When you’ve done something countless times its only reasonable to conclude that the more often you do something the less you get from it. Routine dulls the mind. We are all responsible for the degree of dullness inhabiting our lives because we’re willingly or unavoidably locked into routine, the daily routine, the routine of work and to a lesser degree, routines which have becomes habits; something we do without thinking, either of the thing itself or its consequences. Habits are the thing we do without thinking; they become automatic or habitual, bad and good.
After a life of tedious suffocating routine at boarding school, I’ve made an effort to avoid routine and habit where-ever I see an opportunity. As a result my working life was determined by throwing darts at a dart board wearing a blindfold; I’d take a job where-ever the dart fell. I lasted just long enough until I knew how the job worked and threw another dart. Lately I’ve preferred to be self-employed. Consequently I have a loosely ordered CV, one as long as long as my arm indicating I changed jobs roughly every three years. I might do things differently if given the chance.
I felt empowered the other day when out walking the dog through town. I saw a hearse with flowers and coffin aboard and habitually reached for collar of my jacket. Since school days this automatic response has me on the lookout for a four-legged animal to release me from this absurd habit when I realised I had one at the end of the lead. For me this is a good reason for me to have a dog, and stop saluting magpies.
I seldom return along the same route as I went out. I attempt to use my left hand and not habitual right, sometimes with hilarious consequences. (Try brushing your teeth with the ‘other’ hand) I walk under ladders and make sure I have number thirteen on my lottery ticket. I ride my bike on a different day on a different route. I park the car facing in the other direction and have a breakfast other than porridge oats on an irregular basis. Etc, etc… I’m determined to ‘un-habit’ my life.
It’s good for you, it can be fun, it’s free and best of all, ‘unhabitting’ increases the likelihood of spontaneous opportunity.
Fewer routines, more life.