I’ve been there before. You’ve probably been there before too. Or maybe you’re there now. I’m talking about The Rut, that place where you’re so comfortable with the comfortable that you begin to stagnate, and every single day of your life feels like a carbon copy of the day before..like my friend Cathy says, “wash, rinse, repeat.” You feel like sticking a fork in your eye just to get some relief from the repetition, and not the repetition Prince sang about.
The constraints of modern life almost demands it. They funnel you into a place where you become reliant on habits of thoughts, habits of behaviour, habits of perception, habits of emotions, and habits of belief. Basically going into automatic pilot mode and creating for ourselves the illusion of efficiency that in theory frees up our time by not having to think about the things we do out of habit. Habits make life easier; but habits are also very dangerous. They limit our self-concept, our possibilities, and our potential.
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We become machines.
But we are so much more than that. I was stuck in a rut for a long time. I think I had done so many things so fast and so young that I eventually reached a point where nothing excited me any more. I was living the T-shirt, “Been there; done that.” Even the mountains, the place where I get my greatest joy,were not doing it for me. I was just plain stagnate, only a couple of pulse beats from flatlining.
How did I find myself in that state? It was purpose, or rather lack of purpose that was the real culprit. Without purpose, my life lacked direction. Without direction, I had no place to go so I stood still.
Purpose instills a certain energy. An energy that propels you forward. Here’s where it gets hazy. There’s a school of thought that says we are each born with a life purpose and that our job during our life time is first to figure out what our life purpose is and then dedicate ourselves to fulfilling that purpose.
I’m not convinced that we are born with a life purpose. It bothers me to think that my life purpose is some how predetermined by some entity other than myself. I have a problem with authority. I either become passive-aggressive when someone tries to exert authority over me or I become outright hostile and rebellious.
I agree that we need purpose. Purpose gives us energy. It’s up to each individual to create a purpose for themselves; to give their life meaning and therefore purpose, and something to pursue with excellence.
It took me a long time to figure that out. Like a lot of people, I’ve wasted plenty of time wandering around waiting for someone or some thing to bestow a purpose upon me. Or waiting for the apple to fall from the tree and hit me on the head and suddenly enlighten me with purpose.
The truth is you make our own meaning and your own purpose. That is the quickest way to get out of The Rut.