There is a natural gracefulness to routine. Like the sun rising each morning, or the natural laws of gravity that keep all of our stuff from floating away on us, routine is a dependable and useful way to reach for our dreams, or get stuff done. That’s assuming you’ve built some good ones along the way of course. The more the better, because terrible routines can’t help but grind us into the ground. Ugly habits tend to suffocate our soul and become stifling. It sometimes takes a liftime to break them. It takes far more energy to break what sometimes doesn’t seem like that much effort to build.
But even good routines and good habits need to be broken. They are starved for change and beg for something new. I know you’re not supposed to fix what ain’t broke and let sleeping dogs lie, but not if you dare to be great, or a little closer to your dreams than you were yesterday.
Routines need to be routinely broken, turned upside down, adjusted, or at the very least stretched, pinched and squeezed a little. It’s not healthy to keep doing the same thing over and over again. If nothing else, we are in danger of losing the original reason why we started doing it in the first place.
You wake up one morning and you decide to change. You decide to be more positive and so you incorporate a half an hour of listening to motivational talks on audible or get your fill through some excellent podcasts. You do this daily, weekly, and monthly. It becomes a habit and a routine, but where is all this going? What is all this knowledge for? How you you begin to assess if all of those great ideas are actually permeating in your life?
A wonderful routine like this sometimes calls for a week of silence. Of some meditation and self reflection. It calls for some journaling to identify, after all those hours and hours of information, what you have actually learned and incorporated into your life. Are you happier? Are you any closer to realizing what you hoped to realize? Why or why not?
It serves no purpose to do even great things, if over some period of time there is nothing different about you. There is a reason why teachers are so respected in some cultures. Students at some point need to become teachers. After all, that is the primary reason to be a student in the first place. To absorb knowledge from someone else and be able to teach other people. Otherwise, all we have is a bunch of professional students, who graduate highschool on the Honour Roll, they make the Dean’s List at University, and when they graduate, they have no idea what they want to do with their life. They struggle because they have learned the routine of being a student, but they need a lot more in order to be happy, in order to bring something magical to this starving world of hours.
Routines and habits without goals or reasons are empty calories. Filling but useless outside a period of famine.
Everyone needs a good routine. We need to fill our lives with great habits and excellent routines, but we also need to reflect and ask where we are going on a regular basis.
Break your habits. Change them when you can, to generate thought, and to spark some questions that otherwise go unanswered.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Steve Harvey | https://unsplash.com/@trommelkopf