Aristotle never twit. But his words live on:
Aristotle said 2000 years ago that excellence is not an act but a habit.
What is the difference between act and habit?
And according to Wikiquote this is a misattribution. Aristotle never wrote what twitterers are happily attributing to Aristotle.
Does it matter? Why are people so attracted to this quote. Why does it sound like a good quote to them?
Memes are habits. They live in various media. Apparently twitter is a good medium for Aristotle meme.
Domestic habits are warm
Proust’s characters are ruled by habit in some aspects of their lives. The aunt, for example, is so locked into her routine by habit that she never leaves the house. And the narrator as a boy has a habit of receiving a goodnight kiss from his mother, a habit which makes him extremely upset when it is broken. Thus we are naturally moved to question whether habit is a good or a bad thing. Should we try to avoid being ruled by habit in any way?
Habits give more happiness than misery
Although habit can lead to pain that wouldn’t otherwise have existed it can also create pleasure that wouldn’t otherwise have existed, specifically the pleasure of being able to act in accordance with habit.
Habits make people predictable
Of course predictability can be bad in some situations, because it is possible for predictability to be taken advantage of. But usually we find ourselves in situations where people desire to cooperate with us. And it is easier to cooperate with someone if you can predict how they are going to act.
Is it possible to live a life without any pattern, without any goal, without any idea of the future, a life without conflict?
If habits are patterns then, no, it is not possible to live without habits.
It is only possible when one lives completely with “what is”. With “what is” means with that which is actually taking place.
Does he mean, live with what habits you have? Good or bad. Never fight them. Never try to change them?
Live with it; do not try to transform it, do not try to go beyond it, do not try to control it, do not try to escape from it, just look at it, live with it.
It seems that this is what he is saying.
If you are envious, or greedy, jealous, or you have problems, sex, fear, whatever they are, live with them without any movement of thought that wants to move away from them. Which means what? One is not wasting one’s energy in control, in suppression, in conflict, in resistance, in escape. All that energy was being wasted; now one has gathered it up. Because one sees the absurdity of it, the falseness of it, the unreality of it, one has now the energy to live with “what is”.
Beautifully idealistic. I agree that it takes up a lot of energy to fight habits. People who accept their habits as they are and live with them their entire life live productive and peaceful lives. People who question their habits end up spending so much energy to trying to change themselves that they never reach their full potential.
How literally should we take the analogy between computer programming and human programming? Are humans programmed by an intelligent organism the way computers are programmed by humans?
Hartley Newell-Acero has been programming her subjects through hypnosis since 2002:
What if your conscious goals were supported, instead of undermined, by your powerful unconscious programming?
What if there was a way for you to “reprogram” your subconscious mind?
You can do exactly that with hypnosis.
Most of our behaviors spring from completely unconscious habits that we have:
- inherited from our families
- picked up from friends
- absorbed from society.
We all have these unconscious ”programs” that run the way we live our lives. Hypnosis allows YOU to choose the program; hypnosis allows YOU to be in control!
Habits are accessed through a method called hypnosis. If we use computer programming analogy hypnosis would be like a computer language that accesses the Operating System of the computer and routines stored there and uses them to define new routines or applications.
This suggests that without hypnosis we cannot access habits:
Hypnosis can help by changing our mental programming.
The way we approach a situation or think about it affects not only our outlook but also our physiology. If you play baseball and you’re shaking, it’s hard to pitch. If you’re tense while playing golf, you’re not going to play as well.
With hypnosis, you can affect your thoughts, and subsequently, your performance in all areas of your life.
What do you think?