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September 21st, 2019
The word ‘habit’ on it’s own is fairly neutral, because it can go either way. We qualify it by talking about a good habit or a bad habit.
Some people go so far as to claim that absolutely everything we do and think is a form of habit. Things don’t look strictly the same every time because the context is a bit different and the collision of different context and same habit creates something that seems novel on the surface.
When it comes to bad habits, we have another term, one that is wholly negative and often compounded by the implications of some chemical. Extreme bad habits are referred to as addictions. These pathologies dictate a whole other word because the influence of some chemical is an obvious incentive.
What’s interesting is that every repetitive behavior is incentivized by some sort of chemical. Most are simply produced and consumed by the brain. The word ‘addiction’ is usually used when some external chemical is added to the mix. But the same basic dependence is identical in either case.
We can all bring to mind the image of someone who is obsessed with exercise and the culture of the gym. Such people are in some sense addicted to the chemicals their brain produces when they perform the physical feats of their workout. This addiction ratchets upwards like any addiction and many people have damaged their body by pushing too far, and it’s not hard to point out the chase for some higher concentration of the chemicals produced by the brain.
Luckily most people don’t really get to this point and the good habit of working out can become a virtuous cycle that an individual can constantly benefit from.
This is like an Excellent Addiction.
It’s simply another way of saying good habit. But in this case the hope is to draw the obvious connection to addiction and declutter the word of it’s dirty connotations. The value here is to reduce the distance between such good and bad behaviors. All are functioning by virtue of the same exact mechanics. Whether such mechanics perpetuate a good behavior or a bad one is often a case of luck.
Unless we’ve been lucky enough to have the thought to take such things under our own control.