Echoes of Aristotle

Bust of Aristotle. Marble, Roman copy after a ...
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Listening to a podcast the other day I was reminded of a quotation from Aristotle:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

The trigger was something that Joel Houston said on the Catalyst podcast:

Excellence is a spirit, not a presentation.

He was (I think) speaking in the context of leading worship, but I think that it has a wider application.

For example, by making (barely) sufficient effort you can pass a test, but have you acquired knowledge/ skill/ insight/ wisdom?

I like Joel Houston’s version because it takes us beyond the repetition of acts that Aristotle talks about , and takes us to the motivation – what lies behind our acts.

For me, this raises the question: ‘How do we attain excellence in our every day lives?’  OR ‘What are we wholeheartedly committed to?’

So, I’ve paraphrased Joel Houston to comes up with my own alliterative version:

Excellence is an ethos, not an event.

(I must try it out … tomorrow… and the day after…)


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