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Habit By Alain De Botton Summary

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In “Habit” Alain De Botton, the author mentions different ways one could travel without leaving the comfort of their home. The individual will come across the “traveler’s mindset” and see everything in a new light; what was the ordinary will become wonderous and exciting. One’s ordinary home will no longer be dull but quite entertaining. Developing the traveler’s mindset, one will start reversing the process of habituation; seeing the world through the eyes of the new. “Possible Worlds: Why do Children Pretend” Alison Gopnik, has many similarities to De Botton’s writing in subtle ways. Gopnik goes in detail on counterfactuals and the necessity of imagination in order to make possible worlds. Both authors explain the importance in realizing…show more content…
By changing one mindset into one of a traveler, can cause a person to view everything around them in a fresh light. Thinking counterfactually allowed De Maistre to see his own bedroom in a picturesque way. He first sees everything around him as just tools to get him by, but as he went on his journey, he came to realize the warmth that everything around him provided and “learns to appreciate this complex piece of furniture” (61) from a “traveler’s vantage point” (64). De Maistre changed his thought process in order to view what is in front of him differently. He considered the varying ways the world could possibly be. As Gopnik says, “Counterfactuals let us change the future. Because we can consider alternative ways the world might be, we can actually act on the world and intervene to turn it into one or the other possibilities” (165). De Maistre had to intervene in order to make this possible future a reality, he was frustrated that many scenes that are deemed ordinary go unnoticed by the public due to its averageness (62). De Maistre took it upon himself to stop viewing the world as boring and instead decided to admire everything just by looking at what was in front of him. In doing so he viewed the world in alternative ways. Imagining something in another setting can cause different outcomes and possibilities to occur, it allows one to change the future to fit his/her own
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