190 Benjamin Franklin Quotes That’ll Alter Your Worldview

Here are 190 Benjamin Franklin quotes that will persuade you to live by good virtues in order to lead a successful life.

Make sure you check out our full list down below!

Benjamin Franklin was a writer, scientist, diplomat, and statesman considered to be one of the Founding Fathers of America and a key figure in America’s struggle for independence and the establishment of the Declaration of Independence.

Start reading the full collection below.

And don’t forget to check out these Harriet Tubman quotes.

Best Benjamin Franklin Quotes

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - Well done is better than well said.

1. “Well done is better than well said.”

2. “Fear not death for the sooner we die, the longer we shall be immortal.”

3. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

4. “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - In wine, there is wisdom.

5. “In wine, there is wisdom. In beer, there is freedom. In water, there is bacteria.”

6. “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

7. “Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.”

8. “How many observe Christ’s birthday? How few His precepts!”

9. “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.

10. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

11. “You may delay, but time will not.”

12. “Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I learn.”

13. “Many people die at twenty-five and aren’t buried until they are seventy-five.”

14. “I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.

15. “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

16. “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”

17. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

18. “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

19. “He that can have patience can have what he will.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Being Ignorant

20. “Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Learning and Education

21. “Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.”

22. “All highly competent people continually search for ways to keep learning, growing, and improving.”

23. “Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other, and scarce in that.”

24. “Be studious in your profession, and you will be learned. Be industrious and frugal, and you will be rich. Be sober and temperate, and you will be healthy. Be in general virtuous, and you will be happy. At least you will, by such conduct, stand the best chance for such consequences.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - Educate your children to self-control.

25. “Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.”

26. “The only thing that is more expensive than education is ignorance.”

27. “Genius without education is like silver in the mine.”

28. “All the little money that ever came into my hands was ever laid out in books.”

29. “The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Reading

30. “Reading makes a full man; meditation, a profound man; discourse, a clear man.”

31. “Reading was the only amusement I allowed myself.”

32. “Write to please yourself. When you write to please others, you end up pleasing no one.”

33. “Write your injuries in dust; your benefits, in marble.”

34. “The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - To find out a girl's faults, praise her to her girlfriends.

35. “To find out a girl’s faults, praise her to her girlfriends.”

36. “Words may show a man’s wit; actions, his meaning.”

37. “A good example is the best sermon.”

38. “Critics are our friends. They show us our faults.”

39. “He that speaks much, is much mistaken.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Thinking Aloud

40. “Thinking aloud is a habit which is responsible for most of mankind’s misery.”

41. “Genius is nothing but a greater aptitude for patience.”

42. “A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.”

43. “That which hurts, also instructs.”

44. “To follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes About Fools

45. “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain—and most fools do.”

46. “Games lubricate the body and mind.”

47. “Wise men don’t need advice. Fools won’t take it.”

48. “There are no fools so troublesome as those that have wit.”

49. “Look round the habitable world—how few know their own good, or knowing it, pursue!”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Independence, Freedom, and Rights

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Liberty

50. “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”

51. “Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.”

52. “Fart for freedom, fart for liberty—and fart proudly.”

53. “Only virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

54. “Security without liberty is called prison.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes About Democracy

55. “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what they are going to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

56. “The most secure place is a prison cell, but there is no liberty.”

57. “God grants that not only the love of liberty, but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that anybody may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say, ‘This is my country!’”

58. “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

59. “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Happiness

60. “The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”

61. “There was never a bad peace or a good war.”

62. “But in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

63. “In the affairs of this world, men are saved not by faith, but by the lack of it.”

64. “The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all others, charity.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - To be humble to superiors is a duty.

65. “To be humble to superiors is a duty; to equals, courtesy, to inferiors, nobleness.”

66. “Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils.”

67. “The unhappy man who has been treated as a brute animal too frequently sinks beneath the common standard of the human species.”

68. “He that lies down with dogs, shall rise up with fleas.”

69. “Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Anger

70. “Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.”

71. “Make yourself sheep and the wolves will eat you.”

72. “He that would live in peace and at ease, must not speak all he knows nor judge all he sees.”

73. “There are no gains without pains.”

74. “All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present, but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence, we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Money and Wealth

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Money

75. “When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”

76. “For the best return on your money, pour your purse into your head.”

77. “There are three faithful friends—an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.”

78. “He that is the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.”

79. “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Wealth

80. “There are two ways to increase your wealth—increase your means or decrease your wants. The best is to do both at the same time.”

81. “Contentment makes poor men rich. Discontent makes rich men poor.”

82. “I am for doing good to the poor, but I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”

83. “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

84. “Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Prevention

85. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

86. “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”

87. “When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.”

88. “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.”

89. “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Hard Things

90. “There are three things extremely hard—steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”

91. “Happiness consists more in the small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life.”

92. “To all apparent beauties blind, each blemish strikes an envious mind.”

93. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained!”

94. “It is hard for an empty sack to stand upright.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Little Strokes

95. “Little strokes fell great oaks.”

96. “If you know how to spend less than you get, you have the philosopher’s stone.”

97. “Great modesty often hides great merit.”

98. “Originality is the art of concealing your sources.”

99. “There cannot be good living where there is no good drinking.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - To lengthen your life, lessen your meals.

100. “To lengthen your life, lessen your meals.”

101. “He does not possess wealth; it possesses him.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Wisdom

102. “Lost time is never found again.”

103. “If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.”

104. “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

Benjamin Franklin quotes on saying the right thing in the right place.

105. “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.”

106. “Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.”

107. “Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame.”

108. “Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”

109. “Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - When you are finished changing, you're finished.

110. “When you are finished changing, you’re finished.”

111. “When you’re testing to see how deep water is, never use two feet.”

112. “A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.”

113. “Trouble knocked at the door, but hearing laughter, hurried away.”

114. “Life’s biggest tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Love and Beauty

115. “If Jack’s in love, he’s no judge of Jill’s beauty.”

116. “Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind, than on outward circumstances.”

117. “Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.”

118. “We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!”

119. “If a man could have half of his wishes, he would double his troubles.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - Speak all the good you know of everybody.

120. “Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody.”

121. “While we may not be able to control all that happens to us, we can control what happens inside us.”

122. “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.”

123. “A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.”

124. “There will be enough sleeping in the grave.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Doing Today

125. “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

126. “Fools make feasts and wise men eat them.”

127. “Finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall, in some shape or other, always exist.”

128. “It isn’t what you know that counts, it’s what you think of in time.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Hard Work and Security

129. “Work as if you were to live a thousand years, play as if you were to die tomorrow.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes About Motivation

130. “Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.”

131. “You will find the key to success under the alarm clock.”

132. “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

133. “To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”

134. “Never confuse motion with action.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

135. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

136. “Be civil to all, sociable to many; familiar with few, friend to one and enemy to none.”

137. “All mankind is divided into three classes—those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move.”

138. “Those things that hurt, instruct.”

139. “You can do anything you set your mind to.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - One today is worth two tomorrows.

140. “One today is worth two tomorrows.”

141. “Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.”

142. “To cease to think creatively is to cease to live.”

143. “If passion drives, let reason hold the reins.”

144. “He that won’t be counseled can’t be helped.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - Clean your finger before you point at my spots.

145. “Clean your finger before you point at my spots.”

146. “Whatever you become, be good at it.”

147. “A man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all the doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false.”

148. “Haste makes waste.”

149. “Don’t cry over spilled milk.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Hope

150. “He that lives upon hope will die fasting.”

151. “I’d rather be a pessimist because then I can only be pleasantly surprised.”

152. “Be not sick too late, nor well too soon.”

153. “Serving God is doing good to man, but praying is thought of as an easier service and therefore, more generally chosen.”

154. “Energy and persistence conquer all things.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper.

155. “I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then, I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.”

156. “How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”

157. “‘Tis a great confidence in a friend to tell him your faults; greater to tell him his.”

158. “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

159. “Love your enemies for they tell you your faults.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Hanging Together

160. “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

161. “The eye of a master will do more work than both his hands.”

162. “Leisure is the time for doing something useful. This leisure the diligent person will obtain, the lazy one will never.”

163. “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes on Virtue and Values

164. “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - A brother may not be a friend, but a friend will always be a brother.

165. “A brother may not be a friend, but a friend will always be a brother.”

166. “So convenient a thing to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for every thing one has a mind to do.”

167. “Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools that don’t have brains enough to be honest.”

168. “No one cares what you know until they know that you care!”

169. “Speak little, do much.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes About False Friends

170. “A false friend and a shadow attend only while the sun shines.”

171. “A friend in need is a friend indeed!”

172. “Joy is not in things, it is in us.”

173. “Search others for their virtues, yourself for your vices.”

174. “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - If you would be loved, love and be loveable.

175. “If you would be loved, love and be loveable.”

176. “A place for everything, everything in its place.”

177. “He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.”

178. “Vicious actions are not hurtful because they are forbidden, but forbidden because they are hurtful.”

179. “To be proud of virtue is to poison yourself with the antidote.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked.

180. “Glass, china, and reputation are easily cracked, and never well mended.”

181. “Where there’s marriage without love, there will be love without marriage.”

182. “God heals, and the doctor takes the fees.”

183. “He that displays too often his wife and his wallet is in danger of having both of them borrowed.”

184. “He that’s content, has enough; he that complains, has too much.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.

185. “A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.”

186. “All would live long, but none would be old.”

187. “Great beauty, great strength, and great riches are really and truly of no great use; a right heart exceeds all.”

188. “Don’t throw stones at your neighbors, if your own windows are glass.”

189. “Love your neighbor; yet don’t pull down your hedge.”

Benjamin Franklin Quotes - A cheerful face is nearly as good for an invalid as healthy weather.

190. “A cheerful face is nearly as good for an invalid as healthy weather.”

How Did These Benjamin Franklin Quotes Affect Your Life’s Future Course?

Benjamin Franklin was a man of many talents, but he’s best known as a leader and champion of his people’s independence, education, and security. Though he only had two years of formal education, he placed a great deal of importance on learning. One of the key lessons we have in his autobiography is to never stop learning—always find something to study and something new to learn. We should never let a lack of knowledge stop us from achieving what we want to do. With this, we’ll keep on improving and in the end, lead a content and happy life.

Which of these quotes inspired you to keep working hard on whatever it is you want to accomplish? What other Benjamin Franklin quotes do you want us to include? Comment them below.

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

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