The purpose of this Endurance challenge was to immerse ourselves in our missions. It’s a struggle to go through hours of focusing on one goal. Along the way, you could feel unmotivated or hesitant to dive into your mission. How would you feel or how would your morale change as the hours passed? To answer that question, we recorded 10-20 seconds of our reflections at the end of every hour.

I decided to continue practicing behavioral modification, which I taught a lesson on during the Strategos unit of our course. The name of our third unit, Katabasis, means to descend into hell. Personally, my mission to replace negativity with something positive is a challenge because I find it hard to look into the source of my feelings. It’s like staring into the face of someone you don’t want to see. During the first 3 hours, I focused more on writing in my journal because that was the method that worked in the past. Then, I started to paint a self-portrait. I thought it would help to reflect on my feelings by considering the image I have of myself. Also, painting is something I feel very passionate about, so it kept me motivated to continue focusing for another 9 hours.

For me, the hardest part was stopping. Doing the self-portrait while trying to keep in mind to replace any negative thoughts with positive ones was a hard conversation to have with myself. However, doing it through the medium of painting worked out far better than it would have if I wrote for the entirety of the project.

I am proud that I found ways to connect my mission to Papillon’s, the main character in the book I read this unit. Papillon, who claimed he was wrongly accused, endured for years to escape from prison. The theme of prison and freedom connected to my mission in ways that I mention in my 10-20 second reflections. Here is the video of my reflections from my 12-hour immersion: