The power of patterns

I just read a great post on the Happiness Project about routine, which included this passage from Christopher Alexander’s book, The Timeless Way of Building:

Being in bed, having a shower, having breakfast in the kitchen, sitting in my study writing, walking in the garden, cooking and eating our common lunch at my office with my friends, going to the movies, taking my family to eat at a restaurant, going to bed again. There are a few more.
There are surprisingly few of these patterns of events in any one person’s way of life, perhaps no more than a dozen. Look at your own life and you will find the same. It is shocking at first, to see that there are so few patterns of events open to me.
Not that I want more of them. But when I see how very few of them there are, I begin to understand what huge effect these few patterns have on my life, on my capacity to live. If these few patterns are good for me, I can live well. If they are bad for me, I can’t.

Great passage right? I love the idea that we realistically only have a few patterns in our lives. It makes life seem so much more alterable – just by altering your patterns.

Read the post at the Happiness Project for some suggestions on practical application.

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One thought on “The power of patterns

  1. DavidA

    The endless repetitious misery of existence is such exquisite torture. The only tragedy of life is that the hideous pain has to end some day, alas.

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