buck your own system

So there goes another weekend and here comes another week … people all over the city have pressed play and their weekly routines are underway again. Routines and habits give us security and efficiency. Here I am sitting in one of my favourite cafes Don Vincenzo, the familiarity allows my mind to focus on what I’m here for rather than the distraction of novelty.

But routine and habit have a dark side. They can rob us of so much that life offers us by narrowing our experience. We are told that our brains are like mounds of dirt … when water drips on top it creates tracks to run down, the more water runs through the tracks the more ingrained they become – and the more difficult it is to change directions. We end up doing things the same way, we end up thinking about things the same way, our lives become a long stretch of the same.

A few months ago I was listening to a radio interview about Alzheimer’s. The conversation gravitated to prevention, and one of the key elements was the exercising of our brains. Naturally a part of this is regular thinking activity, but the other dimension was about using parts of our brain that we aren’t accustomed to. Since hearing that interview I have been holding my toothbrush in my left hand while I clean my teeth, every time.

Not that I am worried about Alzheimer’s at this stage of life, but I am interested in living life to the full. Learning to develop strength beyond what comes naturally is part of this for me.

I am looking forward to attending a Summit later this week hosted by B4MD, Business for Millennium Development. Following blog action day last week I am curious to participate in a forum where business takes seriously the challenges associated with the reduction of extreme poverty. I expect I will be able to blog some reflections next week.

Meanwhile, try bucking your own system this week.