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Ryan Hanning | Working in Faith: Behind the Lens

Jermaine Bagnall

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Welcome to the first installment of Working in Faith: Behind the Lens – a new blog series that lifts the curtain on Salt + Light TV’s Working in Faith and gives you an opportunity to glimpse some of the show’s insights and learn a bit more about our guests.
Today I am starting off with Ryan Hanning, my guest for episode eight.
For those who might be wondering what the show is about, here’s what you can expect when you watch Working in Faith:
Each episode highlights a lay Catholic by exploring their faith journey and their work and by looking at how each facet influences the other. I started this series because I was curious about how different people are able to live out their faith life. It’s very common for people to live a very disjointed life: the work self stays at work, the home self stays at home, and the faith self stays at church. But I’ve noticed that some people live a balanced life, and I wanted to know more about how they achieve that balance and hopefully inspire myself and others to do the same. Speaking for myself, I can say that with each interview I am further inspired to lead and live a more holistic life.
This brings me to my guest for last week’s episode: Ryan Hanning.
While I was researching potential guests, a publicist let me know about a new book called The Willpower Advantage and asked if I was interested. I read up on one of the authors, Ryan Hanning, and was instantly intrigued by his website, which describes him as a father of ten, husband of one, a professor, a speaker, and a novice homesteader.
The first thing I needed to know was: How does he balance everything? His answer came without hesitation. The balance would be impossible without his wife, Rebecca. Whether it be day-to-day life on their homestead, hosting guests, or making the initial 1600 mile (approx. 2575 km) drive across the country, the bond, strength, and balance of their relationship makes everything else possible.
One question I asked that did not make it into the show was about how his faith impacts how he teaches.
Ryan emphasized the importance of remaining open to questions and having a willingness to share. He noticed that students wanted to know if he had a reason for why he believed and if it could be articulated. With each interaction with his students he was presented with an opportunity to evangelize through his words and through his actions (praying the rosary in his case).
I think this is an example that all laypeople can follow. Be open to dialogue, but also let your actions speak loudly. We all should remember that our actions speak so loudly that others cannot hear our words. It’s through our actions that people can see truth, beauty, and goodness.
For much of the interview, we spoke about the new book that he co-authored called The Willpower Advantage, which I highly recommend for those open to an introspective journey that will help lead to personal and spiritual growth. While preparing for the interview, I read the book and did the exercises and found them useful, insightful, and filled with actionable items.
We are still quite early in 2021, so if you have not created any resolutions or assigned yourself a word/phrase for the year, I think this book will help you establish a fresh track of growth for the year. It provides a personalized set of exercises geared towards your specific temperament. The only prerequisite to get the most out of the book is to be honest with yourself as you answer questions.
Episode 8 with Ryan Hanning aired on January 14 on Salt + Light TV, but you can catch it again this Sunday, January 24, at 4 pm ET.

Working in Faith airs on Thursdays at 8:00 pm ET / 5:00 pm PT, every other week.
Join us as we explore the work and faith lives of lay Catholics, only on Salt + Light TV!

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