Jefferson’s Twelve Rules



  1. Never put off to tomorrow what you can do to-day.
  2. Never trouble another with what you can do yourself.
  3. Never spend your money before you have it.
  4. Never buy a thing you do not want, because it is cheap, it will be dear to you.
  5. Take care of your cents: Dollars will take care of themselves.
  6. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.
  7. We never repent of having eat too little.
  8. Nothing is troublesome that one does willingly.
  9. How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened.
  10. Take things always by their smooth handle.
  11. Think as you please, and so let others, and you will have no disputes.
  12. When angry, count 10. before you speak; if very angry, 100. [1]

Thomas Jefferson

I am truly impressed by this man’s grasp on what is important, his ability to capture it in words, and to translate it for those of us who need a simple translation. Thanks TJ!


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2 responses to “Jefferson’s Twelve Rules

  1. Nancy

    Although I am a huge fan of TJ and I’m familiar with a few of these sayings, I never saw this list before! Thanks, Rick, for sharing Jefferson’s Canons of Conduct! I learned something new – very cool 🙂

    • Hi Nancy! I know what you mean about the Squire. He really made the most of his time and intellect. I love how diverse his studies were and even more so how he applied them to his life! What’s interesting about the Canons, is that the store sells something similiar to this, but narrowed it down to ten rules…

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