A virtuous cycle is a chain of events that reinforces itself through some type of feedback loop, with advantageous or positive results. As the cycle develops, it is strengthened.
Despite appearances, a virtuous cycle isn’t self-propagating. If the cycle doesn’t receive input and energy, it slows down and stops altogether. Also, if outside influences are acting against a virtuous cycle, more time and effort are needed to keep the cycle functioning.
Getting physically fit is an example of a virtuous cycle. As we begin to get more physically fit, we feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically. Feeling better, we are better able to make and maintain healthy life choices in relationships, eating and sleeping habits, etc. This motivates us to increase our physical fitness, so we continue to work on our fitness.
Of course, if we discontinue the habit of being physically fit, we break that cycle. That’s not to say our lives will automatically and immediately go to pot. However, good leads to good. We get fit, we feel good, so we continue to get fit.
Good leads to good.
What types of virtuous cycles are you planting in your life? In your children’s? It might be an interesting exercise to draw out a few virtuous cycles, and then do spot-checks on a regular basis to see how well the cycles are running.