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). Whether you use this chart, or devise something yourself, it is certainly in your best interest to have some tool in place to not only keep you focused, but to establish the habit of intentional growth in those characteristics that make up the virtuous life. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.”, 8. Living frugally not only keeps you humble, but it teaches you the value of money. 2. Moreover, his ambition of achieving moral perfection is something that we often overlook in our daily lives. Along with each virtue, Franklin included a principle to follow that—in his opinion—would define a person of good character. Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues Benjamin Franklin was a man of many virtues. One of the key members of the group we call the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, Benjamin Franklin was a brilliant statesman with a mind fixated on improvement on every front. Having cleanliness of body and home is a representation of your attention to detail and discipline. Don’t let them control you. What might be a helpful sidebar, is to reflect on the list, and its application, holistically, and even speculate as to why he decided on this particular order. This article came out at an exact moment. Franklin always carried a booklet with these 13 virtues. In addition, Franklin explains that the “precept of Order requires that every part of my business should have its allotted time“. Start a new (good) habit, kill an old (bad) one, The 'know thyself' weight loss resolution, drawn the spines of every book I've read for more than 20 years, Ben Franklin considered various virtues that, if mastered, would lead him to perfection, After 10 years of following Franklin's example, I am more industrious, patient, mindful and healthy. Rather, he realized that to acquire knowledge he must instead listen, which often meant silence. 13. After 10 years, I stopped tracking 13 Virtues. His food and wine-drinking habits led him to be plagued with the gout for much of his life. But still, the positive intentions were there. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. At the age of 79 Franklin wrote in his autobiography that he never did achieve his goal of attaining perfection. benjamin franklin 13 virtues summary. 8. Speak only when you have something good to say 13 Virtues is secular dogma anyone can easily adopt. Franklin wisely decided not to try to tackle all of the 13 virtues at once. Benjamin Franklin–one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America–was an author, political theorist, scientist, musician, inventor, and the list goes on and on. Wisdom In All Things Special Series. His ideas, methods, and techniques are used everywhere today. We need to keep our pride in check and not be over-confident in ourselves or our actions. In order to accomplish his goal, Franklin came  up with a list of 13 virtues which he would strive to live up to. Two were lifted from Franklin's list. Temperance: "Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. Here’s what Franklin has to say about the virtue of resolution: “Resolution, once habitual, would keep me firm in my endeavors to obtain all the subsequent virtues”. Maybe Franklin was on to something. ", Justice: "Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty. Franklin developed his list of 13 virtues based on the moral virtues he had come across in his readings. “TEMPERANCE. Read the first one here (on Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven Life). He would also select one of the virtues to focus on for a full week. He covers things like comparison shopping, and overpaying for convenience, but also highlighted the Diderot Effect. As a scientist, politician, inventor, entrepreneur, and in the … Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues Read More » 3. Good social character traits result in other people wanting to do business with you or to have relationships with you. We put ourselves in the financial position to be free to do what must be done–what needs doing. Here are the virtues that Franklin tracked and reflected upon each day. A wise life is a virtuous life. Around 1730, while in his late 20s, American publisher and future statesman Benjamin Franklin listed thirteen virtues that he felt were important guides for living. I also reassessed my list every year or two, swapping out virtues over time. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. This is significant. Thus, if everybody will be trying to achieve the ideal, the society will be enjoying the improvement (Hu 117). These virtues may be worthwhile to consider following in your own life. If you think of this as being on a tour, then I’m on the tour with you. However, it does not mean such a person has poor personal character or would not succeed in his or her activities. Chastity. —Further reading: Franklin autobiography20 habits of frugal peopleDaily extravagance habits frugal people don’t doFrugalityWays to be frugal. Organize your life; pay attention to ALL aspects of your work It can put you in the position of spending wisely for your own good and the good others, and keep us in line with Franklin’s admonition to “waste nothing.”. He ate and drank too much. Each time he disobeyed a virtue, he’d mark it in his booklet. Only have sex for health or babies, and never hurt others 4. His list of 13: Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity and Humility. People today are looking for get rich quick schemes that will afford them a huge payout with minimum effort. Simply put, you must do what you set out to. Don’t get upset about the little things, as it does more harm than good. The notion that there are guideposts pointing us in the direction of our better selves is as old as religion, and yet it doesn't need religion to perpetuate them. Franklin believed that temperance allowed the mind and body to work at an optimal level, making the other virtues possible. Cleanliness. He spent more money than he should. How to Write a Personal Manifesto Instead, we need to make small changes, one at a time, until they transform from forced tasks into effortless behaviors. For me, these were more measurable and helped me take a step closer to that virtue. By repeating the cycle four times a year on an endless loop, he ensured that he would always be improving and striving for his goal. Or, better yet, come up with your own list of virtues. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. The Art of Manliness x Benjamin Franklin Journal. Don't be wasteful; protect our environment. I wished to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into.”. Resolution. There is an expectation of behavior from someone who claims to be wise. I’ve embedded a section below. In addition, he wrote down a few words about each of the virtues in order to clarify the meaning he gave to each one.Here’s a list of the 13 virtues which Franklin committed himself to:1. This site rocks the Classic Responsive Skin for Thesis. How to Make Decisions Like Benjamin Franklin I even asked my friends about my faults, because we're easily blind to them. Stopping doing what we shouldn’t, and start doing what we should. This is my attempt at being that person on the tour that asks those interesting, insightful questions. ", Frugality: "Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing. I’m currently listening to Benjamin Franklin: An America Life, which recounts the rich life of Benjamin Franklin. Be smart and be careful. 4. Don't miss another Wisdom Project column; subscribe here. Here’s the methodology that Franklin developed in order to attain mastery over the 13 virtues which he had selected: In his autobiography Franklin includes the chart which he used: Franklin then proceeded to do the following: Franklin was one of the first people to recognize that recording your behavior helps you to change it.In fact,he turned self-development into a science by observing, monitoring, and measuring his behavior. Franklin secured many valuable orders through his job as clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly. Frugality. Multiply it by four, and you get 52, the number of weeks in a year. He could easily talk for hours, but it offered little in the way of learning. We focus more on careers and personal gains than we do personal enrichment and being good people. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has famously given himself. This ‘journey’ is about directly and fruitfully integrating wisdom into all areas of our lives. I wished to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into.”. I'll call his big life hack "13 Virtues," and for about 10 years, I performed Franklin's experiment on myself.


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