Thanks to Mike at Hotel Kokomo in Culebra, PR – who has kindly tapped me into his internet network while I’m waiting for a boat – I am able to get my blog out on time this week – THANKS MIKE!

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. – Ben Franklin

Every successful person I’ve ever studied, met or read about has had some formula for success. Ben Franklin was no different.  An avid reader, successful businessman and founder of the nation’s first public library, he worked diligently to improve his character through a plan of 13 virtues.   A high achiever, respected by his community and his peers yet he constantly sought ways to get better – do we see a pattern developing here?

I’m going to share with you Ben Franklin’s list of 13 moral virtues he thought were essential to living a happy, healthy, successful and virtuous life.  Check em out below and if you’re ambitious and want to have some fun with it – see if you can follow his plan!

(The plan) Franklin focused on only one virtue at a time, for a week and then moved on to the next virtue, cycling through the list four times a year.   Is that something you think you could do?  Does the list below fit your life?  Why or why not?  What areas of your life and habits are you trying to improve right now or are you investing in hope, which really isn’t much of a strategy at all now is it?

  1. Temperance.  Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation
  2. Silence.  Speak not but what may benefit others of 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 employed 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 extremes, forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  10.  Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes 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 dullness, weakness or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
  13. Humility.  Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

A small leak can sink a great ship.  Ben Franklin

While Franklin admittedly did not live completely by his virtues and by his own admission, he fell short of them many times (especially ORDER); he believed the attempts made him a better man contributing greatly to his success and happiness.

If your formula for success and living a virtuous life isn’t working, why not give this list a try? Do you think Franklin’s list holds true today?  What would you add or subtract from his list to make it your own?  Which of the virtues listed above do you struggle with the most?

Hope you enjoyed this week’s blog!

Until next week….Keep reading, learning, exploring, and living! 

PS – If you happen to have a Kindle click here and get a FREE copy of Franklin’s autobiography.  If you don’t have a Kindle and you travel often – isn’t it about time to pick one up?