When I was reviewing my life bucket list and contemplating what item to tackle next and how, I found myself thinking more and more of this quote I ran across in a college ethics class. I remembered the words in bold and Google helped me find the rest.
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation: we do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have these because we have acted rightly; these virtues are formed in man by doing his actions; we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
—Will Durant explaining Aristotle in The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World’s Greatest Philosophers
We are what we repeatedly do. If you brush and flush your teeth everyday, you are someone who takes care of their teeth. If you sit on the couch and watch hours of television everyday, you are a couch potato. If you go shopping regularly, you are a consumer. The question of who you are can be answered by a collection of snapshots of what you repeatedly do.
Plumbers fix people’s plumbing. Dentists help people take care of their teeth. Photographers take pictures. Corporate finance lawyers help companies access the capital markets. Truck drivers drive. Writers write.
The bucket list I posted is culminated from lists I have made throughout my life and most of the more bookish items come from Tween-Thriftygal. My mom would yell at her to stop reading. She volunteered at the library in the summers. She read and read and read. She also wrote everything from cripplingly bad mystery stories to painfully brief short stories to pages upon pages of angst-ridden journals that I really need to burn.
I have another year paid on this URL, so I plan to continue blogging on this sucker. To the two dozen people already subscribed – fair warning – I will write more about the financial bits, but only about as frequently as I have over the past two years. I plan to write about traveling. I plan to write about cooking. I plan to write about my bucket list. I plan to write lists. I plan to write about nothing. I plan to write about garbage.
In an effort to quantify annoyingly vague bucket list item #17 (“Be a writer”), I will write two hours a day, six days a week for my 33rd year on the planet. People have a tendency to overestimate what they can accomplish in a day, but underestimate what they can accomplish in a year. At the very least, on my 34th birthday, I can cross off #17 and possibly I can make some headway on bucket list items #6 and #33.
P.S. I am a HUGE fan of hover text.