Benjamin Franklin was a genius who, through his work, life and living presence improved the lives of millions of people from all over the world.
A man of great courage, wisdom, and integrity, Benjamin Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence in 1776; founded the postal system, served as Ambassador of France during the Revolution, negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War, served as colonial agent to Great Britain, organized America’s first intelligence network, and helped write the Constitution that still governs today.
One of the great statesman, scientist, and philosophers of his time, he was an absolute genius. And it is an honor to share with you some of his most beautiful, powerful, and life-changing lessons.
30 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from Benjamin Franklin
1. What’s more valuable than Diamonds? Virtue.
“What more valuable than Gold? Diamonds. Than Diamonds? Virtue.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
2. He that can have patience can have what he will.
“Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
3. Search others for their virtues, thy self for thy vices.
“It is better to take many Injuries than to give one.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
4. When you’re good to others, you’re best to yourself.
“He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals.”
5. A true Friend is the best Possession. ~ Benjamin Franklin
“A friend in need is a friend indeed!”
6. Speak ill of no man but speak all the good you know of everybody.
“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
7. When in doubt, don’t.
8. He that lieth down with dogs will rise up with fleas.
9. Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today. ~ ~ Benjamin Franklin
“A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
“Look before, or you’ll find yourself behind.”
10. Genius without education is like silver in the mine. ~ Benjamin Franklin
“The doors of wisdom are never shut.”
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”
11. It is the working man who is the happy man. ~ Benjamin Franklin
“… It is the idle man who is the miserable man.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
12. The world is full of fools and faint hearts.
“…and yet every one has courage enough to bear the misfortunes, and wisdom enough to manage the affairs, of his neighbour.”
13. The less is done for others, the more they do for themselves.
In my youth, I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
14. Teach your child to hold his tongue.
“…He’ll learn fast enough to speak.”
15. Let thy child’s first lesson be obedience.
16. Employ your time well, if you mean to get leisure. ~ Benjamin Franklin
“… and the second may be what thou wilt.”
17. If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.
“It is better to take many Injuries than to give one.”
“… nor will it. There is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants.”
19. Those who surrender freedom for security will not have either one.
Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
20. Do not fear mistakes. ~ Benjamin Franklin
“… You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”
“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
21. Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.
“He does not possess wealth; it possesses him.”
He that is of the opinion that money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.
22. He that goes a-borrowing goes a-sorrowing.
“If you would know the value of money, go try to borrow some; for he that goes a-borrowing goes a-sorrowing.”
23. Content makes poor men rich; discontentment makes rich men poor.
“Avarice wants all things. Poverty wants some things, luxury many things, avarice all things.”
24. Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.
“We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!”
“Many people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until they are seventy-five.”
25. Mankind eats twice as much as nature requires.
“In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires.”
“Eat to live, and not live to eat.”
26. To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals. ~ Benjamin Franklin
“Dine with little, sup with less, do better still – sleep supperless.”
“A full belly makes a dull brain.”
27. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
28. Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards. ~ Benjamin Franklin
“Man and woman have each of them qualities and tempers in which the other is deficient, and which in union contribute to the common felicity.”
29. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow.
“Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
“The worship of God is a duty; the hearing and reading of sermons may be useful; but if men rest in hearing and praying, as too many do, it is as if a tree should value itself in being watered and putting forth leaves, tho’ it never produced any fruit.”
30. God heals, and the doctor takes the fee. ~ Benjamin Franklin
“He’s the best physician that knows the worthlessness of the most medicines.”
BONUS: Benjamin Franklin Quotes
“Perhaps the history of the errors of mankind, all things considered, is more valuable and interesting than that of their discoveries.”
“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
“Wish not so much to live long as to live well.”
“What you seem to be, be really.”
“To err is human, to repent divine, to persist devilish.”
“Blessed is he that expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”
“Hide not your Talents, they for Use were made. What’s a Sun-Dial in the shade!”
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
“Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.”
~ Love, Luminita 💫