Nature is impersonal, awe-inspiring, elegant, eternal. It's geometrically perfect. It's tiny and gigantic. You can travel far to be in a beautiful natural setting, or you can observe it in your backyard - or, in my case, in the trees lining New York City sidewalks, or in the clouds above skyscrapers.
I realize that in a happy life, making your bed should play a very small part, I don't know why this is so helpful to people getting started on a happiness project, but for some reason, making your bed - it's concrete, it's manageable. There's a big difference between having a bed that's unmade and a bed that's made. That little bit of outer order in people's lives seem to help them get started. So, that's a very small thing that you can do.
Often, if there's something that I want to do, but somehow can't get myself to do, it's because I don't have clarity. This lack of clarity often arises from a feeling of ambivalence - I want to do something, but I don't want to do it; or I want one thing, but I also want something else that conflicts with it.
In 'Before and After,' I identify the sixteen strategies that we can use to make or break our habits. Some are quite familiar, such as 'Monitoring,' 'Scheduling,' and 'Convenience.' Some took me a lot of effort to identify, such as 'Thinking,' 'Identity,' and 'Clarity.'