Aristotle proclaimed that there are two times in our lives when our character is shaped. The first is when we are children. At this time our habits and attitudes were shaped by our parents and our early teachers who taught us the best they knew how based on what they learned. These early attitude and habit formations were central to our character development; and sometimes those lessons were negative.
For Aristotle, a habit or hexis is a determinate power to act in a specific way. Habits can foster the good life by cultivating virtue and by developing the passions to feel pleasure and pain in right ways. Happiness is the "chief good" of human life and the most basic requirement of such a life is "activity of the soul in accordance with complete excellence." (Book I, Nichomachean Ethics)
To live a flourishing life you begin by uncovering habits that affect how you think and act. Many habits operate without your conscious awareness. Changing habits begins with recognition, followed by mindful awareness and intention to adjust your thoughts and behaviors until they become habits that serve you.
To adapt habits that make you flourish, you must learn how to manage and maintain balance in your life. You need to look at your past experiences and examine how you were able to successfully change some of your patterns of behavior or attitudes.
Changing habitual behavior is a process. Be patient and be compassionate with yourself. Each of us creates our own journey of releasing bad habits and adopting good habits through conscious choice. Embrace those choices; embrace the changes. They are the catalysts that will improve your life.
Have a joyful day everyone. And remember to live a flourishing life.
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*Excerpt from Live A Flourishing Life
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