Verbs of virtue: If you want to change your life, change the way you think.

My favorite, judging by the way I use my time? I think.
By: Jacob Bøtter

Here is a list of 575 verbs. If you put the word “I” in front of each one of them, and then follow through, you are defying malign fate by acting in your own behalf — which is my definition of virtue.

This list started with me, and Cathleen Collins and Teri Lussier made important contributions to it. At some point, I’ll write software around these verbs. For now, take a look and see if you can add to the list.

abstract, accelerate, accept, acclimate, accomplish, accuse, achieve, acquire, acquit, act, adapt, add, adjust, admire, admonish, adore, advise, advocate, affect, agitate, allow, am, amble, amend, anticipate, apostrophize, applaud, apply, appoint, appreciate, apprehend, approve, argue, arise, ascend, aspire, assign, assist, attain, attend, attest, attract, author, awaken

balance, beam, bear, befriend, begin, behold, believe, benefit, bind, birth, bless, blossom, bubble, build, buy

calibrate, cancel, capture, care, carry, castigate, cause, caution, celebrate, challenge, change, check, cherish, choose, clarify, clean, cleanse, climb, coach, collaborate, color, comfort, commence, communicate, compare, complete, compose, comprehend, compute, conceive, concentrate, conclude, condense, conduct, confirm, confront, connect, conquer, conserve, consider, construct, consult, consume, contemplate, contract, control, converse, convince, cooperate, correct, counsel, court, covet, crave, create, cultivate, cure, customize

dance, dare, decide, deduce, defend, define, delegate, delight, delimit, deliver, demand, demonstrate, derive, describe, deserve, design, desire, detail, detect, determine, develop, devise, devote, diagnose, dicker, dignify, direct, disclose, discover, discuss, dispatch, display, dissect, distinguish, do, document, draft, draw, dream, dress, drive

earn, edit, educate, effect, elevate, elicit, embrace, empathize, employ, encapsulate, enclose, encourage, endure, energize, enfold, engage, engineer, enhance, enjoy, enlarge, enlighten, ennoble, enrich, ensure, enthrall, entrust, enumerate, envision, escape, establish, evaluate, evolve, exalt, examine, excel, exclaim, execute, exemplify, exercise, exhibit, expedite, experience, experiment, explode, explore, expose, expound, express, extend, extricate, exult

face, farm, fashion, father, favor, favorite, feature, feel, find, finish, fix, flow, flower, focus, forecast, forget, forgive, fortify, foster, found, frolic

gain, gambol, gather, generate, give, glow, grace, grasp, grow, guard, guide

handle, harvest, heal, hear, heft, help, hold, honor, hope, hug, hurry, husband, hustle

identify, ignite, illuminate, illustrate, imagine, implement, improve, improvise, include, increase, individuate, inform, initiate, innovate, insist, inspect, inspire, instruct, integrate, intend, intercede, interject, introduce, invent, invest, investigate, invigorate, involve

judge, justify


labor, last, laugh, launch, lead, learn, lecture, listen, live, load, locate, love

maintain, make, manage, maneuver, manufacture, map, market, marry, marvel, master, maximize, measure, mediate, meditate, mend, mentor, mobilize, modernize, monitor, mother, motivate, move, multiply

navigate, negotiate, nurse, nurture

object, observe, obtain, offer, operate, opine, oppose, orchestrate, organize, originate, overcome, own

paint, parent, perceive, perfect, perform, persevere, persuade, philosophize, picture, pilot, pioneer, plan, plant, play, please, position, possess, practice, praise, pray, predict, prefer, prepare, prescribe, present, preserve, press, probe, proceed, process, produce, proffer, project, promise, promote, propagate, propose, prosper, protect, provide, publicize, publish, punctuate, purchase, push

qualify, quantify, quarry, quest, question

race, radiate, raise, rank, rate, ratify, reach, read, realize, reap, reason, recall, receive, recharge, reciprocate, recognize, recommend, reconcile, reconnect, record, rectify, refine, regain, rehabilitate, reinforce, reinvigorate, reject, rejoice, rejuvenate, relaunch, release, relish, reload, remember, remodel, render, renew, reorganize, repair, replace, report, reposition, represent, reproduce, request, require, requite, research, reserve, reside, resolve, respond, restore, restrict, retain, retrieve, return, revere, review, revise, revisit, revitalize, rise, risk, romance, run

salute, sanction, satisfy, saunter, save, savor, schedule, scrutinize, sculpt, scurry, search, secure, see, seek, select, sell, sermonize, service, set, shape, share, shimmer, shine, shout, show, simplify, sing, sketch, skip, smell, smile, soar, solve, soothe, sort, sow, sparkle, speak, specify, start, stay, steer, stimulate, store, straighten, streamline, strengthen, stretch, stride, strive, stroll, structure, study, succeed, supplant, supply, support, surmount, surpass, suspend, sustain, synthesize

talk, taste, teach, tend, test, testify, thank, theorize, think, thrill, thrive, toast, touch, trace, track, trade, train, transact, treasure, treat, triumph, trust, try

unchain, uncover, understand, undertake, undress, unearth, unencumber, unite, unleash, unshackle, unveil, upend, upgrade, uphold, uplift, use

validate, value, verify, view, visit, visualize, vitalize, vow

wake, walk, want, warm, watch, weigh, welcome, whisper, whistle, win, wish, witness, wive, wonder, work, write

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  • Interesting, and I will incorporate some of that into my practice. I usually take a short cut, however and just say this:

    I own my life and body. I am the only one who is responsible for that life and my safety. That’s why I carry a gun.

    I happen to love my life and am not afraid to live it, or to defend it at need.