Benjamin Franklin on Leadership and Life, Reflected upon by Annie McKee

Step Up, Step Out and Speak Your Truth

  • Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.
  • Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.
  • As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.
  • To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.

Marry Passion and Reason

  • If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.
  • Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.
  • 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.
  • He that composes himself is wiser than he that composes a book
  • Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody.

Avoid the Power Trap

  • A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.
  • He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals.
  • She laughs at everything you say. Why? Because she has fine teeth.
  • If you would have a faithful servant, and one that you like, serve yourself.
  • It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness and I pronounce it as certain that there was never a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.

Don’t Be Fooled by False Gods

  • I conceive that the great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by false estimates they have made of the value of things.
  • If you desire many things, many things will seem few.
  • Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it.
    He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.
  • He does not possess wealth; it possesses him.
  • Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.

Discover What’s Really Going On

  • A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.
  • A small leak can sink a great ship.
  • Beware the hobby that eats.
  • Half a truth is often a great lie.
  • He that’s secure is not safe.

Do Something Meaningful Today

  • Never confuse motion with action.
  • Each year one vicious habit discarded, in time might make the worst of us good.
  • Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
  • Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
  • Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

Love Learning

  • The doors of wisdom are never shut.
  • A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.
  • Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.
  • We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.

Love Change

  • All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.
  • Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.
  • Energy and persistence conquer all things.
  • God helps those who help themselves.
  • When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.

Love

  • Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.
  • Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
  • Do good to your friends to keep them, to your enemies to win them.
  • Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.
  • If you would be loved, love, and be loveable.

 

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