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  • Peter Bouloukos

Olaf from Frozen, Habits & Routine...

Bee's will buzz and kids will blow dandelion fuzz, all the things you do in summer...

Looking for an opportunity to express creativity, love or a unique passion?

As 20th-century essayist Wilferd A. Peterson wrote: “Explore the mind, discover yourself, then give the best from within to the moment and to your world. There are heroic possibilities waiting to be discovered in every person" if one let's go and knows what they are looking at...

Make life your canvas!

We live in a "point & click" world fixated on constant information, change, excitement and creativity. We love new flavors. The grass is always greener on the other side. We like new fashions, new & improved gadgets and if we can't have it all right now we move on to the next dream or back to what's most comfortable or known.

Like it or not, and most of us are guilty, many of us choose to lead lives defined by deeply entrenched habits and routines where we will contend it's our DNA or compare it to something we tried one time and didn't succeed. We love "routine" even if the very habits ultimately drag us down.

We fail to sing, dance and dream because we fear what others might think or say. We lose our true voice.

Could it be that our fixation on variety and novelty is fueled by our real-life tendency toward mindless repetition? Do we sooth our souls by comparing our lives to others via text, youtube or reality TV because our lives are painfully empty? Are we hard-wired to contend, complain or be cynical of others and the world around us to protect a fragile ego?

Do our armchair explorations speak of a deeper desire to press beyond the limits of our well-worn daily rituals? Is it possible that our attraction to extreme flavors and caffeine-and-sugar-packed drinks might have something to do with our struggle to keep from boring ourselves to death? What about sucking down a bottle of wine or three extra beers to "calm" a simple to manage truth?

I’m not knocking the value of routine. After all, we’ve developed many of our habitual tendencies in the service of good common sense. Routines provide structure to our lives and give us the certainty and focus we need to support grander experiments. Many healthy routines are essential to our vitality. Daily rituals give us comfort and help us relieve stress.

The trouble is, once we get comfortable in our routines, we may fail to notice when they have outworn their useful purpose, or when new alternatives might serve us better. Our routines create comfort and may just eliminate the chance of a great success, love and happiness.

This is why it’s essential to regularly inspect patterns, habits & routines and ask:

Is this routine something I have chosen with a goal or purpose - or am I in a rut?!!!

It’s easy to play out the same predictable roles and responsibilities at work and home. It's easy to run or make an excuse when a faced with a new challenge or fear. But, eventually, our synapses and souls get weary of these patterns. Once they get bored enough to begin nodding off, our lives get smaller. Our visions become narrower. Our minds and hearts get more rigid than they were meant to be.

Some routines provide a kind of dangerous pseudo-comfort limiting both our willingness and ability to make deeper, more constructive connections or change. Binge eating, drinking, and smoking are all examples of destructive habits embraced in the search of comfort, numbness, or distraction.

Other habitual behaviors might seem less obviously destructive, but they can take up a surprisingly large amount of space and energy in our lives. They limit our perceptions of inherent capabilities, and restrict a willingness to explore new territories and potential.

Creative acts, ultimately, take place not on any external canvas, but within us, in our attitudes, perceptions and most of all our actions. Personally, I believe it's best to cultivate creativity by exposing ourselves to new experiences and letting go of a life story that may not exactly serve us well. This may mean evaluating "friends," reading new books, exploring new friendships & environments, or stretching to embrace new skills. Often, the answer is right in front of our eye's but we don't know where or how to view the world around it yet.

Where are you choosing good routines that really work for you, and where are you falling into ruts by default?

Stretching in these small ways prepares us to take wider leaps. From there, it becomes far easier to heed the call of the bigger adventures and creative opportunities. It also becomes easier to rise to our highest callings, which almost always lie beyond the threshold of daily convenience or what is most known right now!

Maybe Olaf was a bit too zealous but you have to love his passion and optimism...

Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle But put me in summer and I'll be a... (pauses in front of a puddle) ....a Happy Snowman!

I love Olaf and am inspired by a cartoon character I guess! But the truth is Olaf nails it, with great excitement we should sing, dance and move towards challenge and what is unknown right now! Some people and things are worth potentially melting for...and I love that! Yours in Success, Peter Dean Bouloukos

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