Franklin ended the Way to Wealth with this ironic statement:
The people heard it, and approved the doctrine, and immediately practiced the contrary, just as if it had been a common sermon; for the vendor opened, and they began to buy extravagantly, notwithstanding all his cautions.
Franklin knew that knowing the right way to live is much easier than living the right way. Being industrious and frugal each and every day is a tough task, one that most people will never master. It takes an enormous amount of self-discipline and perseverance to become wealthy and successful. Most people who read these posts and the Way to Wealth will agree with the advice but will soon forget it and go on making foolish decisions. This isn’t going to change; people can’t be helped that don’t want to help themselves.
But I also believe there are a lot of people who want to help themselves but have lost sight of the right way to live. I know from experience that a person can be influenced by a negative environment without realizing it. The consumer culture of America incessantly pushes us to buy things we don’t need. We waste our time because we are constantly distracted by media. It is now more difficult than ever to be industrious and frugal. I wrote these posts with the hope that a person who has problems with idleness and extravagance might read them and start to rethink their lives. Up until recently I have always been a very lazy person. After reading the Way to Wealth I started to rethink my mentality. I realized that I’d been trapped by a pessimistic apathetic state of mind. It took a long time to break my old habits but I have steadily improved my productivity and attitude. The old me would never have made this website.
I am still tempted by laziness everyday, but recognizing my own weakness allows me to overcome it. Being industrious is addictive. It fills me with confidence and inspiration. We all have more energy than we believe. After you take the first step to improve your life you build momentum every day. If you want to make that step, take the wisdom of the Way to Wealth to heart. You will certainly profit from it.
However, it is important to remember that we are tiny beings at the mercy of fortune. On this Franklin said:
Do not depend too much upon your own industry, and frugality, and prudence, though excellent things, for they may all be blasted without the blessing of heaven; and therefore ask that blessing humbly, and be not uncharitable to those that at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them.
I can’t help wanting to emulate Franklin. Best of luck to you in your search for wealth and success. We all need it.