“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Próklisi …..
Photo: D. Paul Graham, “Victory Flag”, Road Atlanta Raceway, 2023
“Monday 5 Things”™ ….. Próklisi…..
That famous Grecian, Aristotle, said that “the good of man is a working of the soul in the way of excellence in a complete life. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” In other words, we are what we repeatedly do. In a world where mediocrity has seemingly become accepted as the norm, living a mindset of excellence as a habit is definitely a challenge. The Greek word for challenge is “próklisi”.
I spent the weekend photographing the Ferrari Challenge race in Atlanta. All the teams are challenged to work together to fine tune their cars with excellence. Driver’s challenge and push themselves to their limits of excellence for victory and a coveted spot on the podium. Time on track affords me a lot of time alone as I meander through paddocks, pits, corners, and straights. I use that time to challenge myself to observe, to capture moments in pixels, and to think about habits of excellence. For numerous reasons, this weekend I found myself pondering the word challenge. Challenges of a race weekend; challenges in the lives of those closest to me; and the challenges in my own life that need to próklisi.
A few years ago, realizing I needed to change some things in my life, I gave myself five 30-day challenges. I dug them up and this morning’s M5T once again poses these challenges.
1. The Thumper Approach.
For the next 30 days, I will keep complaints, negativity, and the titillation of gossip to myself. As Bambi’s friend said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”
2. I’m sweet enough.
For the next 30 days, I’m going to radically change the amount of sugar that I have in my diet, including, gasp, bread, pizza, fermented grapes, as well as certain well-aged single malts from a land over the pond, and my other nectar of choice that comes from a land just north of the Peach State.
3. You say yes, I say no.
You say stop, I say go, go, go. With a tip of the hat to Lennon and McCartney, for the next 30 days, I will be committed to not being pulled in directions that others want me to go and instead will choose to engage in those things that will be the highest and best use of my time.
For years, I have used my quiet time in the morning to read my bible, to pray, and to simply be thankful. For the next 30 days, I’m going to take time at the end of the day to reflect, rejoice, and regroup for the coming day.
5. Just Start.
There are certain parts of my life that I know I’m procrastinating on, some of which are not really big deals, but are hanging out there. Others are areas of my life that I know I need to change, finish, or deal with. For the next 30 days, I’m going to be honest with myself and take steps to move off a state of postponement and adopt a more balanced and honest approach to starting or completing the things that I’ve been avoiding, loathing, or fearful about.
Here’s to self-imposed challenges and seeing what “próklisi” the next 30 days brings about in your life.
© 2023 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved
For over 11 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T. You can reach Paul by email at firstname.lastname@example.org