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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Surprising conclusions!

SURPRISE - A sudden feeling of wonder or astonishment; to come upon or discover suddenly and unexpectedly. [Click here for this week's Bliss Initiatives]
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This has been a fun week. Surprise is definitely something that gets Bliss going in me! I realized this week that I don't have to be concocting huge and elaborate surprises to enjoy it's treasure. Watching a butterfly lingering on a flower, noticing my Sweetie or daughter reaching an arm out to touch me while we sit together on the couch, taking time to use the long cook rather then instant oatmeal can all be surprising and sweetly satisfying if you let your self get present to it. 

I can't say I even concentrated very much on my Bliss Initiatives but I did embrace the virtue in a way that leads me to a 7 out of 10 on my weekly scale. I am also awarding 3 bliss boosts for the overall upswing in bliss concentrating on surprise has given me. Over the course of my experiment I can honestly report that my virtues have increased bliss but more importantly I am NOTICING and UTILIZING each of them in some really new ways. I obviously picked my virtues because I had a hint of their power for inducing bliss but I am really inspired by the result of my focus over time. 

Next week is my Hiatus week, a week off of specific concentration after a full circuit through the virtues. I added this in after the last cycle when I felt like I needed a bit of a break. This time I actually don't feel I need the same thing but I decided to go ahead with my Hiatus just to see what shows up! As you must know by now, I abide by the Earl Nightingale adage that "You become what you think about." and throughout my little experiment I have very deliberately giving myself blissful things to think about. What I am curious to see during this hiatus week is if I am now generally more likely to use my virtues as tools or if I slide back toward less blissful ways.

Ben Franklin examined his virtues over and over for his entire lifetime and while I believe there is something wonderful to be gained from that kind of approach, I am interested to see if lasting change can be made just by conducting a one year study. I love my 13 virtues of Bliss but I realize I may be interested in playing around with different things next year (I assume now that I will be playing some type of Everyday Game for the rest of my life) and I want to see what happens when I let up on formal concentration. Perhaps some virtues will "stick" more then others and possibly things like humility will always require concentration for any hope of enjoying their gifts.

A Hiatus of one week isn't likely to give me all the answers but it is fun to shake things up a bit in any case. If you have any ideas or questions about my game and or thoughts you care to share about the project please do. Another whole aspect I hadn't considered when I started this whole thing is how powerful and edifying it is to have all of your input and support. I am certain it adds something that even Ben Franklin would have revered. So please don't be shy, I am always interested in what you have to say!

Next Post: Something Hiatus-y!!

My 13 bliss virtues are 
joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, 
romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, and surprise.

This week we are studying Surprise. 
Next week it is Hiatus week and after that, Joy.


  1. What a cool blog you have, I love how you create games to foster wonderful virtues in everyday life! I got here through Kimberly from Stinker Pinker, and you've got a new follower! Come visit me when you get a chance :)

  2. Oh, I can't WAIT to see what you have in store for next week! I bet you can't wait, either! LOL! I just read your Tip of the Hat post, too (yeah, I'm a little behind), and it was awesome!

  3. Its all about living in 'the now', isn't it? At least, that's what I get from reading your posts, and contemplating your observations. I have to say I don't practise your 'games' as such but I do keep the virtue of the week before me and it helps me to appreciate the moment more, and take events (and hiccups) in my stride. To me, this is a great achievement and there's you to thank for it!! So, thank you!


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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