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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Aristotle, Woody, You & Me

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

There are habits and there are habits. Which of yours has led you to excellence?

My scorecard is mixed. On one side, I've got swearing, impatience, and too much cheese. That partial list of habits not aligned with excellence does not include others of mine belonging in the over-share category.

That said, although not completely comfortable using excellent to describe my guitar playing, I have repeatedly played the instrument since 1971. My journal and meditation practice - both fully integrated into my life since 1991 - are also clearly habits that work toward excellence especially when contrasted with something like unthinkingly reading about celebrities. That's another one in my still-trying-to-kick-it bucket.

Which brings me to Woody Allen. Soon after my wife and I debriefed our reactions to his latest film - Cafe Society - I visited Wikipedia to verify something I'd asserted. Turns out I was almost right. Beginning with Annie Hall in 1977, Woody Allen has released a film he's written and directed almost every year since. What excellence-creating habit have you maintained for forty continuous years?


  1. My excellence-creating habit of over forty years is my sleep pattern development and control. My daughters' infancies aside, nothing has taken precedence over my sleep. Even back in my college days I never pulled an all-nighter to study; I never let myself get to a point where I needed to. Obviously I never played all night and morning in bars.
    So you're still trying to kick the habit of reading about celebrities? Why? I just renewed my subscription to Entertainment Weekly and I'm proud of it. Pop culture knowledge helps me better relate to my daughters' careers and interests.

  2. Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire.