There is an old saying that being in a rut is like being in a grave without end. Of course, in some ways it is, simply and purely, beneficial to have a set routine. Why? Because it helps to conserve effort and also helps to get some things done efficiently.
But sometimes it is also productive to look around and be able, willing, and ready to change your routine.
Upon reflection, there really is no fast and hard way we should live our lives. Of course, there will always be a difference between wrong and right, and some guidelines will be written down inexorably in white and black (although that still leaves lots of things in our “gray area”).
But surprisingly enough, a change in our perspective will sometimes enable us to roll and rock around the clock with unimagined vigor.
So are you caught in a rut that tends to make you tired and sick of your daily life? Could you decrease your strain and stress, and at the same time increase your take and give?
Think about this, because I’ll bet you can quickly come up with some insights that will allow you to deal and wheel in your rejuvenated life like you have never dealt and whelt before.
One change that could re-invigorate your life would be to do something you have never even thought about doing before. For example, how about regularly going on hikes with your family? I use a guide titled “Best Easy Day Hikes” by Randy Vogel to make my selections here in Orange County, and my favorite is the 2.7-mile round-trip hike to Holy Jim Falls, which begins just off Live Oak Canyon Road. But there are lots of guide books to easy and fun hikes everywhere.
Or take a trip to somewhere really different that you have never even thought about going to. Why always be on the narrow and straight?
For example, expose yourself to a different world by going to a Bluegrass Festival. Google tells me that there will be festivals this year in Harlan, Ky., on June 25 to 27; Gettysburg, Penn., on May 14 to 17 and Aug. 20 to 23; and Luray, Va., on July 30 to Aug. 1. Or go to the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn., on Oct. 2 through 4.
Go to one of these festivals, by crook or hook. They are just the balanced and fair things to help you take off the chain and ball of boredom, and reduce the tuck and nip of your mundane world.
The same approach to considering different options can also be used effectively in your business. It only makes sense and dollars. Because businesses can also have a tendency unthinkingly to use the same old forth and back, instead of using a balanced and fair consideration of different and new ideas. In fact this new open-minded approach could give your business a new easy and free path to more productivity. Some people may fight you nail and tooth along the way, but try to persist.
For example, how about considering the use of an alternative work schedule for your employees? For some companies, having employees work 10 hours per day for four days per week, instead of the traditional eight hours for five days per week, would increase productivity. And that change can often make your employees happier, while at the same time reducing overtime costs. So this could be a truly final and smart approach for your company, and just because “we have never done that before,” does not mean that it will not work.
Or what about employing a system of bonuses based upon increased net sales per month? As we see throughout the world, incentives matter, and often the way to find justice and truth in the workplace for employees and employers alike is to institute such a system of incentives. Most times it will work, and you will probably receive lots of appreciative ahs and oohs from your employees along the way. Spread the word clear and loud for everyone to be imaginative, because the list of possibilities is endless.
So that is the short and long of it. Rosencrantz does not always have to be mentioned before Guildenstern, or Mutt before Jeff, or sweet before sour. Instead, look right and left to see if you have fallen into a dried and cut rut in your personal or professional life. It’s not a question of evil and good.
In fact, you will find that many people have willingly come from far and near to adopt this true and tried approach to help them get past the halls of mirrors and smoke to find a more balanced and fair way to live in the now and here.
And you can too.
JAMES P. GRAY is a retired judge of the Orange County Superior Court. He can be contacted at JimPGray@sbcglobal.net or at www.JudgeJimGray.com.