Jefferson’s Ten rules

Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers of the US and the writer of the Declaration of Independence, lived a long and fruitful life. He was the first Secretary of State for the US, and the 3rd President of the US. Both he and his peer (and President #2) John Adams dies on the same day, July 4th, 1826 – 50 years after the publication of the Declaration of Independence. Exactly 50 years after!

Jefferson was known for giving advice to his family, friends, and associates. In 1825, one year before his death, he wrote down his “Ten Rules” and abbreviation of his “Canons for the Conduct of Life.” They have gone down through the years and been reprinted numerous times. I happened across them while on vacation last week, at one of the historical sites we visited, and thought I’d reprint them. Many of them would make their way into an instruction book for FI.

  • Never put off till tomorrow what you can do to-day.
  • Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
  • Never spend your money before you have it.
  • Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.
  • Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.
  • We never repent of having eaten too little.
  • Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
  • How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened!
  • Take things always by their smooth handle.
  • When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.

So what words of Wisdom do you live by?

Mr. 39 Months

2 thoughts on “Jefferson’s Ten rules”

  1. Good, funny old-age wisdom 🙂 My favourite was this one: “Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold”. This is so true. You have to be willing to admit that you don’t know everything. That’s the key for success. Asking for help and taking ACTION.

    1. You are so right. I think the major point you just made was the “ask for help/assistance/knowledge” from others. Too many people have so much pride they are unwilling to ask for help (I’m looking in the mirror as I type this). It seems there is a lot of “age old wisdom” that just isn’t getting passed down these days (frugality, keep your debt low, don’t be blind drunk at 2am in the bad part of a city, etc.). Hopefully our blogs can’t help pass on some of this.

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