The Bobby Rock Newsletter #43 (1-27-2022) - The Virtuous Life
The Bobby Rock Newsletter #43 (1-27-2022) - The Virtuous Life
Once again, I will attempt to run the gamut a bit this week to keep things interesting. Hope you enjoy the offerings...
In this Issue:
- Your Top Virtues… Revealed: Why should we give a shit about what our top personal virtues are? Lend me your ear—and more importantly, take this quick quiz—and maybe I’ll get all “Aristotle" on your ass for a minute!
- Resolution Review: How are those New Year's Resolutions coming along? This might help…
- Drum Vid Vault: Some new solo excerpts from a recent outing with Lita Ford… and maybe another goodie or two.
Always rough to lose a mentor.
But I’ll try to write a bit more about it next week…
What Are Your Top Virtues?
Virtue. It’s not a word we hear a lot about these days: more of a harkening to philosophy, religion, and other forms of “timeless wisdom,” I suppose. But there’s a reason this wisdom is timeless. Our personal hierarchy of virtues is driving or affecting our lives in ways we might not even be aware of.
To review, I would say: A virtue is essentially a personal attribute that's foundational to one’s morals, ethics, ethos, and general sense of excellence and righteousness. And while there are a finite number of them, at any given time, each of us has our own unique priority of virtues that are most important to us.
Therefore—and I think most of our great philosophers and spiritual leaders would agree—if we can get up every day and do our best to express and embody those "top priority" virtues, we will do well… regardless of what may be going on in our outer-world of possessions, prestige, net worth, fame or infamy. And, I think there is a lot of evidence to the contrary, as well: you can amass tons of those outer-world perks and have all the fame and fortune imaginable… but if you are living out of alignment with your most important virtues… peace of mind will be a rare commodity—which we have all seen (and possibly experienced first-hand!) a million times.
But how do we narrow down which virtues are most important to us? I’m glad you asked. Scope out this free quiz at viacharacter.org. I feel like it’s an excellent starting point in figuring this out. You just create a quick account, take the 10 or so minute quiz ("free survey"), and boom—immediate access to your top 24 virtues—in order. From there, you can scope your top virtues and consider all the ways you can best exude their attributes in daily life moving forward. Fun and illuminating stuff.
Here are my top 9 from that quiz, in case you’re curious:
+ + + + + + +
Oh wait... I was supposed to get all "Aristotle" on your ass. Try this one:
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
Which leads us to....
Checking in on those New Year's Resolutions
Whether you went with a traditional resolution or not for 2022, most of us are looking to start doing something better this year. To that end, we usually come out of the gate strong... and then... start losing momentum around now... and then... it's an aborted memory by Feb or March.
The biggest challenge as I see it is this: Any significant change or shift in behavior has to integrate into our lifestyle if it's gonna stick. And to truly integrate something, it must become a habit. And there's the tricky part. If we are overzealous with our new thing too soon, it won't have a chance to become a habit before we start getting fatigued and blow it off. Which leads us to a little James Clear wisdom from his excellent book, Atomic Habits.
The secret? Start super small... but be relentlessly consistent with it. If, for example, you want to read more, don't aspire to knock out a book a week. Try just one page per day... but every day. Without fail. Why so little? Because it's more important to establish the habit of reading, than it is to mow through a "respectable" number of chapters or whatever. That will come later, once you've established the habit. Here's what James says:
"People often think it's weird to get hyped about reading one page or meditating for one minute or making one sales call. But the point is not to do one thing. The point is to master the habit of showing up. The truth is, a habit must be established before it can be improved. If you can't learn the basic skill of showing up, then you have little hope of mastering the finer details. Instead of trying to engineer a perfect habit from the start, do the easy thing on a more consistent basis. You have to standardize before you can optimize."
"Standardize before you optimize." I dig that idea. So start with a super simple goal that you can easily do consistently, then add more to it once it becomes part of your regular routine.
Drum Vid Vault
This week's trip to the Vault features a couple new drum solo excerpts from a recent show with Lita Ford at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, IA.
#2 on the page is from the opening section of the solo and #3 features a bit from an impromptu Latin-influenced section. Scope them HERE. We are constantly adding to the Vault so check back soon!
Thanks again, everybody. Connect next week!
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