Fueling The Habit Bonfire

Fueling The Habit Bonfire

The Daily Stoic for May 13th. “Fueling the habit bonfire”.

“Every habit and capability is confirmed and grows in its corresponding actions, walking by walking, and running by running . . . therefore, if you want to do something make a habit of it, if you don’t want to do that, don’t, but make a habit of something else instead. The same principle is at work in our state of mind. When you get angry, you’ve not only experienced that evil, but you’ve also reinforced a bad habit, adding fuel to the fire.”

I’ve always thought that anyone can accomplish anything, as long as this person spends enough time and effort on it. In my opinion, fate, genetics, and other unalterable factors are negligible when compared to the sheer willpower of a determined human being.

However, this takes time. You cannot expect seeing results after three mere months of exercise at the gym -without abusing steroids. Similarly, you cannot expect an instant and ever-lasting effect on your life by just changing something occasionally.

In that sense, I like the quote from Aristotle:

“therefore, excellence is not an act but a habit”

That’s a very heartening feeling. Being good is just a matter of devoting a lot of time, love and effort into something.

Fueling The Habit Bonfire

That also applies to our lives. More concretely, to the direction we want our lives to take.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that every action we do, every thought we have, or every word we say, has to serve a purpose. But I think it’s worth considering if our actions, thoughts, words… generally speaking, are helping us become the person we want to be tomorrow.

I also like the idea of asking yourself these questions every week. That brings a periodic reality check that helps you avoid the “well… I’ll think about that tomorrow” trap.

When I started reading about stoicism, I had never asked myself who I wanted to be, or what kind of person I wanted to become in the future. I know it might sound like a weird thing to do, maybe like too metaphysical. But it’s not. It’s just a matter of asking yourself: “what do I want to do in life?”, “What makes me happy/what do I enjoy?” and “What am I doing today to get there?”


Today’s Daily Stoic, “Fueling The Habit Bonfire”, discusses how our acts today will shape the person we will become tomorrow. Just like everything that’s expected to last, we need to build habits that will help us become the person we want to be in the future.