Mindstate Motivation Blog

Thirteen Virtues

b2ap3_thumbnail_Benjamin-FranklinIn his late 20s, Benjamin Franklin listed thirteen virtues that he believed provided an important life guide. These virtues can be divided into those related to personal behavior (temperance, order, resolution, frugality, moderation, industry, cleanliness, and tranquility) and those related to social character traits (sincerity, justice, silence, chastity, and humility).

Although Franklin tried to follow these virtues in his own life, nobody is perfect and he often went astray. Regardless, Franklin’s 13 virtues are a good road map for all of us to strive to follow in our everyday lives.

Temperance– Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation

Silence– Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversations

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; that is, waste nothing

Industry– Lose not time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions

Sincerity– Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; 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 you deserve

Cleanliness– Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes or habitation

Tranquility– Be not disturbed at trifles or accidents common or unavoidable

Chastity– Rarely use venery (sexual indulgence) 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


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