Unfortunately, I can relate to the hangry characters in the Snickers commercials. If I am fasting or know I will be without food for a longer period of time, then there is a fighting chance for me to cope. However, patience goes right out the window when the hunger pangs start speaking louder than me. A quick Google search turned up an impressive list of virtues. An component of self-knowledge is to know your particular weaknesses, how to avoid or how to shore them up when needed. The combination of a taxing day and hunger have proven the downfall of any chance of dietary self-control for me. It is amazing how quickly I can justify eating a large bowl of ice cream because I don't have time or I'm too hungry to throw together a salad. Planning ahead or putting stopgaps in place to ensure I don't find myself in these situations is my only hope for survival. My go-to stopgap against baked goods is to not have them in the house. That one "special" customer that no one wants to deal with, the barista that doesn't get the latte quite hot enough or the punk that wants the spot in front of you during the commute; what is your temptation for the virtue collapse? Your response can take many forms and may depend if the five-year-old is in the backseat watching, preparing to quote you at the dinner table. A prayer, meditative deep breathing, clenched fake smile, cursing or a full-on vent are a smattering of examples on the response spectrum. I have found that age has helped to temper my responses to life's difficulties. Often, we don't notice our own growth in this area. This a marvelous opportunity to engage those that know us best and get feedback on positive changes they have witnessed.
What virtues require serious trials to knock you off your game? What trigger points do you have for particular virtues? What tools or practices do you use to minimize the impact of trials on your wellbeing? What virtue would you like to improve and what is a step you can take to make progress? How do you seek out observations, from those you trust, to help you identify virtue gaps and to help you grow? Where have you experienced the most growth and are most encouraged?