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Many people do things habitually, mechanically, without thinking, without much awareness, in very robotic ways.  The mind gets used to functioning in (and “as”) habit; dullness, and incessant routine set in, making the mind more and more repetitive, more and more machine-like.  People get so used to repeating the same set of routines day after day, month after month, year after year, such that they hardly know (or try) anything different.  (Air-polluting, fossil fuel spewing vacations aren’t a way out of this, by the way.)

Many people mindlessly and habitually cling to what they were taught, religiously, politically, nationally, ethically, socially, culturally, at home and in the office.  To them, “THIS IS THE WAY THINGS MUST BE DONE,” and that is that.  Then they remain teaching their children to dwell in the same grooves, to function in the same patterns.  Anyone who questions the status quo is considered a trouble-maker or some kind of freak and is cast out.  It may be, however, that, in such an atmosphere, true creativity and true “aliveness” is squelched.  In such an environment, the truly insightful and the truly creative person is considered an oddball.  

Be one of the lemmings if you want to (like most want to), but as for that… well, it’s not for me.  Like Einstein, i don’t give a rat’s behind about “fitting-in” or about superficial appearances.  It’s the deeper things that matter, and you can’t go deeper if you are stuck in superficial paradigms and one-dimensional routines.



Blue Damsel… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018

36 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. Sometimes it’s good to have habits. I deplore my own inability to be disciplined and stick to a routine. As long as you don’t become hidebound, I think having a routine may actually free up your mind to think about other, deeper things.


    • It is good to have routines sometimes! 🙂 Some habits, or it might be better to call them routines, are rather beneficial and can help get things accomplished. However, habitual processes usually spread far deeper into domains where habits get to be dangerous and are an impediment to real openness and true learning. Then our minds get too closed. There need not be a separation, during the day, between necessary routines and deep awareness. Being aware of what is being done at all times of the day may be the best thing… and routines need not block out awareness.


  2. This week I’ve been mostly using a small selection of manual focus prime lenses. I shot film that way for years and it breaks the habit of using a zoom lens to compose the photo.


  3. There’s much truth in what you say. On the other hand, the positive side of repetition can be tradition: the practices that bind one generation to another, and communities to one another. Mindless repetition? That’s not so desirable. But baking the same Christmas cookies every year that my grandmother and mother made? That’s a habit, too.


    • Well, of course, Christmas Cookies are a wonderful, tasty, reminiscent way of celebrating others of one’s life! 🙂 However, some people fall into traditions (i.e., absorbed habits) of thinking that their separative tribe (or country) has the right to dominate other groups. We have to be very careful with this because, as i suggested to thelongview, habits can spill over into realms where habits are dangerous and detrimental to real growth. Too many minds mindlessly let habit spill deeply into domains where habit has no place. Awareness can go beyond this.


  4. Excellent thoughts. As a writer, I do not have a specific routine with my daily life but I’m very disciplined when I write. However, I try to change that up once in awhile, too, otherwise you become stagnant. Lovely photo. You get the most amazing shots! 😊


    • Thank you, Dorinda! 🙂 Yes, it’s good to reflect on what one does, in the creative realm, and ask — now and then — if too much sameness and stagnation is going on. I realize that you vary things rather nicely! We were not educated to ask and question that way with our entire lives… with our entire world-view. Most were just educated to accept, stagnate, conform, and to steadfastly remain there. Prejudice, conflict, war, domination, and ruthless competition are often the sad results. There is no meditation separate from the entire day, each and every day; we need to question deeply, be aware of everything we do… and look beyond the habits that were handed to us.


  5. I agree it’s good to be mindful of our habits and break out of routine from time to time, but not all habits are bad.


  6. Beautiful damsel!
    Fossil fuel consumption is a huge issue, no debate from me on the value of minimizing the use. But I do recommend people break away from their norms periodically – remove themselves to a different physical space and likely they will find themselves also in a different mental space. Surely works for me.


  7. I realise that, what I failed to explain was I was going back to the habit of setting the aperture on the lens and focusing manually just as I did for decades.


  8. I heard something yesterday which made me reflect: a parent is doing a good job if their child knows more about the world than they did at the same age. If we are not afraid for our children to question and go further and have a different perspective…


  9. Great post! Habits define who we are. The more automatic they become, the further they become pushed into the part of the brain called the basal ganglia, which regulates automatic behaviors like breathing.

    On my blog,, I’ve written a lot about this, and I review a lot of the greatest books out there on the topic.


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