Counteract Bad Habits With Good Ones

“Since habit is such a powerful influence, and we’re used to pursuing our impulses to gain and avoid outside our own choice, we should set a contrary habit against that, and where appearances are really slippery, use the counterforce of our training.”


Today’s quote from The Daily Stoic is a little obfuscated, and as a result it’s kind of hard to understand. Thankfully author Ryan Holiday breaks it down for us.

In summary: bad habits are really strong, and as humans we tend to be impulsive and chase after things. We should try to counteract that by using our constant practice and “the counterforce of our training” to pull ourselves in the opposite direction.

We have free will, we have discipline, and we have a discerning and rational mind that cannot be beaten. We must employ these tools in the service of stopping bad habits. We must use the powers we have to turn ourselves around in the opposite direction.

We have the most powerful ability in the world — the ability to determine how we’re going to react. Let our reaction be to counteract bad habits with good ones, and correct what needs correcting.

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