Dear Ones –

Today's wisdom comes to us care of the 19th century philosopher William James. (Who was the BROTHER OF THE MORE FAMOUS HENRY! See how I did that, attentive followers of this page, and book lovers???)

Anyhow…Mr. James had some very good things to say about how to form healthy habits in our lives.

First of all, he observed that most creatures are nothing but bundles of habits. Whether you are a wild fox or a domesticated human, after a certain amount of time, your days always tend to look the same. And since our characters seem to be a reflection of our habits (habits of thinking, habits of acting) it's probably a good idea to try to cultivate beneficial habits and eliminate destructive ones.

William James said that one of the problems with humans is that we set our habits at a young age, and then never consider altering them as we get older. But we CAN change our habits, he claimed.

He suggested an exercise, which I think is lovely and simple — and which I've been trying lately, because it really seems to work.

Here goes:

Mr. James said that every day, we should make a conscious effort to add one good or beneficial act, and to remove one harmful or lazy act.

That's it: Add one good thing and subtract one bad thing, every day.

Just one!

Add one kind word, and restrain yourself from saying one nasty thing about somebody.

Add one act of generosity, and withhold one act of selfishness.

Add one piece of fruit; remove one donut.

Add one glass of water; remove one cigarette.

Add one session of meditation; remove one half hour of reality television.

Add one trip to the gym; remove one trip to the mall.

Add one loving thought about yourself; remove one moment of self-doubt.

Add one brave gesture; remove one cowardly gesture.

Add one thing; remove one thing.


In this simple manner, day by day, you slowly recreate your habits…and in so doing, you steadfastly transform your life.

And guess what, my loves? THE SHIT WORKS. (That's a quote from me, not William James. But I think he would approve.)

So make a habit of it, Dear Ones! Because what we do matters.

Have a wonderful day!


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall