Benjamin Franklin may be best known today for being pictured on the $100 bill. Derivatives of his name are the vernacular for that denomination of currency. While everyone would like to have another $100 bill, Ben Franklin offers us a lot more than that.
He was known as a “universal person.” This denotes someone who has achieved a high level of success and expertise in many areas. In addition to being a statesman and one of the founders of the United States, Franklin was an inventor, businessman, writer, publisher, diplomat, philosopher, and much more. He had a very long, vigorous, and productive life.
He was fond of saying, “Most people die at 25 and are buried at 75.” I believe we remain youthful and vigorous as long as we believe and act as if our best days are ahead. I have known many people well into their 90s such as Paul Harvey, Art Linkletter, and Coach John Wooden who were still seeking new horizons and emerging challenges. As they approached a century of life, they weren’t just reflecting on their past success. They were striving for new achievements.
Benjamin Franklin was not only a big-picture visionary, but he was a meticulously detail-oriented professional. He was fond of repeating the old military wisdom, “For want of a nail, the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe, the horse was lost. For want of a horse, the rider was lost. For want of a rider, the battle was lost. For want of a battle, the war was lost. For want of the war, the kingdom was lost. All for the want of a nail.”
This type of thinking made it possible for Benjamin Franklin to visualize break-through inventions and technologies while maintaining the focus and attention to detail needed to make them a reality.
I read many biographies of people I admire, and I’m always intrigued by the success people achieve that they are not primarily known for. Arnold Palmer, the championship golfer, was a pioneer in private and corporate aviation. Ted Williams, the All-Star baseball player, was a champion fly fisherman. The great comedian Red Skelton produced more acclaim and financial success with his paintings than his comedy. The skills it takes to be successful in one arena don’t always apply to another, but the success principles are universal and can bring you everything you want in any field of endeavor.
The next time you reach for your wallet, think of old Ben Franklin, and consider the world of possibilities.
As you go through your day today, remember the words, life, and legacy of Benjamin Franklin.
Today’s the day!
Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached by email at Jim@JimStovall.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jimstovallauthor; or follow Jim on Twitter @StovallAuthor.