Ven. Nyanaponika Thera, The Power of Mindfulness
As remarked earlier, habitual reactions generally have a stronger influence upon our behaviour than impulsive ones. Our passionate impulses may disappear as suddenly as they have arisen. Though their consequences may be very grave and extend far into the future, their influence is in no way as long lasting and deep reaching as that of habit. Habit spreads its vast and closely meshed net over wide areas of our life and thought, trying to drag in more and more. Our passionate impulses, too, might be caught in that net and thus be transformed from passing outbursts into lasting traits of character. A momentary impulse, an occasional indulgence, a passing whim may by repetition become a habit we find difficult to uproot, a desire hard to control, and finally an automatic function we no longer question. Repeated gratification turns a desire into a habit, and habit left unchecked grows into compulsion.