The First Millionaire
Benjamin Franklin the first self-made millionaire in the American colonies, adapted a process of personal development.
As a young man, Benjamin Franklin felt that he was a little rough, ill mannered and argumentative. He recognized that his attitudes and behaviors were creating animosity toward him from his associates and coworkers. He resolved to change by rewriting the script of his own personality.
He began by making up a list of 12 virtues that he felt the ideal person would possess. He then concentrated on the development of one virtue each week. All week long, as he went about his daily affairs, he would remind himself to practice that virtue, whether it was temperance, tolerance or tranquility, on every occasion that it was called for. Over time, as he developed these virtues and made these habits a part of his character, he would practice one virtue for a period of two weeks, then three weeks, then one virtue per month.
Over time, he became one of the most popular personalities and statesmen of the age. He became enormously influential, both in Paris as an Ambassador from the United States during the Revolutionary War, and during the Constitutional Convention, when the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for the United States was debated, negotiated and agreed upon. By working on himself to develop the habits of an excellent person, he made himself into a person capable of shaping the course of history.