Recommendations from this article: Ben Franklin Memoirs (free e-book), Ted Talk (free video on meditations), Brain Pickings (Free Article on Ben Franklin and Happiness)


 

ben franklin memoirsBen franklin, the enigmatic and true renaissance man, not only lead by example but defined where happiness comes from. Happiness isn’t rooted in material similarities or even external factors. Franklin said,

“Happiness comes from the internal ability to produce, understand and accept true possibility.”

Simply put happiness is found with believing in possibilities. Expanding on the notion of possibilities is where long lasting and stable happiness is found. As you create and define what is possible there must be multiple threshold of the time to accomplishing those possibilities. Where choosing to become or stay healthy is a grand possibility that should be laid out throughout a lifetime. But the possibility of a healthy meal or a quality workout is possible within today. The application and timeframe of what is defined as possible can be fluid. But belief, unwavering concrete belief must be constant. That is the underbelly to the sheen of saying “happiness is found in possibility”. It is a true statement but needs a foundation. Possibility built upon belief and reach are an undeniable formula for happiness.

“Happiness is a state of mind. So it can only be found internally. Inside the mind. Or your mind to be precise.”

Knowing that happiness, the kind that prolongs, is built and achieved internally is a chain breaking awareness. Stripping down the external factors of material, greed, jealousy, fear, anger and more bring you to a bare clarity that your inner self is the core to all our beliefs and actions. The external world may pile its layers of existence onto us but it is us that affects it, not the other way around. Once you have peeled back to that inner existence defining happiness becomes a clear path. And that definition is shrouded with possibility, literally. Knowing and believing that anything is possible is the ‘internal state of mind’. Remember that ‘it can only be found internally’ but heavily weighed upon by external factors. So keep that possibility ‘Inside the mind. Your mind to be precise’.

The weight of the external is unavoidable. But creating that weight yourself is. Remember beneath all those layers is the internal definable core. Everyone has it. It is much harder to find for certain people though. When people tell you “that’s not possible” or “your goals are impossible” that is the weight of years of external layers crushing their internal possibility. It is only a reflection of their lack of what is possible. Keep your state of mind a true belief because only you can say what is and is not possible.

In 1720 Ben Franklin and his brother began to print a Newspaper called the New England Courant. They were vehemently discouraged, often slighted by their critics saying that the the news was already in print. The New England Courant was the second newspaper printed in America. At the time of his memoirs Franklin estimated at minimum 51 more were in existence. Today Franklin would chuckle at the never ending ‘news’ outlets that exist. More importantly are the ones still being created and finding a foothold to exist. From his formidable years of delivering newspapers to penning anonymous articles Franklin writes,

“Perhaps the harsh and tyrannical treatment of me might be a means of impressing me with the aversion to arbitrary power that has struck to me through my whole life.”

The dissuasion he experienced was not limited to the naysayers of being the second to join the printing party. His brother degraded Franklin, Ben being the younger, to work that often found him labeling his brother as ‘master’. But he used the opportunity of a paper outlet to pen his opinions. His political prowess was quickly recognized forcing him to identify himself as the author. This gives warrant to Franklin’s thought that happiness is rooted in possibility. Even with the discernment externally for the paper and the subjugation internally at the paper he believed in himself.

Franklin kept possibilities in reach but also at the horizons glance. Most importantly he believed in what he was doing. The possible of today is a building block in hand, for the foundation of the possibility of tomorrow(s).