Too many times in our lives we cruise on autopilot. We wake up, we go through some routine, we go to bed. We wake up the next day hoping something changes,nothing changes but we repeat the routine. I am not going to repeat the cliché, but when something is not working we have to move on from it. How many of us turn off the autopilot and really take charge of our lives, our finances, our health, our relationships, our…?
We all fall into that trap from time to time. We find something comfortable and it may even really suit our needs. The Grateful Dead in Uncle John’s Band sings:
When life looks like Easy Streetthere is danger at your doorThink this through with me
Indeed, when things get too easy the tendency is to get complacent, lose the focus and perhaps getting fat. There are many people struggling to regain the focus and the drive that went away in the can’t lose days preceding the real estate bubble burst. Too many of us were lazing in the sun and getting corpulent on the easy fat of those days. It is not the fat that drive innovation and progress but the hungry. The fat is now gone and we are left with a lot of lean and the choice is to cut back or to figure out how to earn more. Neither of those are conditions suitable for an autopilot life.
What do we (I may be preaching but my church has a mirror at the back) need to do? We need to turn off the autopilots and become engaged with our lives. We need to find those areas of our lives and our affairs in needing of shaking up and then tidying up. That pile of papers on your desk is a good place to start. Go through them, file the important stuff, act on those items requiring action (DO IT NOW), and file those items you need to retain. Unclutter your desks, unclutter your life, is it really a cause for concern if you are not in the top 10 of Bejeweled Blitz?
Start a home business, all of a sudden you need to keep expense records so you can get the maximum deduction. Guess what, that record keeping may reveal real poor financial management, yeah your financial life was on autopilot and back in the days it was easy to get by, but no more. Find a way to turn a hobby into an income source, even if you only do this outside your 9-2-5 job. We all have something we pay to do, find a way to have others pay you to do it! Even better if you have two or three such passions, see if it makes sense to combine them.
I am convinced the old model of work where we all congregate from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm is on the wane. If you are on autopilot you may miss your chance to bail on that and go down in flames with your plane.
I leave you with a Grateful Dead performance of the song Turn on Your Lovelight from March 30, 1968, it meshes well with Turn off Your Autopilot. Turn on Your Lovelight Part I: