Motivation To Last a Lifetime: Learning from the Ingenuity of Benjamin Franklin

An old article in Newsweek titled “Advice to a (Bored) Young Man” sheds light on the life of one individual whose life was one of exploration and discovery.

Many people reading this page are doing so with the aid of bifocals. Inventor? Benjamin Franklin, age 79.

The presses that printed this page were powered by electricity. One of the first harnessers? B. Franklin, age 40.

Some are reading this on the campus of one of the Ivy League universities. Founder? B. Franklin, age 45.

Others, in a library. Who founded the first library in America? B. Franklin, age 25.

Who started the first fire department? B. Franklin, age 31.

Who invented the lightning rod? B. Franklin, age 43.

Who designed a heating stove still in use today? B. Franklin, age 36.

Wit. Conversationalist. Economist. Philosopher. Diplomat. Printer. Publisher. Linguist (he spoke and wrote five languages). Advocate of paratroopers (from balloons) a century before the airplane was invented. All this until age 84. And he had exactly two years of formal schooling. It’s a good bet that you already have more sheer knowledge than

Franklin ever had when he was your age. Perhaps you think there’s no use trying to think of anything new, that everything’s been done.

Wrong…. Go do something about it.

-Ted Engstrom, Motivation to Last a Lifetime.

Source: Charles R. Swindoll. Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007.


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