Ben Franklin’s 13 Principles for Success: #2 – Silence

Principle #2: Silence

Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself, avoid trifling conversation

In this second principle, Ben Franklin put emphasis on how words, your words can hurt others. I remember growing up hearing the rhyme, “sticks and stones, may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” What a fallacy that is!

Countless people have been emotionally, socially and even physically damaged the hurtful words of others. I’m sure Ben Franklin knew firsthand how the words of others impacts lives and how if you’re given to gossip that what you put out will eventually return to you.

The principle of silence, will also allow you to stay focus on your dreams and goals. For the less time you spend gossipping and the less time you spend putting others down, you’re able to the use that energy constructively towards what’s more important.

This is a virtue, taught by many different religions, each having their own version, but the essence and teaching of this virtue is essentially the same principle: Grow in temperance – moderation and self-control – that you develop greatness of character and succeed in life.

How To Apply in Your Life?

To develop the principle of Silence try these few tips:

  1. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
  2. Don’t keep company with people who have no goals or ambitions. These people have too much time on their hands and as the old saying goes, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop!”
  3. Think before you speak. Be conscious of your thoughts, for from them comes your words.
  4. If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all