Routine is a really, really good thing.
And you’ve probably heard me harping on about this before — about how the skill-set you want to develop as a human being is the skill set of mastery, which is simply the willingness to put your attention in one place consistently over time.
It’s the willingness to pick up that instrument for 30 minutes every day, or sit at your computer after dinner and learn Facebook ads.
Yet, even though routine is a good thing, routine is not the goal. Routine is a tool you use to get to the goal.
And here’s the thing: You’re going to break routine. It’s going to happen, and it’s not a bad thing!
Because you’re going to go through ebbs and flows of sticking to your routine and breaking it, and if you beat yourself up every time you break routine — your diet, your workout, etc. — then you’re hosed. It’s going to turn you off from whatever your goal was in the first place.
Okay, this brings me to my actual point.
I was on a trip recently, and I broke a lot of my routines, which was actually kind of nice! I got a fresh perspective, mixed up my habits… I enjoyed it.
But it was exhausting. (Don’t you find that when you break routine, the loss of comfort and familiarity is incredibly draining?)
And this exhaustion put me in a state of, shall I say, irritability. Things felt a little hard, a little frustrating, and that made me want to act in a less-than-loving way.
But I didn’t — I resisted! — and I’m proud of that.
Too often, I see people feeling victimized by their emotions: They get into a state where they’re tired, agitated, sad, or angry, and they let their emotions dictate their actions.
And they feel justified in doing so… but I’m not buying it.
I believe that you can feel your emotions (which are totally valid) and still choose to act how you want to act.
You are not a victim of your emotional state. It does not dictate your behavior. You can feel a lot of intensity and still consciously decide how to act.
It’s a skill, and just like any other skill, you get better with practice.
When you notice that you’re in a heightened emotional state and you sense that it’s going to negatively affect your behavior, that’s your opportunity to pick up your “instrument” and practice.
I wanted to share this opinion because I believe it’s a very freeing viewpoint.
Yes, it gives us more responsibility, but when we decide to take on that responsibility, we fill our lives with more power and more freedom.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Drop a comment on my Facebook page and let me know what you think!
0:14 The skillset that you want to develop as a human being is mastery
0:37 Routine is not the goal, it is a tool that you use
1:27 People let their emotional state dictate their actions
1:58 You are in control of your emotional state and your actions