I am in the 56th year of my life. My experience says that most people allow routine to take over the daily life. The mind falls in love with predictability and gets upset even at small diversions. It is true for people of almost all ages.
Moving out of comfort zone….
We have grown up doing things in a particular way that even a thought of doing it differently evokes a negative response from the brain. We have our comfort zones within which we usually want to live. It is not just about doing a thing in a particular way, but we get used to timings as also wanting to see things in a particular place and any change in that immediately sets in a negative motion.
Routine and predictions do make the going easy to an extent. They bring in discipline in life and if followed religiously ensures things are done at the given time in the prescribed way. Following a set routine creates less stress and gives us a feeling of safety. But is it good for growth; personal and professional?
It is the ‘out of the box’ action which add the ‘fun’ quotient to life. What we do beyond the routine is what leads to inventions and discoveries. I am not talking of just scientific or technological inventions/ discoveries. It is more to do with discovering a ‘new you’ every now and then. The more you break the routine the more you will find the ‘unknown you’.
Discipline and routine….
Most people confuse discipline with routine. Discipline is more to do with ‘How’ something must be done while routine deals with ‘What’ is to be done. Yes, discipline is a must in life and no compromises should be made. But a routine should be flexible enough to twists and adjustments.
Boredom is likely to set in if we go on following a particular routine over and over again. If we do not think beyond routine and break away from our comfort zones, it will be difficult to achieve anything extraordinaire.
Do not pack yourself with just professional work. It should have adequate space for entertainment and personal needs. If you keep doing same things in similar fashion day in and day out, you will most likely burn yourself out sooner than later.
While having a broad routine is good for life but what kills is the tendency to do things in a ‘routine’ manner. The aim generally is just to finish the job at hand not worrying about the finesse. Innovation is giving way to cosmetic changes. Even biggest of companies, in their exuberance to bring out a new model and capturing the market are just adding superfluous changes to existing models. Research has to be open ended, timebound targets will hardly ever lead to discoveries.
There is no one template fit all solution…..
Routine cannot have a one type fit all template. A routine which suits one may not give the same result for someone else. Each one must be left free to follow the chosen path to reach the end within the laid down parameters.
Innovation is not just about out of box thing. One can be innovative while remaining within the ‘main box’ by creating a ‘honeycomb’ of thoughts and imagination of their own within the box.
Breaking the routine does not mean doing something extra ordinary on the first day itself. One should keep attempting different things and different ways of doing things at small level to break the routine, may not be every day, but whenever opportunity comes. Development / nurturing of good creative hobbies also help in breaking the routine. Drawing, singing, painting, playing an instrument all help in keeping the mind active and fresh. Taking a break, going on vacations also provide a break from routine but may not involve taking risks and certainly no increase in stress level. However, they provide a break from the monotonous routine and re-energise you to get back into routine once again with renewed energy.
Move beyond the rostrum…use the stage….
I have been averse to tying myself just to a rostrum when the entire stage is available to perform. Most spend their lives sticking to the track they started with and end up leading a mundane life. I have never allowed myself to be bound by time and space specially when ‘imagination’ was involved. Time bound targets only add to stress and limit the imagination.
There have been numerous instances in my life where I have put a job at hand aside because my own mind was not happy with my effort. I have always resisted the pressure of just finishing and believed in excellence. At the end of it all if your effort has been genuine the finesse and class of the product will far outweigh the perceived loss caused by the delay. It will beat all the hurriedly assembled products created by ‘target bound mind’. Quality will always beat competition.
To innovate and succeed look beyond the routine.