We are encouraged to believe in miracles, that life is unpredictable and anything can happen, which of course is true. But what about those whose lives are built from and around routine; where nothing new happens and spontaneity’s just a word and not something they experience? How can anything new or exciting emerge when our days are filled with the sameness of every other day?
The excuses we give to justify our comfort zones are limitless. We are too tired or too old, have no time and too many responsibilities. But in order to experience something different, we need to change our mindset and think and act differently. Living the same day over and over again is discouraging and breeds resentment.
Routine imprints a repetitive pattern on our lives and we start to expect the sameness of everyday. It does little to boost our spirits or inspire us. It produces a cookie-cutter effect on our lives; the same pattern cut into our day, replicating the one before and the one before that, much like a cutter punching identical cookies through dough. Life becomes boring, uneventful and predictable – when a change in thought would turn things around.
Repeating the same day over and over again, never learning anything new, never meeting different people, never going anywhere new, never thinking differently, in the broader sense, is not really living. How do we test ourselves when we are safely repeating our routines? There are no challenges and therefore no growth, which is a major factor in living a full life.
Including our excuses, fear is a dominant player in keeping us in our comfort zones. Most of us are scared of a hundred different things, most of them irrational – and we know it. We are aware that breaking a routine requires copious amounts of effort, perseverance and commitment.
However, fear can be a great motivating factor; a catalyst to action. It would be silly to think once fear is conquered it would never rear its ugly head again. Fear will always exist in the shadows but we don’t have to be ruled by it. We can learn to harness its energy and use it to move us forward instead of letting it hold us back.
A life filled with routine has no highs or lows. We trundle along and believe this is what life’s all about. Unfortunately, many of us give up too early and resign ourselves to the fact that we will probably never live a life of fulfilment and wonder. Perhaps we feel we don’t deserve it? We are happy enough with the status quo and don’t want the added strain in our lives. Change would mean examining our lives and taking the necessary steps to alter our routines.
The reassuring fact about routine is that most of us live this way. We are creatures of habit after all. We have organised our lives and prefer to stick to what we know best, which makes sense. It’s the way we achieve goals, minor or major. Why would we want to disrupt what works? However, it’s the niggling feeling informing us there must be something more to life. It calls to us at the most inconvenient times, waking us in the dead of night or when we’re in the middle of an important meeting. Maybe it’s our own life calling us; pushing us forward.
Routine has its benefits but when it stifles and prevents us from experiencing all the wonderful things in life, it becomes detrimental. Without routine chaos would ensue; but too much routine can have us living like zombies, just going through the motions and completely uninspired. The key is to balance routine with the new and not have all your days resemble a cut-out of the one before.