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Aristotle Cleaned His Room

March 30, 2009

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

-Aristotle

I’m excellent and saying “Go Clean Your Room.” I’m not sure if it’s a habit, but I repeatedly say it.

What do you do in your life repeatedly? Tell the kids to do their homework? Turn off the i-pod? I’m excellent at those too.

Here’s a better question, what do you want to do repeatedly? What would you like to see become habit in your life? It’s easy (for me) to put eating M&M’s or licorice sticks on the list, but what if we put forth things like excellence, integrity, or kindness? Would they become habit?

Aristotle was on to something. Not only will the things we do repeatedly become habit, but the more we practice the better we get. As a writer, I know this to be true. I repeatedly write. It’s a habit. It may not be good writing, but eventually, the habit and practice of writing make it easier to find the good and I do get better. I’d like this to leak into the rest of my life. Excellence as a habit, rather than an act, sounds pretty good to me.

On that note, I need to get excellent at making dinner.

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