The art of tracking one’s behaviors (habits) dates back hundreds of years ago and wasn’t necessarily born with the iPhone or even The Habit Factor. In fact, one of the world’s greatest minds, Benjamin Franklin famously wrote about the art of tracking his “virtues” in his own autobiography to refine his character.
In this episode, Martin and I review the roots and similarities of tracking behaviors to help achieve personal goals and refine one’s character… all through habit tracking.
A renowned inventor, politician, scientist, author, and one of our nation’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin built quite the legacy. In spite of all of these remarkable achievements, can you guess the one thing he wanted to ensure he shared with the future generations?
“I hope, therefore, that my descendants will follow
this example and reap the benefits”
Benjamin Franklin was referring to the long standing practice (which itself became a habit) of tracking his thirteen virtues over the course of the year. He would rotate from week to week tracking each day one of his thirteen virtues (habits).
Because of this practice (behavior tracking) we believe he ought to be considered one of the great, great grandfathers of personal development!
By deciding WHO BF wanted to BEcome… and what he wanted to BEcome, Ben simply reverse engineered the character traits he wanted then identified the behaviors (habits) he believed that would help to get him there… then he just tracked them daily!
Fast forward a couple hundred years and we find a Hindu spiritualist, Dandapandi, (a former monk), who goes to great lengths at his speaking / teaching and workshop engagements to share the importance of building a “consistent practice” (in other words, a “habit”). And, in order to do this he urges that we follow the same process that his own monastery used, which was to track their behavior daily!
Paradoxically, of course this would suggest that the art of mindfulness requires the development of its corresponding habit. So, the goal is to be as mindful as possible without having to think about it. Then, in order to do this, the monks would track their behavior each day about how mindful they were and in the process they would develop the “consistent practice” of mindfulness. The mindfulness habit.
So, whether you are a spiritualist from India or Benjamin Franklin, YOU can rest assured that there is ONE way to get the results you are looking for and that is to TRACK your behavior or more specifically, use P.A.R.R. (see video ; )