Don't Panic! Fink Fings Froo

by DavalosMcCormack on November 15, 2010

We are creatures of habit – at least a lot of us are. OK, I am. We do things the way we do them because we’ve always done them that way.

I discovered that the hard way the other day when I left the house to go to work, got to my scooter only to find I had left my keys in the  house. After a quick mental recap of what happened I realized that every morning I tend to follow the same routine as I get dressed. Trousers on – always a good thing when going out in public, especially on a scooter, it could get very drafty otherwise – then items into pockets such as wallet, keys, cash etc.

At some point along the way something interrupted me and when I turned back to loading up my pockets and bag I missed one key element; the key to my scooter. Not a big deal but it showed me how much a creature of habit I am and how often I do things without actually thinking about them and how one break in that routine can create havoc. Or at least the potential for it.

Routines or ruts

In most cases that’s not a real problem, routines are useful after all in helping us take the guesswork out of life. Pilots have checklists precisely so they don’t have to remember every single check they have to make every single flight – and a good job too.

But sometimes habits are things worth breaking. Take elections for example. When I was younger it used to be that I would typically vote along a party line. If the folks I liked liked a candidate or ballot proposition, I voted in favor. If they disliked it, I voted against.

Change of plan

In recent years though I have found myself ignoring who’s in favor and focusing more on what’s at stake, taking a little time to dig deeper into an issue to understand exactly what’s at stake and whether I think it’s a good idea.

It’s a little unnerving to suddenly find yourself voting against items and people you would have supported, albeit blindly, a few years ago. But it’s also rather enlightening. And quite addictive. Once you start questioning the party line it’s hard to stop. That doesn’t mean you dump your long-held beliefs and join the opposition. What it does mean is that when you support an idea or program it’s because it makes sense to you.

When I first started doing that I had a horrible fear that I was turning into a rabid conservative. Then I realized it had nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with ideas. If the ideas were sound and solid and made sense, then they were worth supporting. If they were just knee-jerk responses to other people’s ideas, they were worth dumping.

I still am a creature of habit in many areas. I have my favorite beers, foods, restaurants etc that I tend to turn to time and again. But with other issues I’m trying to be mindful of the need to not just think, but rethink, before making a decision.

Out of the mouths of babes…..

One of my friends at work has a delightful little daughter named Stella. A year or so ago Stella advised her mother that when taking on a problem she needed to “Fink fings froo”.  We all need to think things through. It’s good to keep an open mind. Not just about politics but also about life. It’s so much more fun to try and examine everything that comes at you from a fresh perspective, and not just try and slot it into one of the old, existing, frameworks.

Keep an open heart, keep an open mind. It makes everything  so much more interesting.

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