Sunday, May 06, 2007

Tip#52: Shake Up Your Routine Day - Stranger Than Fiction

It's another sunny morning as I write this. I just got back from my routine of an early weekend morning grocery trip which I always enjoy. The air outside is always fresh and crisp at this time and it makes me glad that I am a morning person. Plus when I get to the store there are never long line ups!

On my way back from shopping I was on the bus listening to an old favourite song on my iPod. It’s called 'A Routine Day' by Klaatu.When Klaatu'sfirst album was released in 1976, everyone around the world thought it was the Beatles having reformed anonymously. Songs like 'Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft' and 'Sub-Rosa Subway' sounded very much like the Beatlesperforming. It was later revealed that Klaatuwere really three lads from a little town in Canada called Toronto. They really shook things up for awhile.

As I listened to the lyrics of 'A Routine Day' I remembered how it was about a man's routine day going to work and knowing he is trapped in a dead-end job. Despite it's catchy Beatlesque sound it documented the hum drum, uneventful days that millions of people go through. But I always liked that there was a brief sense of hope in the song. There's a moment in the lyrics that, to me, indicated he had an epiphany that could have changed his life. It made me think of one of my favourite movies.

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

The romantic comedy drama fantasy Stranger Than Fictionstars Will Ferrell. The film starts off with a visually creative way to show how routine and obsessively precise his lonely character, Harold Crick, begins and ends his day. For example he is shown brushing his teeth with the exact number of brush strokes every single time.

Then something unexpected happens to shake up his everyday rituals and detours him onto a journey of change.

Crick decides to take a break from his routine days and begins to do things he's either always wanted to do or becomes open to new experiences. He takes in an afternoon movie, he explores his interest in playing guitar and he finally stops counting his brush strokes. He begins to see a world of fun and even finds love beyond his lonely and precise way of living. He just needed that unexpected kick in the ass to break out of his programmed existence.

So be open to unexpected detours in your routine day. Do your best to add something new to shake up your regular schedule. Order something new off the menu of your favourite restaurant. Take a different route to work. Add variety to your established preferences in life. It keeps things from getting boring. Variety is the spice of life that Harold Crick discovered.

And if you feel trapped like the character in Klaatu'ssong just remember that epiphanies for change can occur when you least expect. That sudden light bulb that turns on above your head will shed light on your options. Some call these 'aha' moments. When these happen act on it and shake up your routine day.

Who knows? Maybe I'll shake up my own routine and do my groceries during peak hours. Maybe waiting in a long line is a good thing once in awhile!

To read the full lyrics and listen to a sample of 'A Routine Day' go to this link and click on The Music:

Emmanuel Lopez
Life Skills & Career Development
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007


Anonymous said...

Hi Emmanuel
Thanks for these articles, I enjoy reading them.


Anonymous said...

It is an excellent tips! And I shall implement it shortly.
Thank you very much!

James Y