Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues of Life

Benjamin Franklin

In 1726, at the age of 20, Benjamin Franklin created a system to develop his character. In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues of Life are listed as:

  • Temperance: Eat not to Dullness. Drink not to Elevation.
  • Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling Conversation.
  • Order: Let all your Things have their Places. Let each Part of your Business have its Time.
  • Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
  • Frugality: Make no Expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. Waste nothing.
  • Industry: Lose no Time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary Actions.
  • Sincerity: Use no hurtful Deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • Justice: Wrong none, by doing Injuries or omitting the Benefits that are your Duty.
  • Moderation: Avoid Extremes. Forbear resenting Injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • Cleanliness: Tolerate no Uncleanness in Body, Clothes or Habitation.
  • Tranquility: Be not disturbed at Trifles, or at Accidents common or unavoidable.
  • Chastity: Rarely use venery but for Health or Offspring; Never to Dullness, Weakness, or the Injury of your own or another’s Peace or Reputation.
  • Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

“I propos’d to myself, for the sake of clearness, to use rather more names, with fewer ideas annex’d to each, than a few names with more ideas; and I included under thirteen names of virtues all that at that time occurr’d to me as necessary or desirable, and annexed to each a short precept, which fully express’d the extent I gave to its meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin

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One response to “Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues of Life”

  1. Benjamin put all the above in discipline, means it made it as his life, as the way of doing things example : we sleep every night means on every night, so he made above stuff too natural. But one question : I asked to hundreds of professionals and individuals : everybody knows it, hearing every day, But I rarely see that anyone following it even just .0000001%. Everybody knows that doing exercise good for health.

    There are big epics in India, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Famous Movie directors made movies, and TV serials on it. I will say every Indian watched those Ramayana TV Serials and continuously watching every day, Directly or Indirectly those are telling the exact same thing , then why we don’t following it ?, Why don’t understand such meaningful stuff for our life ?. above are 13 Virtues , I found that people got the mindset these are only part of stories, these are just great things out of their reach.

    (P.S: I am not criticizing this article, Just sharing my thoughts into it,)

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