May 28, 2021

The difference between habit and ritual

From Ryder Carroll:

Nietzsche once said “He who has a why to live, can bear almost any how.” In order to truly change our behavior, we have to believe in the reason why we’re changing. We need a compelling purpose that will motivate us to do what is necessary, which often boils down to simply doing ordinary things over and over and over again. Now we’ve arrived at the fundamental difference between habits and rituals. Whereas routine is a process-driven approach to behavior change, ritual is a purpose-driven approach. Routines focus on the what, rituals focus on the why.

Whereas the purpose of a routine becomes more mundane and obscure each time it’s performed, a ritual is a celebration of its purpose. While habits make the ordinary invisible, rituals make the ordinary extraordinary.

We all need more ritual in our lives.