A paper published by Duke University researchers in 2006 found that more than 40% of the actions people performed each day weren’t actually decisions, but habits. When Simon & Gardfunkel uttered the lyrics, “My life is made of patterns that can scarcely be controlled,” they hit the nail on the head, but just how scarce is our control and shouldn’t we start breaking those patterns?
Humans adapt quickly to consistent patterns which stems from our cave man days when consistency meant survival. In modern day, finding food or running from hungry animals is less of an issue yet humans continue to formulate their days into these steady patterns.
Although consistency is seen as a good way to master a craft, it’s proven that brain function actually slows down once an action or behaviour becomes second nature.
“As soon as a behavior becomes automatic, the decision-making part of your brain goes into a sleep mode of sorts.” – Charles Duhigg.
Thousands of people go to work everyday and churn out the same tasks over and over again in a robotic fashion oblivious to the fact that they are simply running on autopilot.
If you want to be truly present in all aspects of your life you must be willing to break your own life patterns regularly, it’s the only way to push yourself in new directions and continue growing as a person.