Thomas Jefferson, Third President, 1801-1809
- Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
- Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
- Never spend money before you have earned it.
- Never buy what you don't want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.
- Take care of your cents: Dollars will take care of themselves.
- Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.
- We seldom repent of having eaten too little.
- Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
- How much pain the evils have cost us that have never happened.
- Take things always by the smooth handle.*
- Think as you please, and so let others, and you will have no disputes.
- When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, count a hundred.
From "Canons of Conduct" Written for his namesake Thomas Jefferson Smith, Feb. 21, 1825.
* meaning, "the exchange of ideas must always be civil" or interpreted by the reader. (monticello.org)
Jefferson pared down this list in later life to exclude 5 and 11. Maybe he had money issues and disputes after all.