“”We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Living a virtuous life is not the easy path but the harder path. Instead of indulging the whims of my lizard or monkey mind, I must take the time to review my thoughts to ensure that they are rational, and not rationalizing. So why bother?
Because in the end, I believe “happiness” in the modern sense is a mirage and a euphemism for self-indulgent behavior. The immediate gratification received for giving into my impulses is more than overshadowed by the losses of opportunities missed. True happiness for me is personal progress toward my internal goals, not the callow and transient gifts of fate.
Virtue is a habit that I must practice every day and every moment. And just like all habits, I will sometimes fail to live up to my goals. However, that does not invalidate my efforts, any more than any person working to develop a personal or professional skill does not achieve mastery in their first attempt, or possibly ever. The effort alone is virtuous and not to be discounted.