Routines are like a double edged sword. “It’s hard to live with them and hard to live without them” We all have them, consciously or not, and we are all partly defined by them in the end.”
During our upbringing and, therefore, imprinting, we accumulate routines that portray the person we are in the daily world. Those routines or actions craft pathways in our lives which makes navigating it easier. It helps us to reach welcome and desired destinations or outcomes. Valuable routines that support a desired lifestyle will become integrated, automatic and, therefore, subconscious. The automatic function of certain routines help us in supporting a desired lifestyle by spending less conscious energy and decision making capacity. The downside, however, is that we can slowly be sucked into these paths until the path itself becomes our destination. Rather then staying the pilots of our destiny, the routines will start to pilot us.
Let’s be honest, how many could remember what they have eaten yesterday evening with dinner? Or what they have watched on TV last night?
The routine of having dinner could be such an ingrained habit/routine that one could miss the Supreme moment of dinner all together. A modern phenomena of this particular routine is the option to overeat. Most of the times the amount of calories we take in are more then we actually need to reach sustenance for a typical, modern lifestyle. This is a relatively new phenomena if you compare it too the pre-modern age, in which overeating was solely for the privileged. So by observing this, we could say that the routine of overeating could be an unnecessary ‘evil’ of the modern age. Oftentimes, it is, therefore, simply the routine of eating that gives someone comfort or whatever the personal value might be. Mechanically going through a routine and simply forgetting about it later is living life less conscious or even unconsciously. An example of how a routine can start to pilot you.
Therefore, it might be a healthy thing to have the routine of staying aware of the routine, breaking up a routine or simply mixing it up a little. Reinforced routines could be so ingrained in our daily life that it becomes hard to mix things up or even stay aware of them. I would argue that mixing up a potentially (very damaging) routine already has the benefit in that it creates fresh pathways, which are in turn, easier to completely eradicate if desired.
On another note are routines useful guidelines to create structure, productivity and peace of mind during the day. A routine aids in having to make less conscious decisions, which also aids us in a more efficient and effortless carpe diem. Therefore, it’s a double edged sword, hard to live with, even harder to go without it, since it has its pro’s and cons. Here I would add that country life and city life has many different types of challenges regarding the concept described above. So this is where in my opinion a certain level of self-discipline is key in order to keep a routine worthwhile and at the same time conscious without becoming too mechanical. In short, this could be stated as ‘the golden middle path’, or the moderated path, in which a strong desire isn’t eradicated, but minimized, moderated and/or transmuted.
However, what does it take to shift from living life ‘mechanically’ into more ‘conscious’ ways of being alive and enjoying the moments and routines we prefer? Rather then drinking coffee each morning, one can set tea for example to neutralize ones caffeine tolerance or other undesired side effects by doing anything too often.
The deeper a routine is ingrained within our lives and the more unconscious and mechanical it occurs, the harder it is to get rid of it. Awareness, is, therefore, transforming in and of itself. Cause without being aware of the routines and paths we craft in our lives, the harder it becomes to undo a path with conscious effort.
Rather, see a routine as one of those building blocks that helped shaped your desired world first most. There must be some value in the routine, otherwise people wouldn’t stick with them. However, having the conscious awareness of what makes the routine valuable, already induces the inspiration to seek other means of attaining that desired value.
Therefore, it all starts with awareness..
Let me know what your thoughts are about the article, constructive feedback is welcome.