Over the last 13 weeks, The Midnight Freemason has been running this series of Benjamin Franklin's virtues. Franklin was committed to improving himself, which is why he established this list of virtues, and developed a program with which he spent a week trying to work on each one individually. He repeated this exercise over and over again through his lifetime.
Franklin would be the first to admit he never accomplished his goal of moral perfection, but he felt he benefited greatly from constantly working on it.
I hope you've enjoyed the series, and that you got something from it. Below you'll find links to each of the virtues, and Ben Franklin's definitions of each. I hope you'll revisit them again and again. If you want to learn more about Franklin's Virtues, there's a number of books on the subject including The Art of Virtue: Ben Franklin's Formula for Successful Living. Perhaps, if you are so motivated, you might even try Franklin's exercise yourself.
"Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation."
"Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time."
"Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve."
"Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; Avoid trifling Conversation."
"Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing."
"Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions."
"Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly."
"Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty."
"Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve."
"Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation."
"Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable."
"Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation."
"Imitate Jesus and Socrates."