Now, those of you who have known me for quite some time now or have followed me here from my older blogs know that there are two things about the above statement that need to be put out there:
- I love personal challenges.
- Self-improvement isn't easy for someone as self-absorbed and prideful as I am.
Since my last post, I stumbled upon this article entitled "An Overview of the Virtues". It's a list of virtues and attributes that one should be mindful of each and every day. Then, it as if the blog gods were shining down on me, I was finally struck by inspiration for a series of posts. As I was reading the list, the know-it-all smartass in me was thinking, "Are these pompous, blazer-wearing, lacrosse-playing, trust funded Columbia students trying to lecture me on how to be a better person?" It was then, that my sordid thought was quickly followed by a convicting realization that I was betraying one of the virtues on the list.
Personally, I don't consider myself to be some sort of villain, but on the other hand, I'm definitely nothing close to saintlike. However, I amone who is known to quickly jump to conclusions and dish out words of wisdom and advice as if I already know what it takes to take on life with nothing but common sense and a nice smile. I was raised by two very strong-willed parents, each possessing outstanding moral compasses. As the saying goes, "No one is perfect", and I for one can definitely attest that I am far from perfect regardless of how well I was raised.
I have thought about how I'm going to take on this challenge, and I have decided to spend each week of the following month getting in touch with one of the four virtues: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. I will keep a personal journal in which I will record my daily reflections of my actions and thoughts, and at least once every week, I will update my readers on the progress of each virtue. The idea is to finish out the year as a more refined character, ready to take on the new year with a newfound insight and diplomatic grace. Among that list I have decided to add on a daily focus just to challenge myself even further (ohhh, how I love doing that). Every day, I am going to try to also focus on gratitude. Since I feel that I can often be rather annoying and whiny about my past and present situations, I figured practicing daily gratitude would help me live a more fulfilled life. So, without much further ado, I am going post my first gratitude. Drumroll please...
I am grateful to simply be alive.
Feel cheated? I wouldn't think so. I have lost many close friends and family members who had so much going for them and so much to offer, that I figured this was a good place to start out with expressing how grateful I am that I am able to wake up every day with something to give to the world and the ability to work toward my goals. Haven't you ever had that dream where you were dead? I have, and the only feeling I remember having upon waking up is sadness that I couldn't continue living. Life is such a beautiful gift, and I am grateful for each and every day that I have been given of it.
Here are some snap shots of the beauty in my life and things that I have been grateful for since my move to Hawai'i:
Adventures at Cromwell's Beach with friends.
Swap meet lovin' with my parents.
The abundance of extraordinary birds.
Double rainbow all the way across the skyyy!!
So, to wrap things up in preparation for a rather interesting month, I am very excited to take on this challenge, and if any of you reading this feel like joining me, you are more than welcome to do so. I am simply following the list in that article and practicing (with extra care) the attributes listed. By the end of the month, I plan to make Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Temperance, and Gratitude my new best friends. First up for this week is: Prudence, the virtue of sound judgement. In this next week, I will open my mind to practice respect for others and their cultures, life experiences, and the causes and effects of each circumstance. The main challenge will be the, "Ability to recognize the good, the true, and the beautiful; and to discern thee from the evil, the false, and the sordid."
I know this all may sound nuts to you, but honestly, this is a project for myself and my own personal growth, and I can't freakin' wait to take it on!