In the Be the Men intro email, we talked about living intentionally. Another way to look at it is being Proactive vs Reactive.
For many of us, the contrast of proactive versus reactive manifests itself in work. Every day seems to be a never ending list of to-do’s that are reactions to problems. Fires that need to be put out. If you’ve experienced this – it’s certainly hard to make progress on the big things, and it’s not very fulfilling.
This Proactive/Reactive concept can have negative consequences for our pursuit to live virtuous lives. An angry outburst when a driver cuts us off, impatience with an annoying coworker, looking lustfully at a pretty girl… all reactions sometimes that we don’t even realize are happening because they’ve become habits.
As men called to a life of greatness, our goal is to cultivate better habits – to react with virtue in any situation without thinking twice. Virtue just comes naturally. The reality is that most of the time patience, humility, charity don’t come naturally – we have to practice them.
The first step is by acknowledging how we are reacting throughout our day. Then, recognizing when those situations come up again and acting with virtue.
For the challenge this week, we are going to focus on that first part – acknowledging our reactions.
This week, we are going to try out a modified and simplified version of an examination of conscience. (If you’ve done an examination of conscience before, I invite you to continue that one if you’d like). Otherwise, here’s one way to do it.
Every night before bed take 5-10 minutes to run back through your day, while focusing on these questions.
- What was a high point of your day?
- What was a low point of your day?
- What are you most grateful for today?
- What are you least grateful for today?
- Were there a moment that God was acting in your life?
- Was there a missed opportunity to grow in patience? Humility? Prudence? Charity?
It’s important to note that in calling out our sins and shortcomings, we want to pray to God for forgiveness, and the grace to be better tomorrow.
Be the Men,