Do You Have a Habit of Creating Habits?
I do; I'm a creature of habit more often than I like to admit.
For example, I tend to order the same thing at restaurant each time I go there. So, when I want good pizza, I go to Parma's; and when I want a great burger, I go to Mooyah.
By the way, that is a picture of my son eating a 4-Stack, one-pound burger (and me remembering when I could do that too).
Habits happen at work too. As a trader, I draw charts a certain way, prefer certain patterns, and respond predictably to certain emotional triggers.
What habits do you have? Perhaps more important to ask is: What percent of your habits have become so habitual that you no longer notice that they are habits?
Relying On a Routine is a Blessing and a Curse.
I'm typically a happy person. I feel like I roll with the punches well. Part of that is "true"; and a bigger part is due to creating a routine that supports my natural rhythms.
An Exception Highlights the Rule: This week my brother had a baby, and I made a quick trip to LA with the family to celebrate. Even though it was a happy occasion, it is pretty clear that when I travel, and my routine is interrupted, I am much easier to upset.
On the other hand, I'm also much more likely to experience something new when I'm taken out of my routine.
Too Much of a Good Thing. How Can Relying On Your Best Qualities Hurt you?
How many opportunities to create something better do you miss because you like doing what you are doing? A related question is how many opportunities do you miss because you don't recognize the rut you are in?
There are several types of progress; for example, Process Improvement and Discontiguous Innovation. In Process Improvement, creating habits and routines is the stated purpose … choosing the right ones is the art. With Discontiguous Innovation, it is about leaving the old behind and simply finding a way to get a better result. In my experience the hardest part often simply is remembering that there might be a better way.
Routine is fine as long as it is a conscious choice.
Otherwise, it can limit your options unnecessarily.