— Paul Simon
I love my routines. I work hard to build them, tune them and use them to be productive, efficient and comfortable. All of these are perfectly good things and I will no doubt continue to strive to develop these many times in my life. The comfortable part can, however, become a problem at a certain point. When we break or comforts and shake our routines is often the best time for growth and learning. The challenge in embracing this challenge is choosing the how and when to do it.
Each of us should probably evaluate where we are in our various journeys to determine if we can reasonably allow for the opportunity this change presents. It is equally important to ask ourselves if we can afford to not explore the possibility. I believe in risk evaluations and manipulation to guide the choices we make along the path. For me if comfort is the primary reason we are holding to the groove, it’s absolutely an indicator we might benefit from an open minded exploration of change.
It is not just change for change’s sake, though at times that may have value, but for the stimulation and possible enhancements considered change might create. All too often, we cling to something because we fear the change would bring something worse — and initially we may be correct. But that decision often traps us to resist change long after it is clear to any outside observer that our groove has become a rut.
The outside observer referenced is one of the means by which we might invite a shake up of our routine. Collaboration and connections with others and inviting different perspectives often help us to get indicators. The varying levels of trust we have in those opinions help guide us; for some, the ultimate trust comes when we can radically alter our own perspective sufficiently to look at our situation from a vantage point which allows us to see the the obvious needs for adjustment. To do this, we usually need to step out of our comfort zones entirely and often away from the grooved path in order to see how deep those ruts have formed.
I step out of my comfort zone often whether in the challenging moments of the various endurance experiences, the welcome enthusiasm of trying new experiences, or the beneficial outreach to use others’ vision to help me get a clearer look at the world both literally and figuratively. There are many experiences and people who can assist in this journey, but as with so many things, it usually needs to begin with you making a choice to invite the possibility with the decision to reach out for the experience or the connection. All too often that first step is the hardest when we are simply comfortable in our groove… even if it became a rut long ago.
By Randy Pierce