For Tuesday, November 17, 2015:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”
Think of the habits we carry on with every day. We fix our morning coffee or tea, brush our teeth, check email and social media, fix PB & J for lunch, have spaghetti and meatballs for Friday suppers and pizza every Saturday night, drive the same way to work and back, wash the dishes when the evening news is on.
Do these habits make them, or us, excellent? Maybe, but probably not. Such particular habits give our brains — well, mine anyway — a bit of a break as we go through our day.
There are habits, though, that we can develop into excellence if we cultivate them. Writing is one of them. Not everything we write will be excellent, of course, even if we practice it every day, but there will be times and words that will be. And one nugget of brilliance can lead to another, and then another, and another — but none of those nuggets will emerge if we don’t provide the space for them to show up in the first place.
As Pyotr Tchaikovsky says, “Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy.”