I was mentoring one of our GFC interns and we were discussing his “daily routine.” It was pretty normal. After discussing his everyday actions, I said off the cuff, “You know, living the everyday life is one of the hardest to live.” As soon as I said it, I stopped and wrote down. I needed to explore the thought. Here are some of my observations.
Routine and Discipline are essential for growth. As someone who writes about growth often, movement forward is a product of consistency in doing the right things. Vic Braden wrote, “Losers have tons of variety. Champions just take pride in learning to hit the same old boring winning shots.” Daily routine can be “boring.” (That is why it is called routine.) Finding those elements in your day that are moving you forward are essential for growth. Why is this hard? Because our society honors flash, excitement and new ideas. Pastor Craig puts it best in his description of GFC – “the message of the Bible is sacred and will not change, the methods will continue to change.” Find the fundamentals in your life and stick to them. You can tweak their “when, where and how,” but keep at it.
You Can’t Live in Crisis. You would think this would be received with a rousing round of applause. I posted my crazy thirty day stretch through Aug – Sept of this year on Sept. 12th. I felt like I was in a washing machine – pulled and agitated in every direction. Ironically, as I am writing this, I am finishing one of the quietest weeks I have enjoyed in months. I was struggling this week because it was “too” quiet. I admit – I love a good challenge and solving “the crisis of the moment.” You know people like this – they are adrenaline junkies. They love the rush of living in the extreme. As you can imagine, if you are always in an extreme (it can be a good or bad extreme), you are living out of balance and pushing your physical, social, emotional and spiritual capabilities at a high level. You will burn out or break down. I use the image of a grandfather clock with a swinging pendulum. Your life “pendulum” should swing as it unfolds. Good or bad, the pendulum will swing to meet life’s challenges and joys. Yet, it should swing back towards the middle when not in crisis.
The Best Routines are Broken. If you want your routine to be effective, you need to break it up in two ways. One, take a “vacation.” In weight training, doing the same routine “lulls” the muscle into a “memory” that actually stunts its growth. When you mix up the routine, it causes “confusion” and the muscle has to build new cells. I can’t tell you how often to take a break, but you can do this. I have told the staff of GFC for a long time, there is no badge of honor for leaving PTO or vacation days on the books. Take them all and enjoy them. (I learned this from my boss) Even a day off doing something out of the norm will refresh you physically, emotionally and spiritually. Then, jump back into the fundamentals and see renewed growth.
Another reason to break routine is to stay out of ruts. We all have “sacred cows” in our life. Things we continue to do because we have always done it that way. I encourage you to evaluate the routine of your life. Again, keep the fundamentals. Maybe it is time to change the way you approach the fundamentals or eliminate the practice all together. We all have enough clutter in our life, it’s time to clean house and get rid of the junk.
Why is the everyday the hardest? Simple, most of life is lived one day at a time. Learning to live life to the fullest usually means learning to live it every day.