The sixth virtue that Benjamin Franklin sought to develop was Industry. The word industry in today’s common usage means a factory or a place where some goods are produced. We have the Film industry, the IT industry, the heavy industries etc. But the another meaning of industry is to be industrious. It is to be productively engaged or employed in something useful. Franklin described Industry in the following words - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
These days, everyone is very busy. We find it difficult to add another item on to our packed schedule. There are so many attractions and distractions. Family, friends, profession, hobbies, social and personal life – all demand our attention and time. Hence, it is very important for us, not to lose time in those activities which are not useful and congruent to our goal. If someone’s goal is to be the best badminton player, his focus should be on the game most of the time. Except for some time devoted to recreation, he should focus on practicing the game, reading books on badminton, discussing various techniques with his team members, coach or other players, encouraging others to play and talk about the game because by doing so, one becomes motivated. The badminton player should not spend hours together watching movies or surfing internet or playing video games. He should drop out all the other activities that do not help him progress toward his goals.
The biggest impediment to industry is a lack of focus and laziness. If someone does not have a goal, if there is no focus, no aim in life, then one does not know what to work on. He wastes his time on many activities. He does not move forward on anything. It is like a mouse running on a mill. It keeps the mouse busy, but it don’t reach anywhere. Similarly, if someone has a goal, but is lazy to work on it, he keeps procrastinating the work. It is like you want to exercise to reduce weight, but every morning you tell yourself that you will do it the next day and sleep in some more. In either of the case, you will not be able to reach your goal.
Industry and hard work are key ingredients for a successful life. It has been the same 300 years ago during the time of Benjamin Franklin and it still is one of the key ingredients today. All students of success should have a big helping of this virtue to make their life sweet, successful and satisfying.