We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. —Aristotle
Have you noticed this yet? That the more you do something, the more you are it? Although we are certainly more than what we do, we do indeed become what we practice. To be sure, we are more than the mere sum of our actions. There’s something incredibly intangible about being human. That we large, animate pieces of meat can not only conjure ideas but transmit them to each other. But let’s not for a second delude ourselves into thinking our actions don’t matter, that discipline and devotion aren’t essential to the formation of character and value systems. They are.
We regret what we fail to practice…there’s nothing noble about an unlived life you thought of living. There’s nothing romantic about audacious, unrealized dreams. Nothing honorable about sacrifices made begrudgingly for a life you end up resenting.
If you want to be something, why not begin by doing it? If you long to be a bagpiper, than bagpipe. If a drummer, drum. And if a runner, run.
This is what determines all great endeavors — not just another interesting idea to talk about at band practice, but the decision to act, to move. One small step after another.
That’s what a habit is all about.
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