Benjamin Franklin’s Secret to Success

Benjamin Franklin’s Secret to Success

Franklin chose thirteen subjects that he felt were necessary or desirable for him to acquire and try to master, and he gave a week’s strict attention to each subject successively. In this way, he was able to go through his entire list in thirteen weeks and repeat the process four times in a year.

Feel free to substitute some of your own ideas of subjects that you find to be necessary or desirable for you to acquire mastery.


(as he wrote them down, and the order that he used them)

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 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 you 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 other’s peace or reputation.

13. Humility – Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Remember, Franklin was a scientist. This plan is scientific. Reject it, and you reject one of the most practical ideas ever offered you.

“I hope, therefore, that some of my descendants may follow the example and reap the benefit.”

B. Franklin

“If one is willing to do what it takes to reach their idea of success, it’s within reach of the determined mind.”

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