Death by routine?

I was sent a video today this morning that brought up some interesting questions in the chaotic environment that tends to be my brain.

It was a short clip about a guy who essentially stopped living the typical American life to hop on his bike and live out a different sort of adventure.  No routine or same ol same ol for him.  Just a little bike ride from Oregon to the bottom tip of South America.  Different things on different days to keep his mind alive.

It’s an interesting philosophy when you really break it down and think about the role routine plays in our lives.  If you’re familiar with us then you know that I am big on the word context and understanding the importance of it.  Everything is different for everyone.  This guy decided that routine was quickly killing him and could cause his life to pass by quickly without really living.  Now this was interesting because we so often hear how we need more routine and more structure in our lives.  Yet…here is this guy bucking the trend and doing something that completely disrupts routine.

It made me do my fair share of thinking and now I want to know the role that routine plays in your life. As a matter of fact, it would be better for you to understand the role routine plays in your life.

I can see both sides of the coin.  I see how routine could benefit you, allowing you to work more efficiently because you understand what to expect from yourself in a given day/week/month/year.  Routine can free you up from figuring out what to do, when to do it, and how you do it.  Routine brings about structure (which I can personally vouch for as being my biggest nemesis these days). Being in the health filled, one of the biggest tips you hear being told to people is to make healthier habits “part of your routine”.  I can guarantee you we’ve given out such advice…probably even as recently as a few hours ago.  Routine is king in our world.  An unhealthy routine leads to poor health, a healthy one leads to a healthy life.

Now I’d like to present a dark side to the concept of living with a routine.  The Sith to the Jedi.  It’s quite plausible to think that routine can limit you from thinking beyond the routine itself.  It’s quite possible that routine could shackle you from living Missing out on some of the fly by the seat of your pants antics that can add unparalleled beauty into one’s life simply because it’s different and out of the norm.

Think about this: It’s Monday, you wake up, get ready, go to work, come home, watch some TV, get ready for bed, go to sleep.  Repeat 4 more times and then run around, do errands, hit up The Home Depot and Bed, Bath, and Beyond if you have enough time.  Repeat this sequence 52 more times and then another 35 times.  That’s 35 years worth of routine.  By the time you know it, you are retiring and wondering what the hell happened.

“The routine is the enemy of time.  It makes it fly by.”

I present both sides because there is always an element of too much of a good thing.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject and to see how you use routine and then find ways to disrupt it in your life.

Travel.  Take random days off.  Talk to different people every day.  Eat at different restaurants.  Try different foods.  Drink different drinks.  Take classes.  Try new hobbies. Eat dessert for breakfast.  Eat breakfast for dinner.  Wear a new outfit.  Wear an old outfit.  Meditate.  Read a book.  Go walk a different path.  Hit up a new park.

Routine has its own spectrum, much like everything else.  I presented the two polar opposites but it’s important to note that there are many levels in between.  Extremity isn’t the route everyone takes.

As always, I write this for myself hoping that it helps another.  I too often fall prey to the safe route in life: the same clothes, the same ol same ol.  It might not be a 7,000 mile bike ride across continents but it’s never a bad idea to disrupt your routine and be aware of how it impacts your life.


I’d really love to hear more from you.  Let’s hear how you disrupt your routine!

Here is the video that I reference above:

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7 thoughts on “Death by routine?

  1. Wow, Ben! Now the chaotic environment that is my brain is turned on. I’m taking a French class to learn to speak French. I want to learn to play the piano (and read music) and my 4 children live in four different cities in the US, so traveling to these places is in my near future. Hope I’m changing up my routine and I don’t die wondering why my life went by so fast. I think I’m on the right path.

    Thanks for sharing this amazing story!

    😊, Shannon

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Seems to me that WHAT you use your routine-building skills for makes all the difference. Routines about things like what you eat, how you exercise, how you sleep, all the way down to where you put your keys and wallet when you change clothes – these are all things that can make you more productive, healthy, and happy. Let’s call that mindful routine – you’re thinking about the routine that you want to create and live by, with intention. You periodically take stock of those routines and improve upon them when necessary – discarding what doesn’t work and trying new things that might make your routine more effective.

    Unconscious routine is more dangerous and insidious. It’s the buildup of negative habits in your life – whether those are physical things like poor diet, lazy behavior, etc.; or even worse, negative mindset or beliefs you hold even though those beliefs don’t benefit you or your communities. Dogma and belief are the enemy here. We need to be able to shuck aside habits and beliefs that don’t serve us.

    And occasionally, we need to go a little wild and do things like bike to the tip of South America, getting out of that comfort zone of habit and routine. It helps us to do a neurological reset that changes our view and our routine to learn from newly acquired knowledge.

    Great article!


    • Well said Jamie. The manner in which we employ routine is incredibly important. I do believe people should be mindful as much as they can. I did also want to shake some things up in people’s psyche that they have become zombies due to the the unconscious routine.

      We all certainly need that well timed disruption in our lives to put it all in perspective and quite possibly get a different one. Thanks for the comment, I’m right with you!!!


  3. And sometimes changing the routine and trying something new only lets you know what is working in your routine and what is really there to take up space :)Thank you for this today, perfect timing! Kelly

    From: 30 Day Reclaim To: Sent: Monday, June 26, 2017 1:13 PM


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