I have heard that everything we do is driven by fear or pleasure. We avoid fear and seek pleasure, but I would say we are driven by three things; fear, pleasure, and sameness. Sameness is what is hurting us all. Staying in a routine that doesn't allow us to grow and live to our full potential. Maybe this sameness is to avoid fear. Fear of failure—if we step outside our box to achieve something more—what if we fail? I lived in the sameness space for many years of my life. In my book called, Stop Bullying Yourself, I call this sameness space the “Meantime” zone.
During your life, you may sometimes go on autopilot. It happens to the best of us. “Going on autopilot” means you become comfortable with your life - sameness. You zone out and before you know it three, five, even 10 years have passed you by. You wonder, “How did I get here? Where has the time gone?”
Time marches on, and you may feel mediocre—maybe relatively happy—but then all of a sudden, BAM! You trip, and realize you aren’t where you thought you would be. You forget your next step; you forget where you were. You were bored and not paying attention to your life. You may feel confused, how did you get to this point? You feel weighed down, like you’re physically burdened. What happened? You were moving along just fine. Now, you can barely put one foot in front of the other and you realize you are not where you truly want to be; your life seems to be at a standstill. You are not happy!
When you’re experiencing positive events in your life, it is as if you’re learning new dance steps. Your attention is on new strategies, your focus is enhanced as you’re working on your new skills and you are excited. You’re growing and feeling strong. But after the newness wears off and becomes more routine, you ease up and stop making progress. That’s when you stop learning. After all, you have learned those new steps! It becomes easy and you start coasting and mindlessly performing the same steps without having to think about them, you’ve stopped growing. You’ve stopped challenging yourself. You’re back on autopilot. This can happen at your job, in your home life, in your spiritual life, with your health, in your relationships, in any aspect you find yourself just going through the motions without the joy. Doing the same things day after day.
Welcome to the “meantime” zone. This is when you are coasting along with a sense of calmness and have stopped growing. This meantime space is a great place to be because it affords you a pleasing sense of comfort. The problem arises when you stay in the “meantime” zone too long. Have you ever noticed that someone will work very hard to get a new job, learn all their new duties, and then, when they’ve become comfortable in it, they simply go through the motions and their level of passion weanes? They stop learning new things. They’re on autopilot and their “ meantime” zone has grown to take over their lifetime.
You must keep learning and challenging yourself. Keep things fresh and new! If you don’t, you become bored and bitter. You become negative and complacent. You become the unmotivated person who starts to complain a lot, gain weight, and has no energy. And it can snowball from there. Don’t allow this to happen to you!
Wake up from your autopilot and get out of the “meantime” zone. Life awaits you on the other side of the meantime zone!