It is easy to perform a good action, but not easy to acquire a settled habit of performing such actions.
Aristotle (384 - 322 BC)
Source: The Nicomechean Ethics, P. 144
Contributed by: Zaady
In short, the habits we form from childhood make no small difference, but rather they make all the difference.
All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: Chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire.
Source: Rhetoric 1
Excellence is an art won by training and habituation: we do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
The moral virtues, then, are produced in us neither by nature nor against nature. Nature, indeed, prepares in us the ground for their reception, but their complete formation is the product of habit.
Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.
Every action must be due to one or other of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, or appetite.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
Dissimilarity of habit tends more than anything to destroy affection.
It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.
Copyright © 2013 Gaiam, Inc.