Habitual

This blog is pretty much a product of habitual behavior. If you scroll through the “Flying to past posts” column, you’ll notice that I have written and posted something every day since February 2011. That column doesn’t explain the whole story. This blog was born on Yahoo! a year earlier. When Yahoo! shuttered their blogging site, I had to select another platform to continue my daily habit of meandering and opining. I chose WordPress mainly by random selection rather than much rational comparison of other companies’ offerings.

I’m a man of habit, and I get cranky if I am hindered from following through on habits that I perceive as somehow valuable or productive. There have been two occasions when my Internet provider was out of service for a day. Both times I composed and submitted blog posts at the public library’s available PCs in order to satisfy my blogging habit.

I admit that there have been some harmful habits in my repertoire. I used to smoke two packs of cigarettes or more per day. I still must watch my tendency towards emotional eating habits.

Meantime, there are minor habits that cause daily living to be more focused. Making the bed first thing in the morning comes to mind. This was taught by mom then reinforced by having room mates who practiced the same routine.

Some minor kitchen habits were taught to me by my friend Felix. That is to wash mixing bowls, pans, and utensils after using them while waiting for food to cook. He also got me in the habit of cleaning and drying the sink after each time I use it. These habits are largely unconscious unless a guest notices and comments about them.

“The greatest error of a man is to think that he is weak by nature, evil by nature. Every man is divine and strong in his real nature. What are weak and evil are his habits, his desires and thoughts, but not himself.”–“liberated being” and sage, Ramana Maharshi

One of my major habits has been modified somewhat over the years–reading lots of books. I still believe that book reading is a good habit and I continue to read plenty of them. I troll the public library at a minimum of once each week. I used to check out books simply because they were new. Reading had become an escape from the harshness of daily living. I eventually realized that I was reading too much and not evaluating and analyzing the books’ information enough. I noticed that I was becoming dogmatic about certain subjects. Too much reading enabled lazy habits of thinking. I discovered that I had to become more mindful of the quantity and quality of my daily reading.

We humans find comfort in predictability about certain things. In many ways we’re like cats. We like certain foods at particular times, we enjoy entertainment and recreation on a regular basis, and we have our own habitual means of maintaining hygiene. Some of our habits hinder our progress and harm our life-force while others enable our progress and enhance our lives. Unlike cats, we can choose to be mindful of the nature of our habits. Thus, we are more able to orchestrate our lives. Orchestrating our lives includes creating new habits that continually improve us.

It seems that much of life involves habitual behavior. We possess certain habits. We feel a certain unease about some of them, yet there is inherent pleasure in indulging them. Perhaps behaviorists can better explain how we evolved our dependency upon them. As long as we live, we will form and discard various habits. Habits contribute to our intellectual and moral health, so it pays to be mindful about each habit’s impact upon our lives.

In the end, regardless of other people’s opinions, we are responsible and hold ourselves accountable for our own habits. It may be true that wise living is enhanced less by good habits than in acquiring habits in the first place. At least that is what I’ve noticed.

Ciao
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes non-fiction author and journalist, Charles Duhigg. “For Aristotle, habits reigned supreme. The behaviors that occur unthinkingly are the evidence of our truest selves.” 

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in cultural highlights, Health, Meanderings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Habitual

  1. Yernasia Quorelios says:

    💜 The Ascension Team Builds ItSelf; there is NO!!! Chance, Randomness or Coincidence

    …💛💚💙…

  2. Hi. I think that most of us have a need for order in our lives. Habits help that to happen.

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