day with the question: “What good have I done today?”
8: Supper, music, or diversion, or conversation
9: Examination of the day
10: Sleep

There is a saying: take care of your routine, and your routine will take care of you. Franklin did this and he notes it was a crucial element of his success.

(3) Generate A List Of Principles On Which To Base Your Life

Our life principles are like an operating system for our behavior. They govern how we run our lives. Franklin was quite explicit in determining how he lived his life. The short version is that he inspired to follow Jesus and Socrates. The longer version of his principles, as outlined in his autobiography:

“Temperance – avoiding eating so much as to dull the senses, and drinking not to elevation
Silence – speaking only when it is of benefit to self or others, and avoiding far-flung conversation
Order – letting all things have their places, and giving each part of one’s business its due time
Resolution – resolving to perform one’s duty, and performing without fail what you resolved to do
Frugality – waste nothing, and make no expense but what is beneficial to oneself and others
Industry – not wasting time, always being employed in something useful, and cutting off all unnecessary actions
Sincerity – making no hurtful deceit, thinking innocently and justly, and speaking accordingly
Justice – wrong no one by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are one’s duty
Moderation – avoid extremes, forbear resenting injury, so much as you think they deserve
Cleanliness – tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation
Tranquility – be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable
Imitate Jesus and Socrates”

If you generate a similar list of principles on which you operate – and write it down – you will have a guide on which to base your actions in the world. You may deviate from it at times, as all humans do, but having the principles set in ink, or memorialized on a computer, will give you a clear reference point for how to carry yourself.

(4) Focus On Solving Problems That Surround You

Benjamin Franklin was able to build massive influence and create a lasting impression in human affairs, yet in his autobiography he never indicates if he had great aspirations. Instead, he simply focused on solving the immediate problems surrounding him.

The first problem he had as a young independent man who had just arrived in Philadelphia was creating a stable income. He solved this problem by inquiring with local printers, then using his expertise with books to get an entry-level job as printer’s apprentice. He slowly worked his way up and established his own printer’s shop, all the while actively engaging in commercial printing activities such as his Poor Richard’s Almanack. By the middle of his life, he says he built up sufficient wealth, enough to live on comfortably for the remainder of his life.

During this time, he also devoted himself to solving problems he encountered in Philadelphia and the colonies. He found that Philadelphia lacked a professional security force. The growing city was experiencing a nighttime crime problem and the security officers were unable to keep up with it. So, Franklin persuaded shopkeepers of the city to contribute a monthly fund to pay the salary of a more professional and organized security department, effectively an early version of the Philadelphia Police Department.

Another problem Franklin noticed and set out to solve was when he found that dust from the streets of Philadelphia blew into the shops, making them dirty and unwelcoming. He began to look for a solution, and one day noticed an older lady who developed an efficient method for sweeping a nearby street, utilizing the gutter system. Franklin took this idea and implemented a systematic method for removing clutter from the streets, involving repaved roads, strategically designed gutters, and a garbage disposal department. Again, he was able to raise the money for this from local shopkeepers, whose business would benefit from a tidier city.

Franklin also developed a number of other solutions to problems facing his surrounding citizens and the colonies-at-large, including introducing a fire department, a new stove system, and the academy that would eventually become the University of Pennsylvania.

What was the key to all of these creations of Franklin’s? Again, he focused on the problems directly around him and set out to develop solutions for them. Many of these solutions later became introduced on a broader scale in the young American nation.

(5) Don’t Limit Yourself To One Role

“Specialization Is For Insects”

Franklin is renowned for his skills as a printer, inventor, and statesman; however, he never saw himself as fitting into any one role. He instead developed a wide range of interests and worked in these as a devoted amateur. His amateur status did not hold him back, though. Instead, he saw every area he studied with fresh eyes.

This amateur status actually aided his inventive capacity. He was less constrained by the reigning ideas of the time, so he was better positioned to introduce radical new ways of thinking about the world, whether in society or natural law. One example of this was his well-known discovery surrounding lightning and electricity. At his time, electricity was seen as more of a curiosity or matter of entertainment at science shows, rather than a matter for serious inquiry.

Franklin; however, wasn’t satisfied with the explanation of electricity he was given by a physicist at a Boston exhibition. He thus devoted himself almost entirely to the study of electricity for a period of years. He ultimately discovered the connection between lightning and electricity, as well as the concept of positive and negative charge. Franklin’s fresh approach to electricity – and many other areas of science – were not possible for someone in the established scientific establishment.

It may be somewhat more difficult for an amateur to make radical new discoveries in this highly specialized age, but Franklin’s model of being an amateur thinker in a wide variety of areas still works.

(6) Look After Yourself First

It may sound radical, but Franklin’s life shows us that we are better equipped to be productive and impactful if we take care of ourselves first. Frankin’s first mission after leaving home at 17 was to build his personal financial independence. He went to work as a printer’s apprentice, and at the age of 24 began his own printing shop. He focused this early period on developing his business prowess, and at a relatively young age gained the financial independence that allowed him to work freely on whatever he wanted to.

As Franklin put it: just as an empty potato sack cannot stand upright, so a person who lives in poverty cannot live virtuously.

(7) Disagree, But Don’t Be Disagreeable

Franklin developed a personal ambiance that served him well, even when dealing with personal or national enemies. He notes in his autobiography that, during the days leading up to the Revolution, he encountered an envoy from Britain on the streets of Boston. Even though they disagreed about the basic policies regarding the American colonies, Franklin, and the envoy still enjoyed a friendly walk, dinner, and conversation over wine.

This habit helped Franklin in negotiations with the British, and later gained Franklin a position as ambassador to France, where he was widely loved by the people of Paris.

If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating historical character, I encourage you to read his autobiography. It is full of anecdotes and tidbits about life in the American colonies in the 18th century, as seen through the lenses of this down-to-Earth yet larger-than-life man.

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