Dying Daily #176: Habits, Habits, Habits

All sorts of quotes today.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Will Durant

We don’t like to think about the fact that we are really little more than what we do, and what we do is little more than our habits.

I’m not talking about the things we do in the sense of just your job and what you accomplish with your life, we are certainly more than that. I mean everything we do – our actions, our inactions, our thoughts, our beliefs, our attitudes. How we treat people.  These are all habits.

“We are the sum of our actions, and therefore our habits make all the difference.”

Aristotle

Think about all the habits you have.

What you do when you wake up, how you spend your day.

What a time log of your life would tell you. 

What do your habits say about how you value your time? About how you value the people around you?

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

Jim Ryun

What are your habits of thought?

We can very easily develop the habits of cynicism or sarcasm, these are both easy and convenient responses to a world that exists beyond our control and feels very scary sometimes. Do you see the positive in people and things or not?

“Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”

Charles Reade

Habits are everything.

What we do on a daily and hourly and minute-by-minute basis will have a tremendous impact on our lives and on the lives of everyone who is fortunate or unfortunate enough to be tied to us. Good habits make life pretty easy, and they set us up for success, even when things start to go wrong. Our habits are what we turn to in times of chaos, and they can make things better or worse.

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”

Warren Buffett

Make note of your habits today.

There are the ones that are easy to see, like swearing a lot, smoking, exercising, watching television at certain times, eating at certain times.

There are the more subtle ones, like assuming the worst when seeing a certain person or expecting everything to go wrong.

Pick something you would like to change.

We will look at a much-too-brief summary of the way to change these things from The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg starting tomorrow, and continuing as long as it needs to .

Maybe it will be useful.