Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues

If you are interesting in learning a bit more about Benjamin Franklin's 13 Virtues, you've come to the right place. Learn more in this overview below:

Ben Franklin 13 Virtues

Benjamin Franklin's 13 virtues template

To the left, you will see a diagram of Benjamin Franklin's thirteen virtues in a handy template. This is like a habit tracker, but instead of a habit, it's based on exhibiting a virtue.

At the top of the page, Franklin would list a specific virtue that he would focus on for the week.

Here's how Franklin chose these 13 virtues:

"I propos’d to myself, for the sake of clearness, to use rather more names, with fewer ideas annex’d to each, than a few names with more ideas; and I included under thirteen names of virtues all that at that time occurr’d to me as necessary or desirable, and annexed to each a short precept, which fully express’d the extent I gave to its meaning."

At the end of the day, Franklin would mark if he exhibited the virtue. At the end of the week, he could easily review how he performed by viewing how many marks he had for a particular virtue.

We love this template because it combines the notion of choosing important values that you want to emulate, but they forces you to put these values into practice. Finally, the format is easy to digest at the end of the week.

What are Franklin's thirteen virtues?

We've included a list of the virtues below with Franklin's description:

Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

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

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; i.e., waste nothing.

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

Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, 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 they deserve.

Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

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

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.

Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Watch this helpful video to learn more about Benjamin Franklin's 13 virtues.

Not enough? Here's a video to help:

We've compiled other tools that Franklin used for self-improvement. We hope you enjoy!

See other advice from Benjamin Franklin:

Decision-Making Framework

See how Franklin advised friends on how to make better decisions.

Franklin's Daily Journal

See a simple framework for how Franklin would structure his day.

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