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(Note:  The definitions are added by yours truly from

In the year 1723, a seventeen year-old boy arrived in Philadelphia without a penny to his name. At age 42, he retired, wealthy. Few men, before or since have ever been as successful as Benjamin Franklin. He gave credit for his many inventions and business successes to this list of 13 principles. Each of them should be practiced in order, for at least a week at a time, so that all of them become a habit in your life. They'll work as well today as they did then.

   1. Temperance: Eat not dullness; drink not to elevation.
Temperance--moderation or self-restraint in action, statement, etc.; self-control.

   2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself, avoid trifling conversation.
Silence--absence of any sound or noise; stillness.

   3. Order: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have it's time.
Order--the disposition of things following one after another, as in space or time; succession or sequence: The names were listed in alphabetical order.

   4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
Resolution--the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.

   5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; waste nothing.
Frugal--practising economy; living without waste; thrifty.

   6. Industry: Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
Industry--systematic work or labor.

   7. Sincerity: Use no harmful deceit; think innocently and justly; and if you speak, speak accordingly.
Sincerity--freedom from deceit, hypocrisy, or duplicity; probity in intention or in communicating; earnestness.
(Obi's note: I love this one because it says "freedom from", and I find those words could not be more true)

   8. Justice: wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
Justice--the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause.

   9. Moderation: Avoid extremes; forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
Moderation--in moderation, without excess; moderately; temperately: to drink in moderation.
(Obi's note:  I think this is my major weakness.  ^^; Not necessarily drinking (as I don't drink), but in other things.  But I guess that recognition is half the solution.)

  10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.
Cleanliness--habitually kept clean.
(Obi's note: I found this to be a surprise because Dr. Franklin lived during a time when people were very lucky to take one bath a week, and no one knew about bacteria and germs.)  

  11. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, nor at accidents.
Tranquility--quality or state of being tranquil; calmness; peacefulness; quiet; serenity.

  12. Chastity: Be chaste in matters with the opposite sex.
Chaste--refraining from sexual intercourse that is regarded as contrary to morality or religion; virtuous.

  13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
Humble--not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.
For information on Jesus, see the Bible: New Testament--Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
For information on Socrates:

(Obi's Notes: I'm so glad I stumbled across these.  Once I get my printer working, I want to print them off and hang them on my wall somewhere.  :)  Feel free to do the same!)
  • Mood: Joy
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LadyKnightPounce83 Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2011
Isn't Socrates the guy that made the quote: "If you think you know everything, you know nothing. If you admit you know knothing, then you know everything." Or something like that? Or did i just confuse my philosophers?
Obi-quiet Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2011
*shrug* No clue. My knowledge on philosophers isn't exactly up-to-date.
LadyKnightPounce83 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2011
oh well. doesn't really matter. ^_^
Aemi Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i remember these. apparently you can become the perfect gentleman if you followed them to the letter.
Though he was a little hypocritical, i see nothing wrong with not following your own advice if said advice helps to better society as a whole.

i find that a lot of these kinds of lists that people in history have come up with all boil down to the same basic concepts. Dont be a dick, treat others with respect, and live a healthy happy life.
Obi-quiet Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2011
LOL You just summed it up rather well.
Jangojips Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011   General Artist
Really. Ben Franklin said to be chaste? How....interesting...
considering his wild and corrupt love life.

...and he was a complete alcoholic... haha.
But the man also gave us bifocals and public he's still pretty cool. The Hugh Hefner of his time...and a scientist.
Obi-quiet Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011
Yes, but he didn't do a lot of that until AFTER He was successful. ;) ^^; Eh, I just think we all have our vices to work on. You know?
celestialsunberry Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Interesting. :)
Obi-quiet Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011
I thought so. :)
Daricio Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
^^ I had to do a project on these principles for my Intro to Education class a few semesters back.
Ben Franklin actually kept a book around with him that had these virtues listed on every page, and each page was divided up into a week per page. Then, every time he messed up and didn't keep one, that day gained a "bad mark." That way, he had a visual representation of his failings, and he was more encouraged to keep that virtue in the future. (It's interesting to note just how many bad marks this successful man had in his book. He continually improved himself just as we need to!)
For our project, we did the same thing: kept track of our progress on these virtues for two weeks. ^^; I've still got a long way to go on several of them...
Thanks for posting this! It's good to be reminded!
Obi-quiet Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011
That sounds like a good idea...a very good idea. Hmm.

Thanks, hon! :D
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Submitted on
January 31, 2011