Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Rules for Life


1.) Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. Gluttony gets the best of many men. 1/3 of Americans are obese. Additionally, drinking culture is rampant in America, with Americans now consuming more alcohol than they did when Prohibition was enacted.

2.) Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. The only thing that comes out of an argument with an idiot is a second idiot. Have the self-awareness to hold your tongue. If you have nothing productive to say, say nothing at all.

3.) Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. There is a reason why Jordan Peterson says to begin with cleaning your room. An orderly room signifies an orderly life. Even if your life is chaos, at least you’ll have a clean room.

4.) Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve. We all know the things we need to do in order to improve our lives. Make it a priority to do those things, then do not allow yourself to do anything else until you finish your tasks.

5.) Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself. Excess serves no man. In fact, even the person living in excess finds themselves chasing without end. Take what you need and give freely to others.

6.) Industry. Lose no time; be always employed in something useful. As we get older, we only get less capable. Spend your time first in conquest of the self, then in conquest in your field. This includes spending your free time wisely. Wasted time is regretted time.

7.) Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, speak accordingly. While its strategically unnecessary to reveal your entire plan to the enemy, speak honestly with friends and to yourself. A man who lies to himself becomes incapable of understanding truth.

8.) Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty. People fail to realize that acting selflessly for the group is always more beneficial in the long run. Prioritizing short-term wins only leaves you burnt out and alone.

9.) Moderation. Avoid Extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve. All good things should be had in moderation. All bad things should be had swiftly and ended quickly. Vices have no hold on a man who does not over-indulge.

10.) Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation. Clean your room, clean your clothes, and clean your fingernails. Present yourself and your property to the best of your ability.

11.) Tranquillity. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. Understand that things will not always work in your benefit. It does nobody justice to throw a fit over it. Show maturity by silently facing your difficulties.

12.) Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring. Men and women become self-destructive when embracing lust. Know the fine line between emotional well-being and degeneracy.

13.) Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates. Finally, humility is what will bring most of these together. A humble man knows his boundaries and limitations. Therefore, he knows best how to prevent his own destruction and how to play his strengths and defend his weaknesses.