Tag Archives: Aristotle

4 Steps to Creating New Habits

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle

Habits are extremely powerful and, by nature, something that we do without thinking. Aristotle’s quotation can be illustrated with the simple explanation of saying “excuse me” after you sneeze. As a child, you had many things to learn about sneezing; your parents probably had to teach you to put your hand (or elbow) over your mouth, to use a Kleenex, not to sneeze on other people, and to say “excuse me.” Sneezing is automatic, but everything that follows is learned. Ideally, from the time you were able, every time you would sneeze, your mother would follow up with “say excuse me” to which you would oblige. Also, at some point your mother would explain to you that this is appropriate social behavior, although she probably said you need to ‘be polite’ to have friends. (more…)