Franklin’s Four Rules for Living
- It is necessary for me to be extremely frugal for some time, until I have paid what I owe.
- To endeavor to speak truth in every instance; to give nobody expectations that are not likely to be answered, but aim at sincerity in every word and action – the most amiable excellence in a rational being.
- To apply myself industriously to whatever business I take in hand, and not divert my mind from my business by any foolish project of growing suddenly rich; for industry and patience are the surest means of plenty.
- I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of everybody.
Written as advice to himself in 1726, on shipboard returning to Philadelphia from London. He was 20 years old