Hippocrates famously said: “Make a habit of two things: to help; or at least to do no harm.” Add one more important habit to his list.
Never mind that he didn’t actually say any such thing….
But as long as doing helpful things and refraining from doing harmful things is the topic, let’s go back to another ancient source, a fellow named Siddhartha Gautama. He taught that we would be happier if we followed eight habits, including seeing the world as it really is, paying attention why we want things, saying the right things (not saying bad things), doing the right things (again, not doing bad things), having a job that is good for the community or mankind (yeah, maybe “assassin” isn’t a proper career path), putting a good effort into all we do, being aware, and focusing on things where appropriate.
You don’t have to believe everything he said to think those are good ideas.
In Closing: keep looking up; a research problem; unfortunately I doubt they mean it; finally somebody thought about it (at least a little); Dayton; civil rights; words.
The President characterized the Trans Pacific Partnership as “Americans writing the rules.” It would have been more accurate to say corporations writing the rules. I did like how he dealt with Republican clapping when he announced that he’d run his last election. I wonder if maybe he didn’t ask Senator Franken for some tips on dealing with hecklers. Here’s somebody who actually knows something about economics talking about some of the President’s tax ideas. I do hope his college proposal doesn’t just extend the time when youngsters have the security of not having to necessarily have any skills.
The Republican rebutting the President (whose voice I find patronizing and annoying, but that’s on me) called Keystone XL a “jobs” bill when it is nothing of the sort. And once more I ask: if this stuff is so great and it’s going to create so many jobs, how come the Canadians are letting us ship it here rather than processing it there?
On good and bad habits: it’s apparently easier to do yoga while sober (I’ve never done it drunk, so I don’t know); thinking and doing; America isn’t the only nation that has a racism problem; healthy eating tips; avoiding salt doesn’t necessarily have to be one of those tips.
In Closing: fair housing and Ferguson; sensible; pointlessly gendered; 100 students; not a bad simplified explanation of how viruses work; the boy who rode his bike; and exploding kittens.
Ok, so by now everyone knows that this year’s flu vaccine isn’t quite as effective as would be desirable. By the way, that’s because the flu virus changes (read: evolves!) quickly. There’s still a few things you can do to reduce your chance of getting the flu. One of the biggest things is almost free and you won’t even need a doctor: wash your hands regularly.
Hand washing — a controversial yet effective technique since 1846. I wish I didn’t have to point out that it’s a good habit.
In Closing: a few items about terror, the internet, and security; point, partially refuted.
Do you tend to order the same thing at restaurants? Or do you like to jump around the menu?
Answer: yes. It depends where I am. There are places where I just want the one or two things that I know are awesome. There are other places where I am busy trying new things. Remember, Vegas is a world class food city! Sorry, I don’t have much more to say about the issue than that.
In Closing: no regard for the Supreme Court; catching the cold; one Indiana lawmaker doesn’t think you should have a choice whether you raise a child with severe disabilities; cybersecurity; doing the same thing and expecting different results; finally somebody said it out loud.
Do you think you have more good habits or bad habits?
I thought about going a little zen on this question and simply saying “yes.” I have good habits, I have bad habits, I don’t know that I ever bothered comparing the two. I suppose I’d like to think I have more good than bad, and there are people who might disagree.
Sorry, not the best post. But hey, yesterday you got a good rant!
In Closing: Stingray; the London Stone; Women of the Senate; with more people identifying as liberal, I wonder when politicians will stop fearing the word; climate denial; policy; and the Real Johnny Appleseed.
Do you have any good habits that were hard to start but you’re happy you worked to build them?
Well yes, I have a lot of habits that were hard to start. For example, it was very hard to get started working out regularly. Sadly, it’s much more fun to hit the snooze button than to get up and sweat. It’s more fun to go out to breakfast than to go to yoga class when you’re starting. But you know what? I’m stronger and more flexible than I was the day I graduated high school.
I also had a hard time getting in the habit of keeping my nails polished. Let’s face reality, I’m not one of those naturally-girly girls but rather one who has to work at it. So finding the time to give myself a manicure (and a pedicure) is something I do in the name of feeling more feminine. Sure, I could pay somebody to make this happen, but this way it happens on my schedule.
So yes, good habits are worth developing.
In Closing: New antibiotic; calorie myths; a pound of fat a day; ok I promise my last weight link of the day; wasting no time. See everybody tomorrow.
Today I’m actually using the official prompt:
Have you ever tried to break a habit and failed? What made it so difficult to break?
Ok, this is a weird one. I’m still not quite over this habit: I have a hard time passing up things that are cheap or free.
I’ve got dozens of books on my Kindle that I don’t know when I’ll have time to read them, but they were free! I’ve got canned food in my pantry that I only have because it was on sale — and theoretically I’ll use it eventually. I’ve been known to buy clothes that fit but aren’t really my style because they were so inexpensive.
Why is this a hard habit to break? Well, because it’s easy to think I’m being thrifty. In the case of free ebooks, it doesn’t actually cost me anything. In the case of food, well, I guess I’m well prepared for an emergency. In short, one person’s bad habit is another’s good habit.
Oh hey, and just the other day I got this free ebook on how to break bad habits!
In Closing: the case of the blonde MIT student; Ha Ha Harvard; not entirely sure how one solves problems without strong reading and math skills; crime, security, and privacy; and the intellectual heirs of MacHack.
Like many people, I was happy to see 2014 go and I’m looking forward to a great 2015. This is a time of year when many people are working on habits: getting rid of bad ones, starting good ones. As you can see from the nice banner at the side, I’ll be talking quite a bit about habits this month. Be sure to check out some of the other nice people who will be doing likewise.
Oh, don’t worry, I’ll be sure to talk about the economy and politics and the freakin NSA from time to time too!
My plan is to keep it short and sweet and useful. Let’s start with a little talk about goals. Yeah I know, I beat up on goals just last week. But here’s the thing: if you don’t try, you’ll never ever succeed. Even though what Mr. Venuto says about goals is tailored to a health and fitness community, the fact is that most of what he says can be applied to any goal — and that includes habit related goals!
In Closing: Health insurance does you no good if you can’t afford to use it; slowdown; the injustice system.