Few in history have lived a life as meaningful, wise and practical as Benjamin Franklin’s (1706 – 1790). He was a genius of his time, constantly seeking ways to make life easier and richer for others.  With only two years of schooling, he thought of himself as a simple man of ordinary ability who could acquire the essential principles of successful living, if only he could find the right method. He chose the following 13 topics which he felt were necessary for him to master and he gave a week’s strict attention to each subject successively.  He went through the entire list in 13 weeks and repeated the process four times a year. In his subsequent writings, Benjamin Franklin attributed his success and happiness to these subjects.

Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Subjects

(Just as he wrote them down and the order in which he used them)

  1. Temperance – Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  1. Silence – Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  1. Order – Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  1. Resolution – Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  1. Frugality – Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  1. Industry – Lose no time; be always employed in something useful, cut off all unnecessary actions.
  1. Sincerity – Use no harmful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  1. Justice – Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  1. Moderation – Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  1. Cleanliness – Tolerate no uncleanliness in the body, clothes or habitation.
  1. Tranquility – be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or avoidable.
  1. 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.
  1. Humility – Imitate Jesus or Socrates.


QUOTES OF THE DAY: My Favorite Benjamin Franklin Quotes

“Glass, china and reputation are easily cracked, and never well mended.”

“He that blows the coals in quarrels that he has nothing to do with, has no right to complain if the sparks fly in his face.”

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ‘tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.”

“If you would know the value of money, go try to borrow some;for he that goes a-borrowing goes a-sorrowing.”

“If your head is wax, don’t walk in the sun.”

“Search others for virtues, theyself for thy vices.”

“Who is wise? He that learns from every One.

Who is powerful? He that governs his Passions.

Who is rich? He that is content.

Who is that? Nobody.”

I truly believe that we are all powerful beyond measure and capable of effecting change in any area we choose to.There is never an easy way, but there can be a life well-lived.

What are your thoughts?

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  1. It’s always great to learn from the experiences of those who have gone before us. The challenge is in actually using those experiences to shape our own lives.

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