(Just a reminder that my reflection and comments are late due to my absences) As a reminder, my five virtues were cleanliness, order, physical health, balance, and acceptance. My end goal was to lead a more productive lifestyle and create a healthier mindset. I tended to prioritize virtues that I could easily incorporate into that specific day, so sometimes it was focused on order and other days it was physical health. I was also out of town for a majority of this project so it was interesting to compare how I embodied my virtues in and out of school.
The virtue I struggled the most with was cleanliness. My goal with cleanliness was to solely keep my surroundings clean. To begin, I shared a hotel room with three other girls. As many people can assume, it was a struggle to keep our room clean. Although on our second to last day we allotted ourselves 10 minutes to clean it. This act completely changed our entire environment – both physically and mentally. Once I arrived home, my suitcase took over my room; clothes were everywhere. Similar to my cluttered and crazy room, my mental state was all over the place. At this point I was finally able to grasp the real reasoning for picking cleanliness as a virtue: people’s surroundings coexist with their mental happiness.
Although I improved on most of my virtues, the virtue I improved the most on was balance. Through this process I have learned that my body and mind needs breaks from the craziness of our society. When I was in Philadelphia, I did not open my computer to do any schoolwork on the trip. While this was partially forced because we did not have access to wifi, I was able to connect with my peers and live in the moment. Recently I have found myself worrying about schoolwork so much I have been unable to enjoy what’s happening at that moment.
In the end, my outcome from my virtues was similar to what I expected it to be. I was not extremely successful, but I learned key values I need to implement into my everyday life. Furthermore, if I tried this again in the future I would focus on one virtue at a time just as Benjamin Franklin did. I think it would be easier to conquer a virtue if I put all my attention into it. I think it is also important to understand that achieving “moral perfection” is unrealistic, all that is needed to try to continually be a better person.
Today was just like any other Thursday. Late start is always amazing, but somehow the day seems to take forever. After school we had our first day of basketball practice, accomplishing my physical health virtue. We received all our gear and then transitioned into brainstorming standards we wanted to set and work on for the rest of the season, very similar to our task with our virtues. For dinner we went out to a pizza place called 1889. It was a nice break from our ordinary nights at the Eck household. This break was important because it created a balance between school and home. Although the break was nice, it affected the order of the rest of my night. I was up so late trying to catch up on work and finish homework for the next day. Since I was up so late, I just had to accept the fact that I was not going to get a lot of sleep. I did not spend a ton of time in my room today so I managed to keep it pretty clean.
Today is the day I finally tackled my messy room. Although it is not perfect, I am able to say I achieved my virtue of cleanliness for the day. After school I had my final day of basketball tryouts. I know I will be able to continue to work on my virtue of physical health because we will have practice everyday. At the end of tryouts we were told our teams, but before finding out I had already accepted the results because there was nothing I could change now. It would have been unnecessary stress to worry about something out of my control at that point. Tonight I was able to relax. I balanced my crazy week with a night to just decompress and not worry about school.
Today I was able to achieve the majority of my virtues. During seminar, I took a physics quiz I had missed from being absent the previous week, and then I completed my math homework. I was able to achieve my virtue order through my productivity and efforts towards school. Just like yesterday, I had basketball tryouts again which checked physical health off my list of things to work on. After getting home for the night, I studied for my physics test. I completed all of the review and accepted the grade I was going to get on the test because I had done all the preparation I could do. Without a surprise, my room is still messy with a suitcase and clothes scattered everywhere so cleanliness still needs to be more of a priority.
Today was a struggle. After being awake for 22 hours the previous day, I had to push through school. I understood that I needed to go to school because I had already missed a substantial amount. This reflects my virtue of order. I knew I needed to be productive and continue to work so I wouldn’t fall more behind. After school I had the first day of basketball tryouts, so my physical health virtue was well exceeded through this vigorous event. Although I was successful with some of the other virtues, the cleanliness of my room was lacking. I assume many can relate to the post-trip suitcase chaos.
(I was absent on a journalism trip so these days are combined) On Friday and Saturday I attended a journalism convention, and on Sunday we traveled home. At this point in the trip, my cleanliness was lacking; our hotel room was a disaster. So on Friday night we spent 10 minutes cleaning and it completely changed the atmosphere of the room. Everyone had a feeling of relief to be staying somewhere where we could actually see the floor instead of it being covered in clothes. Similar to our previous days, they consisted of a lot of walking because it was our main mode of transportation, so physical health was achieved across the board. While at the convention, we were tasked with assignments and had an allotted amount of time to shoot, edit, and submit our photos so order was a main focus. Without order, I would have been unsuccessful in my submissions. Although the beginning of the week started well, Sunday was a different story. In order to catch our flight, we had to wake up at 3 a.m. eastern time. I needed to do homework from classes, but I was too tired to focus on any of my school work so I accepted the fact that I would not be able to complete it all in one day. Once I finally got home I was able to do some work, however, I had a concert that night that I bought tickets for over two years ago. This resulted in my day not being balanced at all. I finally went to bed 22 hours after waking up for my flight that morning.
(I was absent on a journalism trip so these days are combined) My past three days have consisted of packing, traveling, and a ton of walking. To begin, packing can be a stressful event; it takes forever and can be tiring. To work on my virtue order, I created a list of items that I needed to bring on my trip so I could stay on top of everything. This event also included accepting that I may not be able to fit everything in my suitcase (it ended up all working out in the end…funny how that works). The next day was full of traveling. This was a much needed break from the stress of everyday life relating to the virtue balance. Having a day where I had no concerns about doing schoolwork was very relaxing and beneficial for my mental health. Finally, we had a day full of walking, exceeding my goal of physical health. While I suggested starting small in my introduction, I ended the day with over 20,000 steps…may be hard to beat in the future!
For the next two weeks, I will be attempting “moral perfection,” similar to Benjamin Franklin. My motivation behind this blog is to become a better version of myself, to push myself. Benjamin Franklin worked on 13 virtues, attempting a new one each week. However, in the time frame given, I will be challenging myself with only 5 virtues, working on them all everyday. I am creating this blog to hold myself accountable and reflect on my efforts.
The five virtues I picked are cleanliness, order, physical health, balance, and acceptance. Following in Franklin’s footsteps, I will be challenging myself to work on cleanliness and order. Cleanliness will be solely focused on keeping my surroundings clean. This includes my room, car, desk, etc. Having a clean environment will allow me to be more productive which leads into my next virtue, order. I have an extremely busy schedule so it is important to stay organized and on top of my work. If I do not have order in my life, it creates unneeded stressors resulting in unhappiness. To combat this, I will be writing down the tasks I need to complete that day. My personal virtues include physical health, balance, and acceptance. Physical health is a very important aspect in my life, but sometimes I struggle to hold myself accountable. I plan on setting small goals for myself each day to ensure that I achieve them. As the two weeks go on I will continually challenge myself with harder goals, ultimately reaching “perfection.” Although that may be a stretch, it is important to push myself. Alongside physical health, I will be focusing on creating a balanced lifestyle. Everything in life has a place. Understanding how everything fits together is essential: allowing myself to have breaks but also pushing myself to achieve more. Tracking balance will be dictated on a day-to-day basis. Finally, I will be working on acceptance. Sometimes certain things are meant to happen; I can only control so much. Similar to order, accepting certain things in life can be beneficial and create a less stressful lifestyle.
I truly hope that these virtues I will be working on become habits in my everyday life. While that may not be realistic, it may lead to small changes bettering my approach to life. Even if this is a complete failure, I hope you enjoy my journey of achieving moral perfection!