Watchfulness is necessary to survive, or rather thrive, in the arena. This is when we are constantly keeping vigil over our thoughts and desires. We are always avoiding situations and scenarios where temptation can present itself. The Lord instructed the apostles and us to, “Watch and pray so that you will not enter into temptation” (Mark 14:38).

“Watchfulness is a spiritual method which, if sedulously practiced over a long period, completely frees us with God's help from impassioned thoughts, impassioned words and evil actions. It leads, In so far as this is possible, to a sure knowledge of the inapprehensible God, and helps us to penetrate the Divine and hidden mysteries. It enables us to fulfill every Divine commandment in the Old and New Testaments and bestows upon us every blessing of the age to come…. Once established in us, it guides us to a true and holy way of life. It teaches us how to activate the three aspects of our soul correctly, and how to keep a firm guard over the senses. It promotes the daily growth of the four principal virtues and is the basis of our contemplation.”

--St. Hesychios the Priest

The same saint suggests there are different types of watchfulness, all of which start in the mind and in thought processes:

“One type of watchfulness consists in closely scrutinizing every mental image or provocation; for only by means of a mental image can satan fabricate an evil thought and insinuate this into the intellect in order to lead astray. A second type of watchfulness consists in freeing the heart from all thoughts keeping it profoundly silent and still and in praying. A third type consists in continually and humbly calling upon the Lord Jesus Christ for help. A fourth type is always to have the thought of death in ones mind. These types of watchfulness, my child, at like doorkeepers and bar entry to evil thoughts.”

--St. Hesychios the Priest

We must struggle in all interactions and in our interior life to proceed with the virtues. With every thought, word and deed we must struggle to keep diverting back to a virtuous response. All the virtues are like a full quiver for the archer. With these arrows we can slay the enemies. When sin and passions surface, always repent, turn to God and reapply a virtuous mindset.