'We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.' – Aristotle
What does this quote mean and why am I digging up Ancient Greek Philosophy?
Well lets dive in...
Actions and habits are a way of life, and this is more than just a quote. The idea of striving for excellence and not perfection is key to staying determined, managing expectations and carving out the right formula for you to succeed.
I like to make sure that my routine and organisation of my day-to-day activities and to-do list, are conducive to my goals. Therefore, the idea that excellence is depicted by repeated acts, forming habits and a routine, is one that I believe wholeheartedly in. The philosophy takeaway for me here is that your actions are a significant sign of where you are going in the future, and the daily steps you take are important to your success. Whatever that success may be. So you must ensure that those actions and steps are creating the excellence you want to see in your life.
I also see Aristotle here making the idea of excellence seem attainable. Sometimes we think and see our own end goal or watch others living out their successes and excellences and feel as though it is so far away or too difficult to attain. Yet Aristotle has put it so beautifully, underlying that excellence is attained through habit, and therefore, anyone can achieve it.
Furthermore, Aristotelian philosophy takes on the eudaimonic perspective, which is based on meaning and self-realisation, I think you can see that in this quote. Where self-realisation is about self-awareness and connectedness to self. If you are finding meaning in your day and creating habits that align with yourself, then you will be forming your own habitual excellence.