My current emphasis: how to make good habits and break bad ones (really)

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“Collectors…Who Aim at Completing a Series, and Those Who Long to Possess Things that Have Betwitched Them.”

“Collectors are basically of two kinds; those who aim at completing a series, and those who long to possess things that have bewitched them. The former, of whom stamp and coin collectors are the obvious examples, enjoy the pleasures of a limited aim, and its comforting certainties. The latter may suffer ups and downs, changes of heart and deceptions, but …


“There Is a Charm, Even for Homely Things, in Perfect Maintenance.”

“There is a charm, even for homely things, in perfect maintenance.” – Louis Auchincloss, The House of Five Talents Agree, disagree? I feel this very strongly myself, and I write about it quite a lot in The Happiness Project and Happier at Home. Well-made, suitable tools make work a joy; keeping things in their proper places makes a place seem …


“Every Time You Break the Law You Pay, and Every Time You Obey the Law You Pay.”

Every time you break the law you pay, and every time you obey the law you pay. — John Gardner, interview, The Paris Review I’m haunted by this line; I think about it all the time. It’s even the epigraph to my new book on habit-formation, Before and After– along with a quotation by William James (of course; you can’t …


“No Matter How Mundane Some Action Might Appear, Keep at It Long Enough and It Becomes a Contemplative…Act.”

“No matter how mundane some action might appear, keep at it long enough and it becomes a contemplative, even meditative act.” –Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Agree, disagree? Yes, I’ve quoted from Murakami twice in a row, but I just couldn’t resist. If you’re interested in habits,  you’ll find this book very interesting. Also, …


“I Have Only a Few Reasons to Keep on Running, and a Truckload of Them to Quit.”

“If I used being busy as an excuse not to run, I’d never run again. I have only a few reasons to keep on running, and a truckload of them to quit.” –Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running I’m editing my draft of Before and After, and although I love this quotation, alas, it just …