Got a Habit?

Lughnasa                                      Waxing Harvest Moon

“We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle

Good old Aristotle.  A subtle mind, tutor to Alexander the Great and foe of Platonic idealism.   His work is dense to the point of impenetrability, at least to me, which did not augur well for a future in philosophy.

This quote sounds like 7 Habits of Highly Successful People material, but Aristotle wrote way ahead of the 20th century obsession with self-help.  It would be interesting to know what he would make of Covey’s material.

Philosophical training sharpens the mind, enhances the ability to understand and appreciate the arguments of others, aids in the construction and self-critique of ideas and puts a solid platform under a life, a platform strong enough to withstand the ebb and flow of others opinions and one’s own inevitable missteps.

Let’s take Aristotle at his out of context quote for a moment.

Hmmm.   What happens over and over in my life?

Reading.  Writing.  Politics.  Working with art.  Gardening.  Bee keeping.   Dog tending.  Travel.  Driving.  Watching TV. (does excellence fit in here?)  Spending time with family.  Grocery shopping.

This one will repay a bit more pondering.  What happens over and over in your life?  What are your areas of excellence?


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