Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Do you ever wonder how much good you actually do in the world? Most of us have a pretty good sense of where we struggle. But often we underestimate the moments when we are at our best.
A friend and I recently began to take a hard look at the places in life where we actually produce good in the world. It's pretty simple, and I think you'll find it helpful.
St. Paul teaches us (Phil. 4:8) to focus on "whatever is True, whatever is Honorable, whatever is Just, whatever is Pure, whatever is Lovely, whatever is Gracious, Excellent, and anything worthy of Praise." So at the start of each day, we write down those eight words: True, Honorable, Just, Pure, Lovely, Gracious, Excellent, Praiseworthy. Beside each word, I write down thoughts about what I did the day before. Can I remember a moment where I did something pure? Offered something lovely? Said something gracious?
That simple exercise allows me to see just where I produced good in the world. And if I struggle to remember something in one or two areas, I know I failed to offer as much good in the world as I could have.
Best of all, those eight words start becoming a part of my whole day. I remember them when I am at work or with friends or running errands. Simply remembering the words, and knowing that I will write down my actions for the day, actually causes me to focus on doing more positive good.
True. Honorable. Just. Pure. Lovely. Gracious. Excellent. Praiseworthy. Or THJPLGEP for short!
Focus on THJPLGEP, and watch your goodness begin to grow. Then watch the people around you benefit from your new focus.