To achieve excellence, a concept we all hope to acquire in one way or another, means to constantly improve our operating system. And there is only one way to do that. To install and maintain good habits!
The Stoics were all about habits and routine. The compound effect of good habits is very powerful. Nothing can hold us back like a bad habit.
An easy way to implement new habits is to make them small, a few at a time. This way you can keep to your new routine even on your bad days.
Here are 5 habits that the Stoics practiced daily:
- Wake up early. You are the most productive early in the morning. Fewer distractions, the phone doesn’t ring, the kids aren’t fighting.
- Keep a journal. Reflection, putting thoughts and ideas down on paper works as a catharses exercise. Possibly the easiest way to avoid repeating mistakes!
- Reading daily. Not only do you challenge yourself by learning new things, but it is one of the best forms of relaxation, of finding stillness in our busy world.
- Connect with people you love. “Seeking the very best in ourselves means actively caring for the welfare of other human beings.” —Epictetus
- Develop a walking habit. Clears the mind, is an almost effortless exercise and when done with good company, it is an awesome way to have proactive conversations. Aristotle, for example, conducted his lectures while walking around his school in Athens as his students followed him.
This is no new information. I know you know what you ought to be doing. But what habits do you truly perform daily?!