The momentum of living life the way we do can be very strong.
And of course we can use this to our advantage when we’re building habits.
So if you start to do things regularly, after many weeks it can really start to get built in and baked into the way you are, and you can start to do them automatically.
And that can make a very powerful foundation for our life, making sure we hit those regular things we want, get them built in and established, so we don’t even have to think about them.
They become automatic.
Things like preparing food, good food, setting up our diet, exercise, and sleep patterns, for example, are great to set up with these kind of habits.
But on the other hand, the flip side of it is that being locked into certain ways of being can really be very limiting.
It becomes harder to look at things freshly, becomes harder to change, because we just keep doing the same things over and over again.
It may actually be specific bad habits, or it may just be the way that we imagine life is.
Like “This is what life is.
This is what I expect.”
And even when I’m on a good roll, I’m doing a lot of good habits and getting good work done, always after enough time goes by, there’s just this sense of routine creeping in, this sense of a shrinking of the possible.
Because every day can be a huge range of possibilities.
All sorts of wonderful and surprising and possibly dangerous and terrible as well things can happen on every day.
But as we carry on through our routines, and especially indoors, in carefully controlled environments, it’s easy for everything to just settle into a predictable routine within certain boundaries, and that’s how we see life.
So this world of habit and repetition has its good and bad.
But here’s an idea that I came across, that can maybe shake out some of that sense of habit, that sense of inertia, of doing things the way we always have.
It’s a thought experiment to imagine that you are not you, and imagine that you just woke up, or you just suddenly appeared in your body in the environment around you.
Imagine looking at yourself and your environment as if you’re not you.
You simply are somebody who you found yourself in this situation.
What would you do?
What would you do differently?
And I find this way of thinking can be quite refreshing, because I imagine, if you can really imagine just leaving behind everything that you know about your life, and just imagine that you were stepping into a stranger’s life, now there’s a sense of freedom that you can make any changes you want.
One of the first things that comes to mind for me is just to like OK, figure out, what is this guy doing?
What is this all about?
What is his whole setup about?
And I would really want to focus, simplify and focus what I’m doing around a very clear goal.
I want to do good things, and I’m not just filling in time.
So I get this feeling of wanting to sort out everything and be very clear about what I want to do.
And when we forget all the habits, when we forget everything that’s automatic, there’s almost like a childlike sense of this sort of new life, this sort of feeling that anything is possible.
And of course, it could lead to a lot of bad decisions as well, if we really imagine that it’s like we’re in a video game or something and like we’re a character, you can easily just burn through a life to experiment with the game, and then oh, you die, OK, reset.
Well, can’t quite do that in reality, so it requires a much more cautious approach than you would get in a video game.
But still there’s, within the limits of not dying, and not permanently wrecking your life somehow, there is a lot of room to do things differently than the way we’ve always done.
And yet I think we’re most of the time closed off to that, simply by this heavy weight of habit and repetition.
So by imagining we’re simply starting as somebody else, we can really get this picture of blank slate life.
And so I’m curious to hear, if you try this: what do you feel like doing?
When you imagine erasing your past and everything you know, and simply starting again with this day as if you’re a completely new person starting in this situation: what do you then want to do?
#newlife #lifeexperiment #lifeperspective