Habituation is everything, says the habit

“If we think we are living, we are mistaken. It’s all just routines. You don’t get used to anything as quickly as you get used to habits. Habit is the contented sister of boredom and the two are therefore closely related.”

We would like to share herewith with the DAYCATCHER community excerpts of an article by Paul Jandl (published in the NZZ on April 14, 2021), as an encouragement to read the whole German article as ePaper.

Here are a few more nuggets from the article:

There’s nothing you get used to as quickly as routine

“If we think we’re living, we’re wrong. It’s all just routines. There’s nothing you get used to as quickly as habits. No sooner do we become accustomed to walking than we routinely go to places that produce new routines.”

“For better or worse. Thirty to forty percent of our daily lives are made up of routines, neuropsychologists say. If it weren’t, we’d collapse under the weight of decisions.”

Habits help dealing with complexity

“Habit is the rope we use to try to pull ourselves out of the complexity of the world.  …  Whatever they say about life, it’s basically just to get us used to our existence. We have to get used to the fact that we are an I, and this is easier to do if we don’t constantly flail about with our I in front of our eyes. We go our ways without having to constantly think about which ways this I is going. We butter ourselves up and don’t turn it into an act of self-realization. In the course of life, routines become more and more, and resistance to them becomes weaker. If we are unlucky, we end up inhabiting only our habits.”


Full German text by Ernst Jandl, NZZ April 14, 2021


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