A few years back, Socrates made a fairly bold claim – “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Upon reflection I would propose a word change. For giggles, lets replace the word “worth” with great. The unexamined life is not great living. So, what is?
At BTL we propose great lives are lived by humans who know who they are (CORE), where they’re going (OPUS) and are committed to productive action (PA) toward their aim. Socrates said you gotta commit to the examined life and he was right. You’ve got to commit to quality time reflecting too. This is far from stare at your navel and go silent. I’m proposing the discipline of phronesis here. Big word. Simple translation. The Greeks referred to phronesis as practical wisdom. This is the one we want to reflect our way toward. So, as you get busy getting after a life aligned with your CORE and aimed at your OPUS, you’ve got to set regular time to reflect, practically speaking, regarding your efforts and your aim. We’re referring to this reflective discipline as “Sunday discipline.” Sounds practical to me…
Sunday discipline. If you’ve built your CORE and authored OPUS, every Sunday night sit for a few minutes and put a handful of PA on paper or computer. Use the unifying strategies as the starting point for this discipline. Your PA you put on paper are PA you are making a “done so” for the week. Week two and every week thereafter you will rinse and repeat with a twist. Week two on you will also take a few minutes to reflect on what you did the past week. Look at your PA and grade it simply. Remember, Yoda here. There is no try or partial credit. Do or do not translates here to pass/fail – next to each PA write pass or fail. Good.
Slow down and reflect.
Slow down and reflect. Phronesis is built here. Think about the effectiveness of your PA. What could make it better. Does it belong on the following week or not and why. What kinda PA are you doing that another could do better? What kinda PA do you always put on paper but rarely knock out? Why? What PA is missing in action? Why? What PA felt great and left you energized? Why not more here? Slow down, reflect and write. Good.
Overtime, the Sunday discipline is going to open your mind to possibilities and even new ideas. You are going to see nuances if you remain open and persevere through obstacles and distractions. You may even change some direction or belief as you reflect on these quiet Sunday’s in your room, alone. Pascal would be so darn proud of you. More importantly, however, is what Socrates would say. Socrates would say you are becoming a better builder, planner, CEO, parent, producer, Chairman, and person of phronesis. Good.
Great, actually. The examined life is great living, isn’t it. Sunday discipline is a simple start. Do or do not. Keep us posted on your progress and don’t forget to share any “ands” along the way. I hope this helps you as much as it has me and a few clients who’ve bolted this baby on. The enemy to your progress is thinking you’ve arrived and moving on to an endless array of new. Phronesis reminds us there is nothing new, really new, under the sun. Go back and tighten your CORE, friend. Go back. Keep going back. The real way forward is clarity. Clarity within and clarity of aim. And, clarity and consistentency of “left foot, right foot” as you baby step your way forward. Good…