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.
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.'
We need to have intimate, enduring bonds; we need to be able to confide; we need to feel that we belong; we need to be able to get support, and just as important for happiness, to give support. We need many kinds of relationships; for one thing, we need friends.
Superstition is the irrational belief that an object or behavior has the power to influence an outcome, when there's no logical connection between them. Most of us aren't superstitious - but most of us are a 'littlestitious.'
Sometimes, counter-intuitively, it's easier to make a major change than a minor change. When a habit is changing very gradually, we may lose interest, give way under stress, or dismiss the change as insignificant. There's an excitement and an energy that comes from a big transformation, and that helps to create a habit.
Some kind of clutter is difficult - letting go of things with sentimental value, sifting through papers - but some clutter I find very refreshing to clear. I drive my daughters nuts because I'm always wandering into their rooms to clear clutter.
No leader did more for his country than Winston Churchill. Brave, magnanimous, traditional, he was like a king-general from Britain's heroic past. His gigantic qualities set him apart from ordinary humanity; there seemed no danger he feared, no effort too great for his limitless energies.