Sooner or later we all wonder: what’s next? What is the goal? What’s the course of action? Where is all this supposed to lead me? What is the life strategy of the person I am, to become the person I want to be?
As a rule, a person’s life strategy builds itself. In most cases (although not always: don’t discount people who, even at thirty-five, don’t know what they want to be when they grow up) we have a rough idea of what we want to be and what we have to do roughly to get there. But sometimes the need arises to formulate all of this more clearly and concretely. In that case, Benjamin Franklin’s pyramid can help.
Contents of the article
Franklin’s pyramid: what is it?
What does Benjamin Franklin’s pyramid consist of? Long Term Stages: Goals and Values
Short-term stages The Franklin Pyramid: what is it?
The Franklin Pyramid is a system of life planning on the principle of “from more to less”: from the global life values to which you would like to submit your whole life, to the specific actions by which you will bring yourself closer to this goal.
Benjamin Franklin is one of America’s founding fathers. He is known not only for immortalizing his face in stone and on the hundred dollar bill, but also for being a very versatile man, and in each of these areas he achieved success
For example, in addition to politics, he wrote philosophical treatises on philosophy and economics (notably outlining his philosophy with a pyramid in one of them), studied physics in depth and even patented several inventions in the field of electricity, and he also invented the rocking chair.
That is, in each of the areas of life in which Franklin wanted to try himself, he was very successful. And that was because he was very consistent. He set himself clear and specific, attainable goals and worked patiently to achieve them, day in and day out, year in and year out. In fact, I think there are literally three ways to achieve success:
1.You were born under favorable conditions. You know the best way to become a billionaire? That’s right, being born into a billionaire family. Or be born on the cusp of global world change and have enough resources to turn them to your advantage.
2. Be fantastically talented. This is Leonardo da Vinci’s way: he was not from the richest family, he was undisciplined, he easily started ideas but also easily abandoned them, but he was amazingly talented and brilliant, and this giftedness mitigated his shortcomings.
However, he was also born in a favorable time and place (Renaissance Florence, when the state actively supported people of art) and was strongly passionate about his body – that is, yes, he finished few works, but he generated a lot of ideas.
3. Being very efficient. This is the way of talented people from the lower strata of society (Franklin was one of those, by the way) who want to make their way to the top, but are more workable than brilliant.
As you understand, the most reliable life strategy of a person is the latter, because in favorable conditions and with a bright talent you have to be born, and whether you will be able to work, set goals for yourself and move systematically to achieve them – depends only on you.
Below we will take a closer look at what the Benjamin Franklin pyramid consists of, and how to build it.
What does Benjamin Franklin’s pyramid consist of?
1.Life’s core values. These are what is most important to you in life, your priorities, the qualities you want to foster in yourself, the principles you want to subordinate your life to. Franklin was a bit of a moralist here, he sought to be morally pure, humble, conscientious… You don’t have to follow his example. Your values in life have to fit your priorities, your desires, your personality. For example, it can be “well-being of family and relatives,” “faithful friendship,” “self-realization,” “recognition of my merits,” “fame and renown.
2. Main life goal. This is set on the basis of life values. It makes sense: if your life value is fame, it is unlikely that your life goal will be the quiet life of a forester in the green expanses of Siberia. Personally, in my opinion, the concept of a major life goal is too sweeping, but we’ll talk about that a little later.
3. A general, “master” plan for achieving the goal. These are the main stages of life, the main milestones that will lead you to the result. Roughly speaking, the conditional “be born, be baptized, get married” – get an education, start developing in the area you want, get your first experience… And so on, depends on your direction of life activity.
4. Long Term Plan. This is one stage of the overall master plan. The time frame can be different, it all depends on you, because the most important thing is that the pyramid suits you. That’s why it can be one year, or five years, or twenty. The most important is that here already appear the time of “check points”, that is, the time when you summarize what you have achieved and what you have not. Here the actions and goals are more concrete.
5. Short-term plan. As a rule, it is aimed at achieving one of the goals of a long-term plan. The time frame is different again: some have a week, a month, a year, five years – differently. These are actions that you can do literally right here tomorrow.
6. Actions for that particular day. They should bring you closer to accomplishing one of the goals of the short-term plan. It’s like a matryoshka doll: the biggest matryoshka is values, and inside the matryoshka are smaller and smaller and smaller. And they all lead you to one thing: living the life you want.
The long-term stage: goals and values
As you understand, this is the most important stage in the “human life strategy” question: setting long-term goals and defining values. After all, all the other stages will be subordinated to it (you will also read about the tips on them, but below). And here you have to dig a little inside yourself, so I suggest that you get a piece of paper, a pencil and get ready for a fascinating journey into the depths of reflection.
1.Take a piece of paper and write down on it everything you love to do, everything that makes you happy, that makes you feel good and happy. It can be anything from favorite people to favorite food (just don’t get it mixed up), favorite activities, favorite feelings, things you can do without losing track of time – absolutely anything.
Then you’ll have to combine those activities into groups. What those groups are depends on you, on the activities you have listed there, but you can start by tentatively dividing them into “active” and “passive”, into “alone” and “in company”.
Then you need to analyze: why these particular activities? What unites them? What emotions make you do it? Why do you do it, what do you feel?
Here’s an example. Let’s say you like doing sports. It’s one thing, but the motivations will vary from person to person.
Some people like exercising because of the physical sensations: muscle tension, body work.
Some people like to set goals and achieve them, surpassing their own records time after time.
Some people spend time with their friends in sports, and sports bring them together.
Some people work out so that they can catch admiring glances. And so on, there can be many motivations, and they can combine with each other, just some will be stronger and some will be weaker.
You’ll quickly notice that some motivations are repeating themselves. For example, you may notice that you like to share your thoughts, your beliefs, you like to teach other people, to interest them in something. This is where the first life value comes in: teaching, the desire to be a teacher, a mentor in one form or another.
2. Think back to the people you admire. What values might they represent? Why do you admire them, what do they have in common? For example, perhaps you admire philanthropists, people who talk about important social issues, or people like Elon Musk who break convention and move humanity forward, the kind of “mad geniuses.
3. Imagine an ideal version of yourself. What kind of person is that? What values does he embody?
Agree that if you imagine a successful businessman, a shark and a tycoon, with huge money, surrounded by beauties and yachts – these are some values (success, money); and if you imagine a dreamy writer, living in a quiet house deep in the woods – others (creativity, solitude).
1.Imagine you’re old and telling your grandchildren about your life. What would you be happy to tell them about? What kind of life should you live so that at the end you would be happy, bright and not ashamed to tell your children about it?
2. Imagine your ideal life, your ideal day, your ideal self. Imagine that you have already achieved everything you want, the life strategy of the person you chose has been successful, and you are living your ideal life. What kind of life is that? What are the people around you? What and who is around you? And how can it be achieved?
3. Imagine the opposite – the worst case scenario, the realization of all your fears, a complete disaster in life. What kind of life is that?
Often, when working on a “human life strategy” project, the “opposite” motivation works better: by presenting such a picture in all the details, you will understand how you don’t want it, and therefore you will better understand how you want it.
4. What would you like to do if the financial issue was completely closed? Just for the sake of your soul?
We’re done with the reflection. Now let’s talk about more specific mechanisms and tools.
Here, at the stage of short-term plan and planning for the day, specific goals appear, so it is appropriate to remember the SMART tool. It is convenient to set specific, achievable goals, to form a clear image of the result in your head.
S – Specific. A goal should be specific.
M – Measurable. Goal must be measurable, i.e., you need clear criteria, by which you will understand that the goal is achieved.
A – Achievable, i.e. achievable, realistic. R – Relevant, i.e., relevant to you, to your life plan.
T – Time bound, i.e., limited in time to make the goal – just a goal, not a “maybe someday.
For example, the goal of “Write a book” is wrong. The goal “Write a book about ancient Japan (specificity) five hundred pages long (measurable) by the end of this year” is correct (provided you really want to write the book (relevance), and the task is within your reach (reachability).
Also, the month-by-month planning method works well in short-term planning. One month is one goal, four tasks lead to the goal, and you have to do one each week.
For example, the goal is to start a blog. The first week you learn information about the platform where you want to start a blog, how the advertising mechanism works on it, how to gain an audience. The second week – you create a blog, the site itself, from a technical point of view. The third week – you fill it with the first posts, content. The fourth week – run ads to attract the first subscribers.
That way you don’t overburden yourself, and you reach your goal. In making a plan for the day, there are also tools that go well with the Franklin pyramid. For example, the “1-3-5” method of goal setting. It consists of setting yourself nine goals for the day, where:
One is the most important one (according to Franklin, the one that gets you closer to your immediate goal), you devote the most time to it and start doing it right in the morning while your head is still fresh.
Three – slightly less important, you will pay attention to them after the first task.
Five – the small household tasks to maintain the household.
One more time to tuck into your head.
The first block is values, what’s important to you. The second is your main goal in life, how you want your life to be.
The third is a general plan to achieve your goal, the milestones of your life.
The fourth is a long-term plan for the next five to ten years.
The fifth is a short-term plan, for the next year or six months (you can have less or more, as you like) to help with the long-term plan. The sixth is a goal for the day, to get you closer to implementing the short-term plan.
Remember, the most important thing is your convenience. You don’t have to follow all of the pyramid items, if something doesn’t work for you, you can change the timeline, upgrade. It’s just an auxiliary tool to build your life strategy.