Alternate Perceptions Magazine, March 2023
Life on Autopilot—Routines and Ruts
by: Stan Prachniak
Have you ever found yourself just going through the motions of everyday life? Think about your daily activities. What does your typical day look like? Does it ever change or do you do the same thing day in and day out? Sometimes we aren’t even aware that we consistently do the same things over and over. We just do what we have learned to do over time in order to make it through each day—we are running on autopilot. Let’s consider the concept of autopilot for a moment.
Habits are one of the first examples that come to mind when I think about the idea of someone being on “autopilot.” Repetitive behaviors form habits and the formed habits can typically be considered either good or bad. Over time these repeated behaviors become second nature and are done without much, or any, conscious thought at all. When habits are strong enough, they will form routines or ruts in life. I like to think of routines as “good” habits and ruts as “bad” habits. Both have the power to navigate a person through various areas of their life, and both can lead to vastly different beliefs about one’s life.
A person who forms a routine of going to bed at a decent hour will generally wake up earlier and feel more well rested than a person keeps late hours and sleeps in each day. And, the person who is more well rested will likely get more accomplished in a day, which can lead to positive feelings about life and a sense of control over their happiness. On the other hand, the person who is stuck in the rut of staying up/out late and sleeping in will have difficulty accomplishing daily tasks, can be left with negative feelings about life, and may even feel a lack of control over their happiness—they may feel like a victim of the rut they are in.
Freedom To Change offers a way for you to break free from the ruts in your life by challenging the beliefs you have about why you are the way you are. For more information on the Freedom To Change materials, visit www.freedom2change.org.