Have you ever driven to work and not remembered how you got there? I’ve done it before and if I thought about it too long it scared the crap out of me. How many things in our lives are truly on autopilot? I can imagine if something like a drive through Charlotte during rush hour can be accomplished by not thinking, then I’m pretty sure there are other things we do that require even fewer brain cells.
I suppose the key is to find the things we DO that are detrimental and make sure we are NOT doing them brainlessly.
Conversely, if there are things we do that are beneficial but take a large amount of “willpower” to get done — it would be fantastic if we could get those on autopilot somehow.
I’m going to pick one of each, a good and a bad, and take a peek. I’m being as real as it gets here…
Bad — finishing the whole plate of (fill in the blank) even though I’m full. This is ultra brainless for me and I’m sure I can blame my immigrant parents for it — they hated waste — but I’m a grown ass man, and putting the fork down is on me. If I get out of autopilot at the table by engaging in conversation I always eat less. This is why they say you shouldn’t eat watching TV or standing up. Anything that slows my eating process down, it keeps me from eating too much.
Good — exercising in the morning. I am not sure if it is because I’m just so stiff in the morning or that I want to get all the work I can get done before the kids go to school, but this takes a tremendous amount of willpower. I look for excuses NOT to exercise these days — and this is exactly opposite of autopilot. Its not like I’ve never done this — the times where I have done it I got into the best shape of my life—so I know its possible. My willpower is four decades old now — time to stop trying to lean on it.
Like it or not, getting certain things in our lives on autopilot (and taking others off autopilot) could make a HUGE difference in our health, our productivity, and our overall effectiveness.
These are a couple of my candid examples. What are yours and what are you going to do about it?
Jan Michael Aldea is a jack of all trades finally making good at being well rounded. His background in marketing, consulting, business coaching & training, real estate, fitness, parenthood, marriage, and life makes Michael ill equipped to be in a cubicle, but very equipped to help transform people and companies one (sometimes humorously awkward) step at a time. He is the president and director of business development for Go Left Marketing based out of Charlotte, NC.