To shape ourselves to become the person we want to be, and to build “good” habits, it is valuable to write a personal code of conduct, which you try to stick to. Read it every morning before you leave the house, and go through it in the evening, reflecting whether you behaved according to the rules you set for yourself.
The four rules below were listed by Benjamin Franklin, on his sailing journey from London to Philadelphia. They resonated particularly with me, hence the reference.
- It is necessary for me to be extremely frugal for some time, till I have paid what I owe.
- To endeavor to speak truth in every instance; to give nobody expectations that are not likely to be answered, but aim at sincerity in every word and action–the most amiable excellence in a rational being.
- To apply myself industriously to whatever business I take in hand, and not divert my mind from my business by any foolish project of suddenly growing rich; for industry and patience are the surest means of plenty.
- I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever.