so habits then

Humans appear unique in their ability to consciously alter their habits. (Deliberate split infinitive: eighteenth century grammarians be silent.) Specifically, they can override their instincts and change their habitual behaviour through a process of reasoning. Doesn’t always work: hence obesity and various forms of addiction. This leads in turn to arguments about whether humans are therefore uniquely positioned to destroy their own environment.

In the end, though, instinct is kind of boring. Go-with-the-flow people tend eventually to flow into some form of personal disaster and then have to exercise reasoning or seek third party help to prise themselves out of it. Personal disaster can be a result of faulty reasoning too. But the fun of it all is knowing that it’s only you. Everyone on the planet will always base some judgement of you on what you do or don’t do. Some assert that what you do is the only thing that defines you: the Protestant work ethic. It is definitely true that if you spend most of your days doing nothing you are relying on support from structures that a lot of people work very hard to maintain: the undergraduate daytime TV guilt trap. Or maybe not so much of the guilt. Is it a fundamental human right to be able to spend at least some of your mornings absorbing the catharsis of derailed lives on a two dimensional screen, from your favourite chair, sipping tea from your favourite mug, snuggling securely into the warmth of your favourite entrenched attitude?

Maybe. But for sure if you have your physical health you can decide to change your physical habits, and if you have your mental health you can to some extent decide to rewire your personality. Go forth. Sometimes drink tea from a different mug; sometimes sit in a different chair; sometimes watch Calendar instead of Look North. Sometimes open your mind. It is only will.