Monday, February 05, 2007

Series Habits

U-pun my word, my title is serious. Habits are very serious things indeed. Without them, we would have to figure out certain actions anew each shining or foggy day. I suppose memory would help, but morning routines would be matters for attention, rather than things to be done on autopilot while planning the day. So clearly habits are not all bad; in fact, they make orderly life possible. And habits do come in series -- one leads to the next, and they supplement each other. We have a series of actions to get us up and cleaned and dressed and looking our best for whatever sort of day we see ahead. Then another series gets the car out and down the driveway and navigating the morning traffic. We can arrive at work having forgotten a very important errand that we intended to do on the way, but which was not a part of our usual routine.

Other habits cannot be regarded as good without some thought. We can gradually stay up later and later, and acquire all the ills of sleep deprivation. We can consistently stop in at the bar on the way home for a few drinks and some fried food, without consideration for calories or a history of family heart troubles or the possibility of having to breathe into a police machine for a routine alcohol check.

Clearly bad habits are hard to change, but good habits are wonderful. At the very best, we can put a good habit into the place of a bad one. The worst option is to pay habits no attention, and they will indeed look after themselves.

65 Comments:

At 12:29 AM, Blogger kenju said...

Ah, yes, they will indeed. Then we have to try behaviour modification, which is simply replacing one habit with another, as you said.

 
At 12:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Donald - I love your blog! I read you every time my RSS feed says there's a new post. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what a 30 year old today could do to live such a long life as yourself?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us all!

 
At 2:31 AM, Anonymous poet said...

this is a most beautiful place. i stumbled here through a link and am so glad i did. i have taken liberties to add you to my blogroll. you inspire me, thank you.

 
At 2:42 AM, Anonymous Markus said...

I so love your musings. This one seems simple, but yet must of us don't realize it. The simple, yet not obvious ones, are the most interesting :)

 
At 5:48 AM, Anonymous Nils Legge said...

This, in my oppinion, is an excellent blog. I greatly admire you Donald. Thank you for writing. Hope you can keep on doing this for many more years.

It is always interesting to listen to people who are much older than myself. Experience is clearly something that is much more important than knowledge. But then these two often come as a package deal.

Keep up the good work. You have inspired me to blog more and I am looking forward to your next post.

 
At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Alex Shalman said...

Great post! This sounds all too true to me. Autopilot as you say could either make you or break you.

Don, what would you say has been the worst habit that you have obtained over the years?

 
At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Donald:

I am beginning new habits which include morning crunches, getting updated on the latest news of the day, and get the latest 'fix' from your blog entry. These are good habits indeed.

If you kept writing all day long, I would never leave the house. =)

 
At 9:17 AM, Anonymous Erika said...

Hi Donald... jumped in here as I got ur link into a famous italian news paper which talks about you and your blog!!
Really good!!
http://www.repubblica.it/2007/02/sezioni/persone/blogger-novantenni/blogger-novantenni/blogger-novantenni.html

 
At 12:19 PM, Blogger margo said...

You mentioned a while back the brief story of how you met your wife. I would love to hear the entire story soon!

 
At 12:49 PM, Anonymous Indrani Shanmugharajah said...

Hi Donald,

Good Habits !!!!
My children's bad habits enoys me,specially keeping their room mess, but they say nothing to worry, they say its not bothers them. I am confused....

 
At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Nomad said...

Fabulous thought for the day.
Thanks!!

 
At 7:00 PM, Blogger Em said...

Not only are bad habits hard to change, good habits are hard to create. I still don't exercise as often as I should or floss every day. I find it so easy to make excuses. And yet, just as some habits lead us from one part of our day to the next, I'm sure some habits will lead us forward to a healthier, longer life, if we just form those habits.

 
At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Kokul Shanmugharajah said...

Unfortunately, I have the bad habit of staying up late at night. Usually when it's 10:30 PM, I say I'll go to sleep at 11 PM, when it's 11PM, I'd say to myself that I'll go to sleep at 11:30 PM. Usually the process goes on like that until it's midnight on a school night, and usually 1AM on weekdays.

Bad habits are hard to change.;

http://www.kokul-idk.com/

 
At 10:58 PM, Blogger Cheryl, The Beading Muse said...

Dear Donald,
How happy I am to have found your blog and to meet you! I love the idea of "series habits"...and I have been struggling a bit to re-create good habits that I let go by the wayside a bit. Your article has motivated me tremendously! I look forward to dropping by regularly. Godspeed to you...and Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

 
At 4:13 AM, Anonymous Wendy Ascham said...

You're so right Don, but habits and routines done without thinking can be dangerous. I very often leave home in the morning and arrive at work without thinking about it. I sit at my desk and suddenly realise that I don't recall how I got to work at all! My mind was on other things as I drove along on auto-pilot. Frightening!

 
At 3:09 AM, Anonymous dessie said...

hello sir don,

you're an inspiration. your blog is inspiring me as well as others. i'm new to your blog, and i am enjoying your insights.

more power to you!

dessie
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At 6:54 AM, Blogger TopChamp said...

This is a great blog - I'm very glad to have linked here.

I'll be off now as I would like to flick through and read your previous posts. Just wanted to say hello.

 
At 9:20 AM, Anonymous edu_brazil said...

Well, I cna say that I am creating the "rabbit" of visiting you. To say the very VERY least, your English is superb and it's wonderful to read it. Yes, yes... I have "Lolita" and "The Midnight Children" on my shelf, but they still give me headaches. Joyce? Not in this lifetime! But I can say that your language skills are just as top quality as theirs, so I'm sticking around!

 
At 3:24 AM, Blogger gautami tripathy said...

I have this bad habit of procastinating. However much I try I am unable to shake it.

Don, I love reading your thoughts.

 
At 3:10 PM, Blogger princess said...

One good habit I've recently acquired: reading your blog!
Princess

 
At 11:17 PM, Blogger Teresa said...

As a teacher of young children I am always aware of which habits I want to reinforce in my students and those, like the fingers knuckle deep up the nostrils, that I want to extinguish!

 
At 7:11 PM, Blogger estey said...

don, this is a wonderful blog, i heard about it from the program "the hour"..(love that george)...so, am looking forward to "catching up" on all the news..so ,,keep them coming,,and tks,,so much.

 
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