“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.” … Aristotle
I find the idea that excellence is a habit to be a slightly disconcerting thought. “Why?” you ask. Well … there’s a multitude of reasons … top amongst them being: 1) because if excellence is a habit it would appear that very few people are practicing said habit and 2) a lot of very intelligent people out there believe the old adage that “It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.”
As an avid people watcher I have come to realize how tightly the general population holds onto its old ways of being and acting. There seems to be a massive underlying fear of the unknown … and as anything other than the norm is naturally going to be unknown … said voyage is a tricky one to convince people to take. My mother would have summed it up with the old adage: “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”
Now then … having previously stated that I find the idea that excellence is a habit to be slightly disconcerting this is the point at which I mention that I also find it to be reassuring! Habits are easy to pick up (just watch your kids if you’re in doubt about that) … you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to develop them and all it takes to dump the ones you don’t like and to pick up new ones is 30 days.
That being the case … I thought to myself … “Why not pick ones that maximize my Happiness Quotient!??!” I adopted the Smile-As-Much-As-Possible habit when I noticed frown-creases the size of the Grand Canyon developing during my medical trials. The Take-A-Breath-And-Count-To-10 (or 100) habit was a little trickier but with the help of Sunshine Sue counting very loudly in the background that one seems to be a way of life too. Long before “The Secret”… way back in 322 B.C. … Aristotle had the right idea … if we want our lives to be better … happier … or simply different … we need to change what we repeatedly do and then Excellence … and Happiness will be our habitual way of life.
Arinaste Everyone (from my heart to your heart)