So how does Aristotle’s quote fit here? “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Excellence isn’t defined by turning out one great product (or a number of great products). It comes out of what we do each day: our habits. Extraordinary products are merely side effects of good habits.
Applying this quote to ourselves (both professionally and personally) requires that we recognize our lives are side effects of our habits, so we’d better choose our habits carefully. Most people just randomly fall into their work routines, for a variety of reasons: this is how you learned it, it’s how your boss used to do it, and so on. We can do better.
Purposely seek out good habits, and add them to ...