Benjamin Franklin – 13 Virtues


Benjamin Franklin developed a system for living his core values as a young man and developed a list of 13 virtues he wanted to follow in his quest for moral perfection.

What was ground-breaking (then and now) was how he made sure he lived his core values. He developed a chart with the days of the week at the top and the virtues listed in the in the first column. Then he tracked his progress daily.


He learned that he couldn’t change thirteen things at once so he focused on one thing per week. After thirteen weeks, he’d covered all the virtues. Ben realized what a difference living these virtues made in his life so he repeated the process. He continued this for the rest of his life.

In his own words, here are the thirteen virtues that Ben Franklin searched to obtain:


Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.


Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.


Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.


Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.


Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i. e., waste nothing.


Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.


Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.


Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.


Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.


Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloths, or habitation.


Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.


Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.


Imitate Jesus and Socrates

 ….so, whether you use Ben’s virtues or make up your own goals, he developed a great system to ensure that you GET, rather than just set, your goals!



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