The Zen of Habits

The Zen of Habits

Habits are very Zen in nature, as they arise from an activity that is practiced until it flows through our lives without a hitch. And without distracting us from whatever comes next. In that sense, Zen and habits are well aligned.

And like Zen, habits are also rituals—rituals of persistence. They offer you a practice in small doses until the persistence of the practice itself becomes a habit.

The caution is that habits turn into meaningless rituals when the original need has shifted, or is gone, but we just keep dialing the same “out of order” number anyway.

Or, a habit can be a smokescreen seducing us with the comfort of familiarity when something new and scary and potentially life changing is calling us over the mountain.

As an artist, you have to be very picky about which ones you start dating.

Some will move you forward; others will pluck you from the depths of being stuck, or give you unreasonable pleasure in the fulfillment of your greatest visions, while others will lure you with false promises.

Try this exercise.

Write down every habit you have around your art career, and then rate each one on a 1 to 10 scale of:

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10

Makes Me Feel Tired              Makes Me Feel Alive

You only want habits that make you feel alive because a habit takes patience, commitment, and desire. If it’s going to become a part of your life, select the ones that give you the juice of life that keeps you going.

I’d love to know 2 habits that you have in your art life that make you feel alive at a 10.

The only problem is that right now I’m acclimatizing to my new right knee – so if you comment, which I’d love, don’t despair if I don’t reply quite yet.

I promise I will when I’m allowed back in the office (end of March, early April is my best guess!).


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