Are Routines Boring?

By their very nature, routines tend to repeat the same things over and over, usually without much variation. Does that make them boring?

We all develop routines in our lives. This is because they can be useful to us in a number of different ways.

First off, they can help conserve mental energy. For instance, once you define a morning ritual and perform it a few times, you don’t have to think about it too much. Your brain can go on autopilot while you brush your teeth, get dressed, make your regular breakfast, and so on.

Another benefit comes about from developing useful or healthy habits. If you want to get in shape, say, then always exercising at the same time of day or on the same days of the week can help create a habit. Once the habit is created, it is easier to maintain the lifestyle you want.

Routines can also help you in your interactions with others. Your boss will like it if you regularly get to work at the same time each day. Your spouse appreciates a predictable schedule when they need to reach you or when planning out the week.

These are all ways behaving with some consistency can help you. However, even if it is beneficial, is it boring?

If the goal is to repeat the same actions and behaviors over and over, that would seem to be boring. There would likely be a corresponding decrease in spontaneity. There is a small distance between a routine and a rut.

But is that truly the case? How can you avoid boredom while maintaining consistency? Do you even care if you are boring, if you are doing what you find meaningful?

Related questions: What is one thing you feel the need to do every day? Do you have morning rituals? Variety or consistency?

 

How Do You Make It Possible To Do What You Love?

Even if you know what you want to do with your life, there can be many things preventing you from doing it. How do you overcome them?

There are many obstacles that can get in your way. The most obvious, of course, is that you may not know what it is that you love to do. Finding what fulfills you is one of the great projects in life.

If you are lucky enough to know what you love to do, there are still several things that may stand in your way.

For instance, you may not have the necessary skills or attributes. If you love playing basketball but are only five and a half feet tall, the most you can be is an enthusiastic amateur.

Similarly, health concerns may prevent you from doing what makes you happy. A musician might lose their hearing, say, or a writer could lose their eyesight.

Financial obstacles may get in the way as well. If you love something that requires a lot of money but you don’t have it, what then? Do you learn to live without, or find some way of doing an expansive activity on the cheap? Or maybe find an extra way to earn the necessary funds?

There may also be time restrictions, geographical limitations, too much competition, or any number of other potential problems.

When faced with such an obstacle, what do you do? Can you think of a specific instance in your life that fits this description? How did you overcome it, or did you reluctantly give up on your passion or your dream? How might you handle a future issue that could arise?

Related questions: What are you passionate about? What do you do best? Why do we like what we like? What gives you purpose? What are you willing to sacrifice?

Where Do You Find Meaning In Your Life?

In the various aspects of your life, which ones provide meaning? In other words, what makes your life worth living?

We’ve talked before about values, and purpose. What do you do, and why do you do it? What drives you, motivates you to get out of bed, go to work, and in general behave like an adult?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What gives a person value?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes you you?’


But there is something that we haven’t talked about much: meaning. What are the areas of your life that mean the most to you? What would you miss the most if it were to vanish?

Where do you find meaning in your life?

Related questions: What gives you purpose? What is your life about? Why are we here? What are your values? What is important?

How Do You Want To Be Remembered?

Imagine that you are Tom Sawyer, able to attend your own funeral. What would you hope to see and hear from those in attendance? How would you want to be remembered?

There are at least two different reasons to think about this question.

The first is to help others that survive you after your death. If you think about — and write down in detail — what happens after you die, you can save your loved ones a lot if guesswork. Everything from what to display at your memorial service to your final resting place, from DNR orders to organ donation, you can outline your wishes.

For grieving loved ones, that effort could be very comforting. Not only would your wishes help to relieve a source of potential stress, but it is almost a way of communicating after you are gone. Your request might seem like a voice from beyond, comforting your loved ones as they deal with emotional turmoil.

Even more important, however, is how thinking about how you will be remembered will help you. Thoughts of what you hope will live on after you can help to set your priorities while you are still alive.

For example, if you want people to think of you as generous, the best way to make that happen is to increase your generosity. If you want to be remembered for being a good parent, you may want to spend more time with your children and less time at work. If you hope that you are thought of as well-read, you can achieve that by committing to reading more.

In that way, what lives on after you can be seen as a mission statement for while you are alive. Your hoped-for future self can serve as an aspiration for the current you.

Have you given any thought to what will happen after you die? Do you know if you will be buried or cremated? Can you imagine which pictures and which mementos you want people to see at your memorial service? Is there something you want to be said in eulogy? And how might the answers to these questions impact what you do today, or in the days and years ahead?

Related questions: What would you say to people in the future? Should we be concerned with legacy? Why are people afraid of death? How do you plan for the future? Burial or cremation?