Good Habits Drive Out Bad Habits

Good Habits Drive Out Bad Habits

The Daily Stoic for October 19th, “Good Habits Drive Out Bad Habits”.

“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.” —EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 3.12.6

I believe bad habits are easier to pick up than good ones. Maybe I’m wrong, and all habits are as easy or difficult to pick up. Maybe it’s harder for me to pick up the good ones just because they require more effort at the beginning.

Good Habits Drive Out Bad Habits

Anyway, I think the idea of doing something radically different to fight bad habits is actually a good one. The problem, I guess, is identifying the bad habits and being able to react to them. I think a very important initial step is thinking about our behavior, trying to look for these wrong patterns.

Now that’s easier said than done. So let me stop for a moment to consider some of my bad habits… And do some questions about them.

Probably one of the worst ones is always needing to do something. Even in my leisure time, I need to feel like I’m doing something productive. Working on an app or product, improving the website, writing the Daily Stoic…

So I decided to break that bad habit by forcing me to do something completely unproductive and a total waste of time.

During our last trip, we bought a book of black and white photography. It’s a big, heavy book. So today, when I finished working on my business, I prepared a tea, sit down at the sofa, and just enjoyed the most delicious wasted hour of my life. Doing nothing but looking to a bunch of photographies from the 80s and 90s.

And as I think habits are not easy to pick up, I’m afraid I will have to repeat this process in the future. 🙂


Today’s Daily Stoic, “Good Habits Drive Out Bad Habits”, discusses bad and good habits, and proposes us to break a bad habit by doing exactly the opposite of what we usually do. I found out that this technique works pretty well.