Most days go like this. Wake up at 5:00. Flip coffee pot to “on.” Let dog out. Empty dishwasher. Sit for a 10-minute meditation. Move to the kitchen table, make an entry in my gratitude journal, read five pages of whatever book I am reading. Write a minimum of 600 words. Text my dad. Make my daughter’s lunch for school, blend up a morning smoothie, wake the kids, and see them off to school. Work until 8:30, head to the gym. Go to the office, eat a protein bar, answer emails, and meet with my team. Eat lunch. Hop on the afternoon’s calls. Go home at 3:30 to get the kids off the bus. Head out for an afternoon walk. Make dinner. Help kids with their homework. Answer more emails. Eat dinner, clean kitchen, walk dog, set up coffee for the next morning, shower, and go to bed.
Wake up. Repeat.
I’m not unusual. Most of us move through much of our lives on auto-pilot, going from one familiar place and one familiar routine to another. We drive the same route to work, stop at the same coffee shop, walk the same trails. On the one hand, these habits are good. They are comfortable and efficient and enable us to be productive and feel safe.
But when we break those routines, the unfamiliarly forces us to pay attention. Things become clearer, more vivid, and more memorable. We see things differently, and the fresh input of new places, new colors, new people, new textures, new flavors light up our minds and fuel our creativity.
Some days, you have to wake up and see something different.