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Quotations about Habits

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken. ~Samuel Johnson

The fact is, habit is the strongest thing in the world... ~Fanny Kemble (1809–1893)

Ill habits gather by unseen degrees —
As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.
~John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel

There are things you've done that come back to haunt you — and things that haunt you that you're still doing. ~Robert Brault,

Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time. ~Mark Twain

A habit is something you can do without thinking — which is why most of us have so many of them. ~Frank A. Clark

Habit.— The covering worn by the body or mind: in the former case hiding Nature, and in the latter revealing her. ~"Specimens of a Patent Pocket Dictionary, For the use of those who wish to understand the meaning of things as well as words," The New Monthly Magazine and Literary Journal, 1824

A bad habit never disappears miraculously. It's an undo-it-yourself project. ~Abigail Van Buren (1918–2013)

Nothing is so often irrevocably neglected as an opportunity of daily occurrence. ~Marie Dubsky, Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916), translated by Mrs Annis Lee Wister, 1882

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. ~Jim Ryun

Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow. ~Yiddish Proverb

If it weren't for my bad habits, I'd be an idle fellow! ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), tweet, 2010 February 22nd

Habits are the very dickens to change. ~Arnold Bennett (1867–1931)

The unfortunate thing about this world is that good habits are so much easier to give up than bad ones. ~Somerset Maugham

Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity. ~St. Augustine

The second half of a man's life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half. ~Feodor Dostoevski

Habit might be described as a kind of moral friction — as something not allowing easy passage to the mind, but rather so binding it to things that to work loose from them is difficult. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908

Enduring habits I hate.... Yes, at the very bottom of my soul I feel grateful to all my misery and bouts of sickness and everything about me that is imperfect, because this sort of thing leaves me with a hundred backdoors through which I can escape from enduring habits. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables. ~Spanish Proverb

The hard must become habit. The habit must become easy. The easy must become beautiful. ~Doug Henning

Habit is a second nature which prevents us from knowing the first, of which it has neither the cruelties nor the enchantments. ~Marcel Proust

The easier it is to do, the harder it is to change. ~Eng's Principle

No monarch is so well obeyed as that whose name is Habit. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

The simile of a path is convenient to illustrate the theory of the mind regarding habits. A certain sort of vibration is set in motion, starting in one particular area and ending in another. The next time it starts, the same beginning and end mark its course. The same vibration happens again and again, and with each additional characteristic of a path we have one that may be applied to a habit: a well-worn path becomes a rut, and whatever travels along the margin is bound to slip into the depression. ~Nathan Oppenheim, M.D., "The Bonds of Habit," Mental Growth and Control, 1901  [A little altered. "The well-worn path is the most likely to become a rut." ~Dr. Idel Dreimer —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

The satisfied, the happy, do not live; they fall asleep in habit, near neighbor to annihilation. ~Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life

Habits are safer than rules; you don't have to watch them. And you don't have to keep them, either. They keep you. ~Frank Crane

Habit is thus the enormous flywheel of society, its most precious conservative agent. It alone is what keeps us all within the bounds of ordinance, and saves the children of fortune from the envious uprisings of the poor. ~William James, The Principles of Psychology

In any family, measles are less contagious than bad habits. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

Men's natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them. ~Confucius, Analects

Habit with him was all the test of truth;
It must be right: I've done it from my youth.
~George Crabbe, The Borough

Habit is a cable; we weave a thread each day, and at last we cannot break it. ~Horace Mann

Nothing so needs reforming as other people's habits. ~Mark Twain

If you don't watch out, putting on your unhappiness in the morning can become as instinctive as putting on your clothes. ~Robert Brault,

Small habits well pursued betimes
May reach the dignity of crimes.
~Hannah More

To fall into a habit is to begin to cease to be. ~Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life

Habit is a man's sole comfort. We dislike doing without even unpleasant things to which we have become accustomed. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The best way to break a bad habit is to drop it. ~Leo Aikman

Every grown-up man consists wholly of habits, although he is often unaware of it and even denies having any habits at all. ~Georges Gurdjieff

To have nothing the matter with you and no habits is pretty tame, pretty colorless. It is just the way a saint feels, I reckon; it is at least the way he looks. I never could stand a saint. ~Mark Twain

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