I prioritized my virtues in the following order: moderation, industry, love for family, resolution, and cleanliness. Oddly, I had the most difficulty working on the ones I prioritized, specifically moderation and love for family. I picked these virtues because they are all things I struggle with and think could make me happier if I followed them more. They are ranked in order of importance according to how poorly I demonstrate those virtues already — I’m the worst at moderation and the best at cleanliness. This assignment could be used as evidence of my character because my drive to improve upon these virtues reflects how much I want to contribute to society. Each day of implementing these virtues, I was motivated by wanting to better myself and become the kind of person I want to see in the rest of the world. I hoped the greatest contribution I made throughout this process was to my family. While I did little things like picking up around the house and spending a few extra minutes out of my day talking to them, I feel that these interactions made me happier and more appreciative of them. I’m thankful for this because, now that the holidays are coming up, I’m on good terms with my family, so Thanksgiving will be enjoyable this year.
I struggled greatly with moderation, which I selected because I too often alternate between hours on Tik Tok and days of straight studying in homework — either one extreme or the other. I’d like to spread my life out more evenly so that I’m not overwhelmed with one thing at once — thus, I need more moderation in my life. It’s important for me to have balance in my day-to-day life so that I can get through those long hours of studying and to make going on my phone more fun, which happens when I don’t use it in excess. Difficulties, like loads of make-up work to catch up on when I got back from a trip, got in my way and made it hard to do school in moderation. This had a chain effect that caused me to also spend too much time on my phone when I wanted a break. It was an unbalanced cycle that led me to be less productive than I would be with moderate time on each activity. If I want to master this virtue in the future, I need to force myself to limit the amount of time spent on each activity to a tee. It seems that telling myself that I have even one more minute on Tik Tok will lead to another hour, so exactness is important here.
I made the most improvement on time with family. I was worried about this one being the most difficult as my family is busy and it’s often difficult to coordinate everyone being home at the same time to spend time together. However, I found that by putting in a little effort, I could find some time to talk to my siblings or parents after school or before bed. I’m so glad I did, because my family is so important to me and I wanted to work on showing them how much I care about them. I benefited from this in that I learned that just shooting my dad a text to check in on him during the day or having a conversation with my brother after school lifts my mood so much.
My life improved from working on these virtues because I now know that just setting a goal for myself and setting time to think about it will make me more likely to get better at it. This may seem somewhat straight forward, but often times I think about how I’d like to improve in one way or the other — for example by spending more time with family — but it’s rare that I’ll actually act on that thought. By simply writing down “I am going to do this,” I held myself to that goal and was far better at remembering to do it. I’m grateful for this lesson as I can now implement it in future goals — either academic or personal — to improve my life in the future.