The 13 Virtues of Benjamin Franklin are:
- TEMPERANCE: Eat not to dullness, drink not to Elevation
- SILENCE: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation
- ORDER: Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have it’s time
- RESOLUTION: Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve
- FRUGALITY: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing
- INDUSTRY: Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions
- SINCERITY: Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly
- JUSTICE: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty
- MODERATION: Avoid extremes; forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve
- CLEANLINESS: Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation
- TRANQUILITY: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable
- 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
- HUMILITY: Imitate Jesus and Socrates
To look deeper on how these Virtues can help you to create wealth, we will start with Temperance.
Franklin expanded on the meaning in that “it tends to procure the coolness of head, which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept up, and guard maintained against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits.”
Rarely to individuals look at gluttony as a vice which inhibits wealth. Most people associate greed and sloth as those vices best suited to keep us poor or to make the wealthy corrupt. However, in an era of inflationary healthcare costs, Temperance is one of the best virtues to improve. Nobody can predict our health needs of the future, but through proper care of ourselves in both body and mind, we can mitigate unnecessary health issues.
The easiest (and least expensive) action is to improve our diet and exercise habits to allow a greater chance that we will not have to expend money on preventable health issues.
Begin to Use Temperance in Improving Wealth
- Examine your current health status. Are you overweight? Do you smoke? Do you exercise?
- Eliminate habits that could increase your risk for worsening health and subsequently, higher health costs.
- Create habits (exercising) that will potentially lessen your future health care costs.
- Examine your pantry, refrigerator, cupboards, etc. to see if the types of foods you eat are truly necessary – balance your needs vs. wants. Increase the amount of less expensive natural foods, and begin to eliminate the higher cost foods that contain fats and refined sugars.