Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Wise Precepts Towards Self-Improvement

Benjamin Franklin was a man who tried to improve every facet of himself in terms of mind, body and moral behavior

We can do no wrong in trying to adopt the following self-improving virtues devised by Benjamin Franklin.

However, if I personally could successfully instigate half of these I’d have done well…maybe I should also add ‘PATIENCE’ to the list – just for myself mind.

1. TEMPERANCE – Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.

2. SILENCE – Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.

3. ORDER – Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

4. RESOLUTION – Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.

5. FRUGALITY – Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.

6. INDUSTRY – Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. SINCERITY – Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. JUSTICE – Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. MODERATION – Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. CLEANLINESS – Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.

11.TRANQUILITY – Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

12. CHASTITY – Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.

13. HUMILITY – Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

~ From the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin


  1. Self-improvement is always good as long as you are exploring your heart’s desires and discovering what’s important to you. This will bring more meaning and fulfillment to your life than you can possibly imagine. But sometimes, to succeed you don’t always have to change yourself. You just sometimes have to look into your own capability as it may already be there. 🙂

    Let me share with you a great article on Self-Improvement? No Need!> 🙂

  2. Moderation and humility are two qualities that seem to have gotten lost in the modern shuffle amidst all the ambition and arrogance and greed.

  3. Niko says:

    Even if he was a womanizer, Franklin was one of the most brilliant minds in history. The 13 principles he laid out here are just so well thought out. He actually had a chart every week in which he would mark down daily each one of these principles that he broke.

    You have some really cool stuff on this site. I’m enjoying the reads.

  4. Jason Cooper says:

    @Kirstine, NP & Niko,

    Thanks for all your comments!

    Sorry for not replying earlier but I have a lot on at the moment – family problems.

    Not to worry, things will resolve themselves one way or the other in the not too distant future, so that I can then get back to concentrating on posting regurlarly on this blog.

    All I will say is, despite its ups and downs, life (fate, god and nature) is a great teacher which will ultimately give you the wisdom to continue onward courageously with this seemingly perilous and mystifying journey of existence.