Excellence and Habits by Janet Shlaes, Ph.D.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle
Excellence requires an optimal combination of desire, motivation, commitment and action. Most importantly, excellence requires repetition for a specified period of time in order to shift a desire into a habit. Brain research has shown that it takes approximately thirty days of repetition for the brain to develop a new neuropathway for a specific behavior; it takes even longer to dismantle pathways once a habit is established. This reality helps explain why old habits that no longer serve you take time to dissipate and eventually disappear. What you can do to build positive habits is engage in specific repetitive behaviors that lead to the development of neuropathways that align with your highest values and vison. Matt Cutts, in his brief TED Talk, “Try Something New for 30 Days,” provides excellent details regarding the development of excellence through generating new habits. I invite you to invest in yourself through watching Matt’s talk and committing to a 30 day challenge. You have much to gain and nothing to lose, except perhaps a way of being that no longer suits you.
For addition insights and observations, check out the following posts: