templeton-planWe continue our exploration of John Templeton’s twenty-one steps detailed in The Templeton Plan by reviewing Step 6: Finding the Positive with Every Negative. With the recession still holding strong, we will explore this step and provide some examples of why living a more optimistic life is beneficial.

Throughout his life, John Templeton looked for opportunities to try new things and travel as much as he could. Rather than stay in his comfort zone and rely only on what he already knew, he tried to learn new things all of the time, which resulted in much of his success as an investor.

In this passage from Step 6 of The Templeton Plan, James Ellison details some of the methods Templeton used to try new things:

Another way to accentuate the positive is to welcome change each day. It is human nature to get stuck in a rut and resist innovation, but you must teach yourself to try new paths. Don’t let a day go by without learning something new. The successful life is an adventurous one.

When John Templeton goes to restaurants with clients in connection with his investment counseling work, he makes it a point to order one item on the menu that he’s never tried before. That way he assures himself that the day will not be like any other day; he assures himself of an adventure, a seminar in living, no matter how small.

A successful life depends less on how long you live than on how much you can pack into the time you have. If you can find a way to make every day an adventure—even if it’s only a matter of walking down an unfamiliar street or ordering an untried cut of meat—you will find that your life becomes more productive, richer, and more interesting. You also become more interesting to others.

The same rule applies to travel. For example, make it your objective to visit all fifty states in the Union and at least a dozen other nations. You will thus have a positive goal worth pursuing and, as you begin to fulfill your goal, a sense of accomplishment. You will also begin to develop a worldview that will contribute to building a successful career.

So far, in his seventy-four years, John Templeton has visited forty-nine of the fifty states of the U.S. and seventy-seven nations in the world. He feels that extensive travel has enabled him to have viewpoints not obtainable to those who stay at home; he has also discovered wonderful new opportunities for investments.