Introduction: I am making this blog for a number of reasons. These daily entries will hold me accountable. I want to have something to write about every day that I am proud of and getting in the habit of focusing on these virtues will naturally help me to improve myself. Reading the comments of encouragement and reflecting on what I have done will motivate me to continue these strategies past the due date for this assignment. I know about Benjamin Franklin’s work as a founding father and inventor but very little about his virtues and who he really was as a person.
My virtues include humility, sincerity, moderation, friendliness, and ambition. For humility I need to remember to take a step back and not get too high on myself. . Sincerity is an important one for me. I am a bit of a “people pleaser” and tend to make promises I can’t always fulfill to make people happy. I need to be honest with myself and with other people. Moderation is one that I struggle with a bit. I need to get away from the extremes and take things a little slower in general. Friendliness is a virtue that everyone can work on. Being friendly to people makes everyone’s life better, and it’s not really that hard to ask. Perhaps my most important one is the ability to be ambitious. I need to hold myself to a higher standard and not just be content with being mediocre or doing the bare minimum because I know I can be more than that. Strategically, I put reminders in my phone at 7:40 and 4:00 everyday so I am thinking about these virtues throughout the day.
My hopes for this project is that these continue to be things I work on and improve on. Not just a school blog, but something that I can truly make the most of. I predict sincerity and ambition to be the most difficult. They’re both easier said than done and come with different mental obstacles. Humility, moderation, and friendliness are not easy virtues to follow by any means but I feel that these are more manageable as far as being in situations where I can think about these virtues and accomplish them. Expecting perfection from yourself is absurd but just thinking about values that are important to you and making an effort to better yourself will be beneficial for everyone. I can’t wait to see the improvements that my peers and I will make.
Entry 1: Today was the first day of my journey to moral perfection. I decided to focus on friendliness. It was also a school day so I had plenty of opportunities to make the day a success. I am not a rude person by any means but I could definitely make more of an effort to be nice to some people and just let them know I appreciate them and enjoy being with them. I am especially quiet in the mornings. I usually don’t talk to anyone until things have gotten started a bit and I have fully woken up. Today I showed up and greeted my table mates in science for the first hour and tried my best to be friendly in all my interactions with people throughout the days in the halls and classrooms. I also had to make sure it didn’t feel fake because that would be completely counterproductive. This didn’t require a great deal of effort but it brightened my day a little bit and hopefully improved the people I interacted with days as well. This was a good virtue to start off with as a success and get the ball rolling for the blog.
Entry 2: I wasn’t sure how I was going to execute the sincerity virtue but it came naturally. I’d like to say I was just doing this for the blog but that just wouldn’t be true. In my 6th hour math class, I was completely lost and I think Mr. Burrows could tell because I didn’t have much of the homework done. He came over and asked if I had any questions. Generally, I just act like I know what’s going on and pretend to snap out of it and get to work. I expressed my struggle and he walked through one of the problems with me to figure out where I am getting stuck. Being honest with him got some things cleared up mathematically and also instilled some confidence in me to just be honest with people when I don’t understand something. It doesn’t help anyone to lie and just be stuck confused.
Entry 3: Moderation is a key to good mental health but tends to get overlooked. Living life in extremes is very stressful. I had a lot of things I needed to get done and was anxious throughout the school day. When I got home I got right into my homework and was very productive for about a couple hours. My work rate hit a brick wall shortly after and I was a little fatigued, getting nothing done. I had to accept that I needed a break from schoolwork and my macbook. I decided to take my dog on a walk to moderate my workload, which he appreciated very much. When we returned from our walk my mind had cleared up and I was ready to finish what I started.
Entry 4: Today wasn’t my best day. I planned to focus on ambition but I know I could’ve been better. I was on task in class for the most part and went through moments where I was motivated to work hard but I also didn’t finish an assignment in US History that I had time to do in class because I was talking and on my phone. It’s not the end of the world but I want to break these lazy habits and settling for being good “for the most part” doesn’t show any form of ambition. While writing this entry I realized that this is a moment of humility for me. I wasn’t going to just go ride the highs of the last few days and after a week become this morally faultless person. Sometimes you need to be humbled to use as motivation and learn from.
Entry 5: Still not happy about how yesterday went I was hungry to get back on track. It’s Saturday and I was in an ambitious mood. I had homework to do and some errands to run for my mom. Knowing I wouldn’t want to do anything tomorrow with NFL football on and definitely not later when the Chiefs are playing I got all my homework done and took care of the errands my mom wanted me to do around 2. It felt great to enjoy the rest of the weekend with no responsibilities and to get back my journey to moral perfection back on track.
Entry 6: Friendliness best defines my Sunday. I completely forgot we were having a family gathering today at my grandma’s house and was not in the best mood. Obviously nothing personal against anyone there but it was not my ideal way to spend my Sunday. I tried my best to go in there with a good attitude and be friendly to everyone. It started off as an act trying to accomplish friendliness for the day but I found myself fully engaged and genuinely interested in the conversations. My extra friendliness took away all the awkwardness from conversations and made the event much more enjoyable.
Entry 7: I spent a large amount of my time this weekend relaxing and watching TV. It’s time for the other side of moderation as I have had no problems with overworking myself the last couple days. It was a Monday, so I visited all of my classes. Motivated to make up for my lazy weekend, I got my homework done in class in US History and Forensic Science. Most importantly, I finished my Graphic Design project. Graphic Design is a class that too often becomes “phone time” for me. Today, I used the whole class period and submitted my design a day before it’s due. I wanted to choose virtues that better myself and encourage me to get some goals accomplished. Today was a perfect example of both.
Entry 8: Today takes the cake for my worst day. I’m trying to give myself credit for something but I just can’t do it. I took my first loss early when I underperformed on my math mastery quiz. This put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day, eliminating any ambition I had and my chances of being friendly. The final blow came a few hours later when I saw my friend that I had just beaten in fantasy football. I talked all the trash I could get out before he reminded me he still had a player playing in the Monday night game. So of course Deebo Samuel had 5 receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown, beating my team and teaching me a hard lesson about humility. Fortunately, I still have two more days of this blog to end on a high note.
Entry 9: Today was dedicated to humility. When I came home from school I asked my mom how her day was. She responded “pretty good”, but that wasn’t enough for me today. I sat down and we had a conversation where I just listened, barely speaking. I didn’t interject with any nonsense and learned a little more about what she does daily and her thoughts on some things. It was nice and I think it meant a lot to her to know that I care. This is the bare minimum I can do and definitely something that I need to do more often.
Entry 10: I thought about accomplishing all of the virtues today for the finale but that would defeat the whole purpose of this project. My goal isn’t to just have a great 10 days. I want to improve for the better long term and continue to grow. I had dedicated two days to each virtue except sincerity. My sister had really been wanting to watch the movie “Pursuit of Happyness” lately and I promised her I would watch it with her. Today was the perfect day to watch it and fulfill my promise. I loved the movie too, although it was much more emotional than I anticipated. This marks the end of my blog, but my journey to moral perfection is just gettin started.
Conclusion: My prioritization process was to accomplish the virtues I was most confident in early and find myself in a habit of improving each day. Once the ball got rolling and I had found some success, I tackled the virtues I believed had the most room for improvement. These virtues were chosen with the mindset of bettering myself and progressing in skills that I believe are pertinent to a successful life. Moderation was the most important virtue for me because it is the key to accomplishing my other virtues and goals in general. Learning about myself throughout this assignment will allow me to offer advice that I have accumulated to my family and other people in the future.
The virtue I struggled with the most is ambition. I knew going into this that it would be the most challenging for me but also the most important. That’s why I chose to work on it, I truly want to break the lazy habits that have been holding me back. Ambition is so reliant on mentality, and finding motivation is not something that is easy for me. Initially, it was the fact that this was worth a grade that motivated me but seeing some of the benefits already has encouraged me to continue working on ambition. Being ambitious day in and day out was difficult and will continue to be, as it is for everyone, but If I could keep improving little by little I will be so much better off. The only way to master something like this is to just keep developing and see the positive changes being made.
The virtue I made the most progress in was sincerity. Being honest with everyone as well as being honest with myself is very important. It saves a lot of stress if you are truthful and realistic with your ability to do things. This is important to me because I struggle with saying no to people, I want to be able to help everyone out and that’s not always possible. I am far from mastering this but have made significant improvements in this skill over the last 10 days.
Overall, I’m very satisfied with the improvements that I have made. I am most proud of my progress made in sincerity, moderation, and humility. I had my moments of success with friendliness and ambition too. The combination of sincerity and ambition made for one of the best weeks of school I have had in a long time in terms of being on task and productivity. I did not reach moral perfection in these 10 days but in my attempt to achieve this impossible goal I improved in many aspects and learned more about myself along the way. This is the end of the blog, but not the journey. I will keep all the reminders in my phone, continue to reference this blog and better myself.