That’s right. You are an automaton. Your life, which you think exists so actively by your choices, probably more closely resembles that of a robot, running a daily program of operations and responses to predetermined instructions.
Does this sound familiar…
Alarm goes off. Wake up. Step out of bed. Go to bathroom. Check facebook on toilet. Take a shower. Get ready. Change. Make coffee. Get in car. Turn on music. Back out drive to the right. Drive three blocks. Turn left. Merge. Drive 5 miles. Exit. Turn right. Drive 8 blocks. Park. Go into work. Complete the same tasks. Open up social media to distract yourself. Sit in the same meeting. Commiserate with co-workers. Fill out the same forms. Piddle around on internet. Finish the same work. Go home. Eat dinner. Complain about work. Turn on the TV. Choose a show. Check social media on phone. Turn off TV. Brush teeth. Change. Go to bed… and then go through the exact same process the next day.
So where exactly are all these active choices that you think you’re making that shape your life?
Day after day, you keep running the same program, mindlessly going through the actions and habit loop. How many steps in your routine do you really think about before doing them? How many things do you do during the day with any real purpose? Does your day simply consist of filling the voids between your habits with other mindless habits? Do you instinctively reach for your phone or turn on the TV the moment there’s any mental down time in which you may be left alone with your thoughts? Probably. Because you don’t want to think. Being an automaton is comfortable. There’s little effort required and little uncertainty. There’s also very little potential to do anything great.
The choices you make today shape the choices you get to make ten years from now.
The problem is, most people don’t make active choices (beyond what clothes to wear, what food to eat that day, and what show to watch on Netflix). They’re just running their daily program. And in ten years they won’t be making many choices either. There will just be running a slightly different daily program.
Your life is merely a cluster of habits. Which is great news! When you realize the majority of your existence is your operations system running the daily habit loop program, you unlock how simple it is to change everything. All that is required is mindfully changing your habits, and therefore your entire life can change into whatever you want it to be.
It’s as simple as if you want to be fit, change unhealthy habits to healthy habits. If you want to learn to play guitar, set the guitar out and pick it up instead of turning the TV on. To be a more positive person, create habits that focus on gratitude and positivity. To achieve something new in life, create habits of learning and growth. No matter what you want to do in life, and who you want to become in life, it is all about your habits. And the formula is the same.
If you desire “X” in life, replace “Y Habits” with “Z Habits.”
It’s not always easy, but it is simple. After time those new habits become your life. They become who you are.
Don’t be average. Think about your goals. Actively design the life you would like to live and then start taking steps to achieve it. Be an active participant in your day-to-day life. Make the conscious choices today that will lead to be able to make the choices you want make in the future. Evaluate everything you do, understand why you are doing it, and know where accomplishing it will take you. If you don’t have a good answer then STOP. Change course.