The longer you have lived, the more likely you are to have your own way of doing things. Over time, we all have a tendency to fall into patterns that become our "default" mode. Perhaps you have discovered through trial and error the best and most efficient way to complete a routine task - or stumbled upon a simple and effective approach that makes some part of your daily life easier - and these have become your go-to approaches.
Whether it the way you load the dishwasher, your perfectly timed commute to work, or your preferred way of distracting yourself while waiting in line, we all have ingrained habits that are hard to shake. While there is nothing wrong with repetition (and who doesn't appreciate efficiency?!), if we are not careful, we can become so conditioned to our "norms" that we fail to see - or even look at - the world around us. Operating on autopilot is the opposite of living mindfully, and it can rob us of the opportunity to live fully.
Next time you find yourself reaching for your phone while waiting for the customer ahead of you to pay for her groceries - in pennies - consider tuning into the sights and sounds that surround you. Rather than stick to the same streets you use every day to travel home from the office, try taking a one block detour. By making even subtle changes to the way you do things, you give yourself the opportunity to connect with the living, breathing world around you. Perhaps you will spy (or make!) a friend - or find joy in a particularly beautiful garden you hadn't noticed before. At the very least, you will have shifted out of habit and into experience.
How can you reset your default mode today?
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