Tag Archives: habits

Regimens, Rituals, Routines, and Repetitions

There is an inherent beauty in the spotless design of unbroken uniformity. A placid pond without ripples. Endless assembly line loops. Dominoes sitting stacked like obedient soldiers, primed for the fall. We marvel at the meticulousness and take comfort in the reassuring sense that we can anticipate what’s approaching, whether secretly emerging from the shadows or blatantly barreling around blind corners.

Many of the highest output producers have established deliberate methodologies to maximize efficiency and minimize waste. Even in artistic pursuits, there is normally a series of steps taken before the comfort of creativity has a chance to blossom.

History’s most revered thinkers, philosophers, and intellectuals instituted various structured systems and behaviors that allowed them the unencumbered freedom to simply ponder. When we are buried beneath the oxygen-depriving load of checklists, appointments, strain, stress, responsibilities, and distractions, our mental hard drives are too busy spinning plates to thoroughly question, dissect, or explore.

Time management and prioritization are elusive little devils that keep their pitchforks purposely pointed in my direction with far more regularity than I’d like to publicly accept. Staying lost in thoughts that do nothing but add to the tally of uncontrollable variables—drowning in a sea of projection and conjecture—exemplifies the dizzying, dehydrating hamster wheel sprinting that stands in direct opposition to productivity or a legitimate sense of accomplishment.

Find a habit, build a plan, schedule a working window, wait until inspiration strikes, and then let your mind wander free. That seemingly baffling juxtaposition is exactly the recipe required for baking the bread of ideas.

But don’t let the wander turn into maze-making. Hunt for exits and solutions, not walls and hidden cheese.

Adolescence Interrupted

The Beauty of Authenticity

MASKMost of us walk through the world craving truth and validity, wearing masks to hide our intentions and insecurities. We post pictures capturing flashes of how we’d like to be perceived, and delete anything that might prove contradictory. We manufacture images built from aspirational notions, and hope no one notices the holes in our Swiss cheese.

It’s a high-wire routine, and many times we’re left swaying on a safety net—feeling anything but safe—and wondering how we fell. But, what if we removed the mirage and abandoned the ruse? What if we stopped filtering our words and screening our thoughts?

The consequences would be disastrous, right? How would we manipulate one another, gaining what we want by leaving a trail of unsuspecting victims in our path? How else could we construct perfect alibis and hide honest opinions inside of false compliments?

I’m not claiming this transition would succeed without bruises, and I don’t know if it’s even feasible in a technologically translucent society. But, beating the bedrock to expose a fallacious foundation may not be the worst use of our united efforts.

Games are fun, and they serve their purpose at birthday parties, baby showers, and wine-guzzling get-togethers. But, an existence safeguarding every word and action is a life spent toiling against the grain. Leave the fantasy on stage, and say what’s in your heart. It’s a dose of fresh air in a crammed elevator, and it feels fantastic.

Old habits die hard, but allowing even a modicum of legitimacy to creep into your vocalized notions will give the those tiny roots permission to sprout. Before long, we’ll all be standing atop a tree of transparency…or not.