#469 We Are What We Repeatedly Do

Excellence, then, Is Not an ACT but a Habit

Today we have the final installment in our What Would Aristotle Do? +1 series.

We’ve gotta talk about habits.

You know that E P I C Aristotle quote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”?

Well, hate to break the news, but Aristotle didn’t actually say that.

In the Nicomachean Ethics, he said this: “There is a further qualification [for attaining eudaimonic happiness]: in a complete lifetime. One swallow does not make a summer; neither does one day. Similarly, neither can one day, or a brief space of time, make a man blessed and happy.”

It was philosopher Will Durant who poetically paraphrased that passage into his brilliant line:“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

In any case, we definitely are what we repeatedly do.

Excellence (or “virtue”—the word Aristotle actually used here was, again, “ARETE!”) is not an ACT. It’s a habit.

A single swallow doesn’t make a summer. A single virtuous deed does not make your soul happy.

It takes a lifetime of effort.

Here’s to that effort.

One moment at a time.

+1. +1. +1.

🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦 🐦

Unlock the full Optimize Experience

Get instant access to a ton of wisdom. Optimize every facet of your life. Actualize your potential.

Start free trial