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.
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: