It does not take an Einstein to figure out that, if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you will keep getting what you’ve been getting. Actually, it did take Albert Einstein to say: “Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.”
Dr. Deepak Chopra suggests that “routine” is an “obstacle to living consciously” – being self-aware and present in thought and action. (“The Conscious Lifestyle: Rising Above Routine" – link: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20121016010515-75054000-the-conscious-lifestyle-rising-above-routine). Dr. Chopra is not talking about habits and practices that we consciously choose and which contribute to our health and wellbeing. No, he is challenging the thinking, or lack thereof, that leads to routine behaviors that fill much of our day.
Dr. Chopra’s reasons for avoiding thoughtless routine include:
It conditions neural circuits in the brain to follow the same familiar patterns, making change difficult.
It puts us in “auto-pilot” mode where we do not have to think about or reflect on what we’re doing.
It leads to spending large amounts of time “reacting” to all the To-Do’s that fill our days.
It dulls the brain and creates low expectations.
It compartmentalizes our lives - routine tasks versus what I would rather be doing.
Chopra argues that unless we change the input of our mind's “feedback loop”, we will get stuck in the kind of routine living (output) that denies us the opportunity to be fully conscious and actively pursuing our dreams. What to do? Reflect on how you spend your day. Identify if and when you typically get into a routine rut. Identify what kind of input is going into your feedback loop and producing undesirable output. If it needs to be more positive, change your behaviors – your thoughts will follow.
M. J. White is the creator of “LEAN Wellness”, which transforms work environments with a radically different bottom-up approach that inspires continuous improvement in health and wellbeing. To learn more, visit the website at: www.wellstreet.us or email M. J. directly at: email@example.com.