We all get into a routine for our life … a rut. Our lives evolve into a place of comfortability. We go to bed and wake up at a certain time. Our morning routine is standardized and repeated every day. We have developed a default way of living and if we are not careful, we descend into a level of boredom that strips us of our motivation and creativity. When we avoid the challenge of shaking things up, eternal sameness begins to dictate and control our lives.
Drop what you know.
My youngest son Travis is a yoga instructor in Chicago. He says to his students, “drop what you know.” I asked him what he means, and he said, “I encourage the students to do things different and to be different. It may be as simple as when you fold your arms, fold them with a different arm on top or maybe brush your teeth with a different hand. I ask them to try parking in a different spot and taking a different route home. The simple things that you change now make it easier to change the bigger routines later, but it’s important to drop what you know and experience what you do not. You may learn that you enjoy something unexpected and enrich your life.”
What keeps us from dropping what we know?
Zig Ziglar taught that fear or F.E.A.R. are the initials for False Evidence Appearing Real. Most of what we fear in life isn’t real. Just as a child is afraid of the monster in the closet, we carry the same false fears into adulthood. No, we are no longer afraid of the boogie-man, but we are afraid of how we look and what others think of us. Being fearful is often more paralyzing than what it is we are falsely afraid of, and if we aren’t careful, what we fear can become a self-fulfilling prophesy. I had a friend tell me that he was so fearful of losing is job, that it caused him to act in a way that led to him being fired!
What causes personal fear?
Many people look at their lives as a possession … something that must be guarded and protected. The more guarded we become, the more suspicious we are of the motives of others. We become fearful that circumstances and other people will somehow intrude on our lives and strip us of what we have. There will always be more fear when we live our lives in a protection mode.
The most successful and happy people I have met are less guarded and view their lives as a gift, a gift from our creator to themselves and then conversely, their gift to others. When we look at life as a gift, we are more willing to drop what we know, explore life and be open to new, people and experiences. What do you think? Is your life a possession or a gift?
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!
Let’s get back to the concept of dropping what you know. What new experiences will you enjoy this week? Become purposely uncomfortable. Think about how it feels and not how it looks. Don’t be concerned with what others think. Drop how you think you are expected to look in the eyes of others, and instead, focus on how it feels to you.
Einstein said, “Logic will get you from A to B, but imagination will take you everywhere!”
Put your imagination to work this week to ‘drop what you know.’ If you drive to work, take a new route or even better, take a bus. Eat lunch with someone new and do not order your traditional food. Yes, these are very small things, but they can be the beginning of a bigger life change you are afraid to make.
Dr. Seuss said, “If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good!”
I think …
We have become so routinely obedient that we deny ourselves the pleasures that we have no idea we are missing. I believe we become so comfortable in our daily rituals that we allow our imagination to atrophy in a way that prevents us from creating new joy. We have become so engrained in doing what is expedient that we miss out on the awkwardness and un-comfortability that nudges us learn and grow.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu
Let go of what you know and embrace what you don’t. Make this week about trying new things, having fun doing little things differently and learning from the experience. I’m in. Will you join me?
We only grow when we take the chance and feel awkward and uncomfortable. Shake up your life. Try something new this week.
Gary W. Moore is a syndicated columnist, speaker and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at www.garywmoore.com.