Cracking routine: staying open and breaking out.

People are creatures of habit, and I’m no exception. Visit a place often enough, and I develop a pattern, a set routine. There’ll be a default cubicle, a default food option, a default travel route, many other defaults. It keeps the mind from thinking too much, but routine breeds monotony, and in turn boredom.

What should we do?

Breaking out. These days, I remind myself to experiment. Order something new from the menu, taking another turn on a usual route. Do something you usually don’t, try something different and see beyond what routine has confined us to. Move beyond that mental sloth, and ask yourself: “Why the hell not?” For all you know, it might be fun.

The same goes for knowledge and belief. Hiding in one’s mental fortress is never the way to self-improvement. The lack of a constant desire to learn leads to a stagnant mind and a stubborn unwillingness to accept new ideas.

One should also maintain a receptive mind to criticism. It takes an open mind to move beyond negativity and to accept feedback for what it is. This mindset is sadly, lost the moment a defensive approach is taken. All too often, we hear this stance: “Who are you to judge me?”

What should we be doing then?

Staying open. Nothing is worse than blinding oneself to everything else, and being set in one’s ways. Confidence is good, but no one is ever right all the time. Keep your mind open and receptive to ideas. Not everything new is good, but it’s worth sifting through suggestions to find something that works for you.

So stop being being that bigoted old stick-in-the-mud today, and start living. Never stop learning, never stop experimenting.

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