By: Ethan Maurice
Last week, I went on a run, as I often do. However, this time I did something different. I took a different route, at night—both aspects unusual for me. The usual warm feel of sunlight pressing on my skin was replaced by a brisk chilliness.
A mile into my run, I rounded a street corner and found myself within twenty yards of the freeway. Running, I paralleled the freeway close enough to the passing traffic to sense the surprising speed of each car.
I had a thought:
Most people passing by on the freeway find it boring. They've driven this route hundreds, if not thousands of times. They're trying to pass the time with music or thoughts of their destination. It's far from interesting.
But what if they were to get a flat tire or their car broke down, forcing them to experience the freeway in a novel way—stepping out next to the rush of traffic. Traffic that once aggravatingly impeded their speed by a couple miles per hour would suddenly seem strikingly fast. Cars shoot past at seventy five miles per hour. It's a raw, verging on dangerous feeling that makes one wonder how so few accidents occur with such speed.
Such a contrast between a boring commute and strikingly violent speed, yet they both describe the same action. The next time one drove down the freeway, they would have a renewed appreciation for driving. Their commute, enlivened with an air of excitement in the following days.
Unfortunately for us, routine is something we fall into rather than consciously consider. We slowly become numb through repetition, making life less exciting and more monotonous.
Life can become dull at times. And when it does, it's time we switch it up and fill the rut we've worn through repetition with the freshness of change.
One can do different things or the same things differently.
Recently, I've taken much satisfaction in skateboarding to the pull up bar I work out on three times a week. What was a thoughtless two minute drive is now an expedition in finding the smoothest path and re-expanding my comfort zone cruising on a penny board.
Would I have run my usual route in the daytime last week, I wouldn't have experienced the raw speed up close to freeway traffic and been inspired by a thought that lead to this article.
Novelty inspires presence.
Before you leave this page, come up with one action to invigorate your life today.