What is this made-up word, saintspirational? Bet you figured out it is the combination of the words, saint and inspirational. It refers to someone who is striving for sainthood in a way that is inspiring to others. So what does it take to be one of those people? Here’s what I think.
First a note of clarification. I do not capitalize the word “saint” unless referring to an officially canonized Saint. My purpose is to help us all in striving to become little “s” saints, the everyday variety. If by some miracle (you need at least one, usually two) you achieve big “S” Saint status that’s just an added bonus.
Based on what I’ve learned and believe, striving to be a saint requires at least three things; (1) knowing your unique mission in life, (2) using the majority of your time working to fulfill that mission and (3) living virtuously. 3 simple steps. I didn’t say easy. Each has a high degree of difficulty, but are all worthy of our attention and sustained effort. Hard to disagree, but easy to ignore. I hope you don’t.
Where’s the inspirational part come in? Have you ever been around someone who is already living the 3-step plan? Are they not inspirational to you? They are always happy. They are always doing something important. They have seemingly unlimited energy. They make you want to be a better person. You want to hang around them. You want to be like them.
How are you doing in your journey toward becoming the saint you are meant to be? Are you living the 3 steps? How do you know? Want to find out? This part will be both simple and easy. Especially if you like to play games.
For the moment, let’s downplay the first step, knowing your mission. It may be the most difficult step in life so I’ll address it in a future post. For now let’s assume that whatever you are currently doing to be a productive member of society is your mission. That might be school, work, raising a family or any combination thereof. Whatever you spend the bulk of your time doing.
With that in mind let’s find out how saintly you are currently. The game is saintball It rhymes with paintball on purpose. We will be in a constant battle with demons to stay on the path toward sainthood, mainly our own, so the name seems appropriate.
To play you will need a scorecard and the rules. You can get both here. Start with the beginner version. I recommend you look at this over the weekend and start the game on Monday. Play for a week. You will be amazed how quickly you become saintlier. You may also be amazed at all the un-saintly things you do currently. Or maybe that is just me.
The scoring system gives you saint points and a letter grade every day. If you are accustom to earning straight “A’s,” prepare yourself. Striving to become a saint is no easy pursuit, and neither is the grading system. I find this game to be a great daily reality check. It provides you a keen awareness of your current behavior. This awareness will drive rapid improvement, of course assuming you need any.
I do hope you will give saintball a try. The tracking may be a little annoying in the beginning, but the immediate benefit will be worth the small effort. Trust me on that. Why would I lie, I’d lose three saint points and I need all the points I can get.
Next week I’ll give you some tips and lessons learned from the 9 months I’ve been playing. I will confess to only averaging a “C” so far. I have steadily improved and set a goal to average a “B” over the balance of this year. I am counting on your help to provide ideas for scoring well and staying the course. I think we can all accelerate our personal improvement by learning from each other.
I will leave you this week with one recommendation. Eliminate the negatives in your life as quickly as possible. I’m talking about those things that make you unhappy. It may be a situation, person, people, social media, TV shows, the news, whatever. You may not be able to remove them all, but do the best you can. Start with something relatively easy.
Here’s what I did that helped significantly. I gave up watching or reading any news. I found it to be upsetting most of the time. And I didn’t feel like I was learning anything of value to pursuing my mission anyway. I turned it off for a month and seemingly missed nothing. Bad stuff happened. People blamed each other. Nothing got solved. Same old story. It reminded me of the soap opera Melanie and I used to watch in college. Once we started our careers I’ll bet we didn’t watch it for at least a year. One vacation day we tuned in to find that we missed virtually nothing and were able to immediately get back into the story line like we’d never been away. Seriously, try tuning out for a month and see how much your mood improves.
I’m thinking Tuesdays and Thursdays are good blog post days. Next week, saintball tips and mission identification. Or send me a note if you have a better idea.
Have a saintly weekend all! Scott