Today’s Word: ‘ROUTINE’ as in… when the edge is off our experience, we pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting.
There are both upsides as well as downsides to routine. The downside includes things like becoming resistant to change, missing out on creativity, and susceptibility to boredom. The upside of routine includes getting tasks done more efficiently, being less likely to forget important details, the ability to break bad habits and create good habits, and an increase in self-confidence.
When Kent Nerburn challenges the possibility of passing our days in routines that are both comfortable and limiting, there’s an equal, if not greater challenge to break out of old routines into new and thriving ways of life.
Our son-in-law Travis added this terrific maxim to the Gauche Family Collection of Words and Phrases: “If you’re not living on the edge you’re taking up too much space.” Originally coined by British author Stephen Hunt, it’s a phrase used to refer to “living dangerously” or taking risks. To say “you’re taking up too much space” has something to do with squandering time, being too cautious, and not tapping one’s full potential. While it’s probably true when contemplating big life decisions, we usually use the phrase when deciding between small or medium Blizzards at “that place” or splurging for the gigantic scoop of guacamole at that “other place.” (You know that place, right?)
Far from blizzards and guacamole, I’m about to step out of one set of routines and into another far different set of routines. In 24 hours I’ll be heading to Africa with fifteen traveling companions. And after “some time on airplanes” we’ll arrive in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Over the next 15 days we’ll live on some far edge and create some healthy, thriving routines by spending time in such places as Illambo, Iringa, Ruaha, Tan Swiss and Milumi. These places in general and the people we meet there in particular will challenge our every sense of the word routine.
So let me challenge you: what are the routines that bring you comfort and tend to limit you? What one thing could you do to move closer to the edge?