Quote of the Day: The Little Daily Habits

"If I consider my life honestly, I see that it is governed by a certain very small number of patterns of events which I take part in over and over again.

Being in bed, having a shower, having breakfast in the kitchen, sitting in my study writing, walking in the garden, cooking and eating our common lunch at my office with my friends, going to the movies, taking my family to eat at a restaurant, going to bed again. There are a few more.

There are surprisingly few of these patterns of events in any one person’s way of life, perhaps no more than a dozen. Look at your own life and you will find the same. It is shocking at first, to see that there are so few patterns of events open to me.

Not that I want more of them. But when I see how very few of them there are, I begin to understand what huge effect these few patterns have on my life, on my capacity to live. If these few patterns are good for me, I can live well. If they are bad for me, I can’t."

— Christopher Alexander (via Gretchen)

4 comments on “Quote of the Day: The Little Daily Habits
  • I enjoyed the quote — it reminded me ‘Daily Routines’ (http://dailyroutines.typepad.com/), but with more analysis on what one gets out of their routine, rather than just documenting one’s day-to-day life. Still, when you consider the relative success of those featured in that blog, the benefits described by Alexander make themselves apparent.

    Definitely a thought-provoking post, increasingly so on each additional read. Thanks.

  • Beyond getting dressed, brushing my hair once each day, and showing up for work, I’m fairly random. There are no overt patterns. I may not even remember to eat. I do try to call my mother each day, but that’s like another job. I don’t even go to bed at the same time every night.

  • Ha, this stuff on Routine – has been confounding me for quite a while and I’ve been thinking about it too. Here I go sharing my two cents.

    Analyze a little and you’d know why.

    The fact of the matter is we’re all overtasked and for an overtasked mind, routine is simply the logic. To people that get stuck with routine, I am tempted to say “lose that tape”. If you think waking, working, eating and sleeping as routine, there is no escape because succumbing to routine is perhaps encoded in our DNA, something that we often mistake for compulsions of life, victim of circumstances etc. The only release is to search for variety in what we do in between these sedate tasks or the least in trying to be a fugitive from the law of averages. If it’s the same madness everyday, tell ourselves that there’s this little madness in all of us and sanity is nothing but madness put to good uses. Soon we learn how to be *properly insane* on given occasions to get the best out of life. When we recognize we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life might stand explained. Period.

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