January 08, 2012

Ben Franklin's 13 virtues

In 1726, at the age of 20, Ben Franklin created a list of 13 virtues that he sought to practice and improve on for the rest of his life. Instead of trying to improve on all 13 virtues at once, Ben chose to work on only one a week "leaving all others to ordinary chance."

Though many times he did not live up to these virtues, he felt that in his attempt he became a happier and more successful man from it. Perhaps that is why his autobiography he devoted most of his writings to this idea than to any other idea he had.

Every day I plan on posting a blog post related to the corresponding virtue of the week.

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Posts prior to this series:
Here are the 13 virtues (highlighted virtue is Sunday's post):
Page is typically updated on a weekly basis.

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 employ'd 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 uncleanliness in body, cloaths, 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.
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.

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