What Would Benjamin Franklin Say?

How can I apply what Benjamin Franklin said?

Ever since the days of the founding of our country in 1776, Benjamin Franklin has been credited with expressing several wise sayings. One of which was:

an educated man should know something about everything, and everything about something”.

What he was saying was, take an inventory of yourself, ask yourself, what am I good at, what do I enjoy doing, when you understand that, focus on that area of your life.

Sadly over the years the saying has morphed into these words: “jack of all trades, master of none”.

As you can see, these two sayings are altogether different. The first carries with it an awareness of direction, of learning of success. When Franklin said this, he was promoting the idea that a man or woman should find an area of life that he could channel his or her life into so as to be successful in his life’s endeavors.

Ask any successful individual about their work, most will say they enjoy what they are doing. The long hours and the sacrifices they have made, to them it was all worth it. What they have done was apply the natural law that Benjamin Franklin spoke about back in the late 1700s:

an educated man should know something about everything, and everything about something”.

These men or women gained a broad understanding about everything, but at the same time, focused on one area and made it the very thing they wanted to know everything about. It became their everything about something! This then became the vehicle they used to bring about their success.

This brings up an interesting question, what is the something you are focused on? Remember anything of value requires work, just ask a craftsman about a cabinet he just made, a writer about a book he just wrote, a doctor about the successful operation he just preformed, you get the idea. Don’t go through life just taking up space, set goals, if this means additional schooling find a way to get the education you may need and don’t look at the cost as an expense, see it as an investment in your life’s goals, the very purpose God placed you on earth for.

For those of us that have hobbies, we probably know more about our hobbies than we do about our work. The reason being, we enjoy the time spent working on the hobbies, and we in most cases have more money invested in the hobbies than we would want anyone to know about.

You who are reading this may ask yourself these questions; am I too old, do I have the time needed to succeed, what will I need as far as capital or time? The answer lies in a question that is as old as time itself: “how do I eat an elephant “? And the answer is … one bit at a time!

Several years ago, I read a story about an old woman. She was called grandma Moses. At age 83 or 86, I forget which, she began to paint. Her paintings have sold in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. When asked why she waited so long, her answer was: “she was told she did not have the natural ability or training to paint” and she went on to say: “because painting was something I always wanted to do, I set aside what other people said and I painted.”

Do not let others determine what you will do with the gift God has endowed you with; pray and ask God what He has created you for. Remember, we are all different. Don’t let the school systems or family or friends mold you into just another government servant. Investigate your potential and then remember how to eat an elephant! One bit at a time.

God has gifted each one of us in different ways. If you and I were identical, one of us is unnecessary. So spend a little time each day, pray and ask God to show you how He has gifted you, then explore that gift and remember like grandma Moses, you are never too old to start.

There is an old saying: “where there is a will, there is a way”, … you think about that!


Les Asrouch