Have you ever drove home and asked yourself “did I run a red light”?
Could you explain the experience of brushing your teeth, say yesterday morning?
There a beautiful thing in life called MASTERY. Mastery is when something moves into the UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENCE part of the brain. Just think about anything that used to require thinking, and now, just happens.
I say that these things are on “auto pilot”. There are a lot of things that get done in a day that I don’t think about, they just happen. There was a time in my life when I had to think about walking, talking, and going to the bathroom. There was a time when I would be both excited and nervous about driving. There was a time when I had to consciously be a husband (and then later a father). But now, these things just happen.
It’s actually a good thing at times. I couldn’t imagine haven’t to still calculate every step I took in a day.
But there is a down side to familiarity…
If something moves in the “auto pilot” section of your brain, you tend to forget about it. In my life, I’ve seen 3 outcomes that can become negative if I don’t re-imagine things that have become rote in my live.
1) The “Did I run a red light” Scenario. When I do things so much, it can actually makes me less competent because I don’t think about what I’m doing. I imagine this is how some relationships fall apart because one of the parties stopped thinking about the relationship and didn’t even noticed the deterioration.
2) The “I’ve always been a good driver” Scenario. This is a different kind of forgetting. There are things in my life that I’ve become “good” at and don’t think about, and I forgot the learning period. This forgetting leads to a lot of frustration because I forgot that I used to be “bad”. And let’s face it, we all have been in a place where we couldn’t talk, walk, and not poop on ourselves. This forgetting produces arrogance and pride.
3) The “Unappreciative or Entitled” Scenario. This one is the most frustrating that I find in myself. I know that I take so much for granted, and I don’t really have time to rant all day on this one, so here is just a few things that are so familiar to me that I tend to forget about them:
– good health
– forgiving, compassionate wife
– clean water
– healthy children
– solid family (both nuclear, extended, and those that are family that don’t share DNA)
– my IQ
The Truth is familiarity can be good, but doesn’t need to go unchecked. I need to let somethings just be from time to time, but not for the rest of the time.
What are the things in your life that are “Auto Pilot” that you need to re-engage or re-imagine?