Archive for August 10th, 2019

I’ve just posted on my Blog about: My habitual reformation https://t.co/ZX4TJcWJEw

August 10, 2019

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My habitual reformation

August 10, 2019

William James offers three maxims to aid the successful formation of new habits,” or the re-formation of old habits gone slack. [LISTEN]

  • The first is that in the acquisition of a new habit, or the leaving off of an old one, we must take care to launch ourselves with as strong and decided an initiative as possible… take a public pledge…
  • The second Maxim is: Never suffer an exception to occur till the new habit is securely rooted in your life. Each lapse is like the letting fall of a ball of string which one is carefully winding up… abrupt acquisition of the new habit is the best way… whether in giving up a habit like that of opium, or in simply changing one’s hours of rising or of work. It is surprising how soon a desire will die of inanition if it be never fed.
  • A third maxim… Seize the very first possible opportunity to act on every resolution you make, and on every emotional prompting you may experience in the direction of the habits you aspire to gain. It is not in the moment of their forming, but in the moment of their producing motor effects, that resolves and aspirations communicate the new ‘set’ to the brain.
And that’s why I’m posting herewith my renewed resolve to get back to rising and writing before dawn, rather than waiting for dawn’s early light in the window to prompt the start of my day. 
Sleep is good, and not rising (as Thoreau said in Walden) to the prompting of a mere “mechanical servitor” is an old summer habit. But it’s a bad habit for me, experience shows. 
Besides James and Thoreau, I’d like to thank some others for nudging me back to what worked.
Thanks, Anthony Trollope. “Trollope achieved his incredible productivity by writing in 15-minute intervals for three hours per day…”
Thanks, Garrison Keillor. “My reason for living is simply this: I am still working and my best work may be yet ahead of me.”
Thanks, Margaret Renkl. “I gave myself permission to spend 15 minutes a day, in the midst of working and raising a family and tending to failing elders, to remember who I am.”
Thanks, Maria Popova (and Aristotle). “We are what we repeatedly do,” Aristotle famously proclaimed. “Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit…”
And…

Thanks, Obama!

You need to remove from your life the day-to-day problems that absorb most people for meaningful parts of their day. ‘You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,’ he said.’I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.’ He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions. It’s why shopping is so exhausting. ‘You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.’ Michael Lewis, Obama’s Way

Don’t even think about it. Just do it. Habits are habit-forming.

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