Habits are automatic routines of behavior that are repeated regularly, without thinking. They are learned, not instinctive, human behaviors that occur automatically, without the explicit contemporaneous intention of the person. The person may not be paying attention to or be conscious or aware of the behavior. When the behavior is brought to the person's attention, they may be able to control it.
- Not for nothing is habit called a second and a kind of manufactured nature.
- Augustine of Hippo, On Music (AD 389), Bk VI, ch 19.
- Habit is a compromise effected between an individual and his environment.
- Samuel Beckett (1906–1989), Irish dramatist and novelist. Proust, Grove Press edition (1957), p. 7.
- Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. (What are the two?) There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable. Avoiding both these extremes, the Tathagata (the Perfect One) has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment and to Nibbana. And what is that Middle Path realized by the Tathagata...? It is the Noble Eightfold path, and nothing else, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
- Whereas some ascetics and Brahmins remain addicted to such unedifying conversation as about kings, robbers, ministers, armies, dangers, wars, food, drink, clothes, beds, garlands, perfumes, relatives, carriages, villages, towns and cities, countries, women, heroes, street- and well-gossip, talk of the departed, desultory chat, speculations about land and sea, talk about being and non-being, the ascetic Gotama refrains from such conversation.
- Gautama Buddha M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 1 (Brahmajala Sutta (Theravada)), verse 1.17, p. 70
- If use becomes abuse, we should intervene at once, for if abuse becomes habit, then there is no remedy.
- Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Quotes we cherish. Quotations from Fausto Cercignani, 2014, p. 35.
- Each year one vicious habit rooted out, In time might make the worst Man good throughout.
- Every habit makes our hand more witty and our wit less handy.
- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher and critic. The Gay Science (1882), Third Book, 'Habit', aphorism 247.
- How use doth breed a habit in a man!
This shadowy desert, unfrequented woods,
I better brook than flourishing peopled towns.
- To uproot an old habit is sometimes a more painful thing, and vastly more difficult, than to wrench out a tooth.
- Samuel Smiles, 19th C Scottish author and reformer. 'Character: The True Gentleman', Self-Help (1856), Ch 13.
- Since this is the age of science, not religion, psychiatrists are our rabbis, heroin is our pork, and the addict is the unclean person.
- Thomas Szasz, The Second Sin (New York: 1973), p. 64
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 436-47.
- A civil habit
Oft covers a good man.
- Beaumont and Fletcher, Beggar's Bush, Act II, scene 3, line 210.
- Consuetude quasi altera natura effici.
- Habit is, as it were, a second nature.
- Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, V, 25, Tusculanarum Disputationum, II, 17.
- Habit with him was all the test of truth;
"It must be right: I've done it from my youth."
- George Crabbe, The Borough (1810), Letter III.
- We sow our thoughts, and we reap our actions; we sow our actions, and we reap our habits; we sow our habits, and we reap our characters; we sow our characters, and we reap our destiny.
- Clavus clavo pellitur, consuetudo consuetudine vincitur.
- A nail is driven out by another nail, habit is overcome by habit.
- Erasmus, Diluculum.
- A man used to vicissitudes is not easily dejected.
- Samuel Johnson, Rasselas, Chapter XII.
- Habits form character and character is destiny.
- Joseph Kaines, address (Oct. 21, 1883); Our Daily Faults and Failings.
- Consuetudo consuetudine vincitur.
- Habit is overcome by habit.
- Thomas à Kempis, Book I, 21.
- Small habits, well pursued betimes,
May reach the dignity of crimes.
- Hannah More, Florio, Part I.
- Sow an action, reap a habit.
- Nil consuetudine majus.
- Nothing is stronger than habit.
- Ovid, Ars Amatoria, II, 345.
- Abeunt studia in mores.
- Pursuits become habits.
- Ovid, Heroides, XV, 83.
- Morem fecerat usus.
- Habit had made the custom.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, II. 345.
- Ill habits gather by unseen degrees,
As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book XV, line 155. Dryden's translation.
- Frangas enim citius quam corrigas quæ in pravum induerunt.
- Where evil habits are once settled, they are more easily broken than mended.
- Quintilian, De Institutione Oratoria, I, 3, 3.
- Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.
- Consuetudo natura potentior est.
- Habit is stronger than nature.
- Quintus Curtius Rufus, De Rebus Gestis Alexandri Magni, V, 5, 21.
- Vulpem pilum mutare, non mores.
- The fox changes his skin but not his habits.
- Suetonius, Vespasianus, 16.
- Inepta hæc esse, nos quæ facimus sentio;
Verum quid facias? ut homo est, ita morem geras.
- I perceive that the things that we do are silly; but what can one do? According to men's habits and dispositions, so one must yield to them.
- Terence, Adelphi, III, 3, 76.
- Quam multa injusta ac prava fiunt moribus!
- How many unjust and wicked things are done from mere habit.
- Terence, Heauton timoroumenos, IV, 7, 11.
- In ways and thoughts of weakness and of wrong,
Threads turn to cords, and cords to cables strong.
- Isaac Williams, The Baptistry, Image 18.
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- Habit if not resisted soon becomes necessity.
- Augustine of Hippo, p. 296.
- Give a child the habit of sacredly regarding the truth—of carefully respecting the property of others — of scrupulously abstaining from all acts of improvidence which can involve him in distress, and he will just as likely think of rushing into the element in which he cannot breathe, as of lying or cheating or stealing.
- Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux]], p. 295.
- Centres, or centre-pieces of wood, are put by builders under an arch of stone while it is in the process of construction till the key-stone is put in. Just such is the use Satan makes of pleasures to construct evil habits upon; the pleasure lasts till the habit is fully formed; but that done, the habit may stand eternal. The pleasures are sent for firewood, and the hell begins in this life.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux]], p. 295.
- Infinite toil would not enable you to sweep away a mist, but by ascending a little you may often look over it altogether. So it is with our moral improvement; we wrestle fiercely with a vicious habit, which could have no hold upon us if we ascended to a higher atmosphere.
- Sir Arthur Helps, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux]], p. 296.
- The diminutive chains of habit are seldom heavy enough to be felt, till they are too strong to be broken.
- Samuel Johnson, p. 296.
- A large part of Christian virtue consists in right habits.
- William Paley, p. 295.
- Every sinful act is another cord woven into that mighty cable of habit, which binds the spirit to the throne of darkness.
- David Thomas, p. 296.