The Weird World In-Between

Between the excitement of setting a goal and the magnificent feeling of accomplishment lays the tired land of the world in-between.

Greetings from the weird world in-between! I am currently consumed in routine. Every day starts with tea, chess practice and an ab workout. I then hit inbox zero, cook a quick lunch for my friends (always vegetables and a protein), walk to a cafe to do some work and then end the day with another workout, a long walk and some time with my girlfriend.

The location changes, but every day the routine is the same.

It is in this land that I most often fail. The excitement of goal setting has passed and the thrill of accomplishment has not yet been earned. This is when the real work is required. Motivation is at its lowest, temptation is growing and the work hours are long and boring. Memories of past adventures distract and people who genuinely care about you give you misguided cues and advice.

This is the hard part. The seeds of failure are in the ground but they have not yet been watered. They are waiting for the rain drops of negativity.

In the world of an adventurer, routines are sometimes regarded as poison. They are the slow death tool of the unenglighted and the antithesis of exploration and art.

While true in some ways, this perspective is really just negatively packaged with a bow.

Like any tool, the outcome of a routine is entirely reliant on the job being executed. If the job is meaningless, the routine will be meaningless too.

Routine is most valuable when used to accomplish giant, meaningful goals. Tasks that are meaningless individually can compound into something meaningful when repeated for the right reasons. Routine is how fortunes are earned and how every successful marathon runner crosses the finish line.

If, like me, you find yourself living in the weird world in-between, take a moment to pull your head out of the low visibility water of daily existence and ask yourself about your goals.

Are your monotonous daily tasks compounding into something meaningful? If so, keep going. If not, don’t get down on yourself. Simply realize your routine has spoiled and make some changes. Routine is just a tool, it needs you to lead it in the right direction.

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  • I know what you mean and I craaaave routine.
    I’m traveling all the time and it’s gotten so disorienting that yesterday, I forgot what day it was! I go by dates and schedules without a clue as to what day it all falls on.

    I would love to just take a break and be able to at least have my meals at the right time and in the same place, just for a change.

    • :-) I feel ya! Travel is a two sided beast, it is both fantastic and disorienting :-)

  • I’ve never done well sticking to a routine. In part because my life doesn’t seem to allow it. Something new happens just about every week that throws a wrench in things. We have visitors. Or we’re traveling. Or a new project comes up.

    Sometimes, the constant appearance of new things is a sign that I’m avoiding. Sometimes, it’s a reality that I must find other ways to create consistency in my life that isn’t attached to specific actions throughout the day.

    Fwiw, I’m still figuring it out.

    • Interesting, you are quite successful without using routines. Do you have another “tool” that you are using to get things done?

  • Mary Lane

    I think most of us exist in the Weird World In-Between. It can feel like it’s a drag, but it really isn’t! Thanks for this perspective.

  • I’m in the same place myself but keep coming back to the importance of living in the moment. Those easily dismissed parts of our routines are only dismissible because we’re not actually feeling engaged when we’re doing them. It’s a hard state of mind to conjure up, but occasionally I’ll realize that I’m not really focused on what I’m doing and force myself to focus again. I know my brain is trying to save focus and willpower for novel tasks, but when that becomes the majority of a day, it’s easy to forget how amazing walking around the neighborhood or preparing a meal can be!

    • :-) Thanks Aaron, that is wonderful advice. I am going to make refocusing my focus a priority today. :-)

  • malena

    what about the becoming billingual goal? :)

    • I’ll be moving to somewhere in Latin America in January to focus on that goal :-) I am trying to get this six pack goal out of the way first :-p

      • malena

        let me know! I am moving back to Buenos Aires in july! :)

  • For context, I am bored with my current routine and was worried I was going in the wrong direction. Last week, I did some important introspection and realized that I am indeed going in the right direction. It is just taking longer than I had anticipated. I have been working on my goal of getting six pack abs for over a year now. I am in the best shape of my life but am still in the weird world in-between. I have not accomplished my goal yet. I still have more to learn about food and discipline.

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