Post #72 When Life Gets Routine
In other words – if you are making conscious, deliberate choices as you go about your daily life, you may be living by default. Do you run around on auto pilot, taking action because you’re “supposed to?” Are you forgetting the reasons you became an engineering student in the first place? If so, it’s time for a mental regroup.
Going Through the Motions
You are living by default if you operate on autopilot. Has your life become so robotic that you don’t have to plan for anything? Nothing against routine, I think it can be a very useful tool. However, I would challenge you to think about your daily life outside the context of schoolwork. For example, try new things (food, hobbies, languages, etc), take different paths to the same destination or explore non-technical interests. Force your brain to have to answer questions and make decisions, again, outside the context of your schoolwork. It is important to continue to celebrate who you are as a human, as opposed to always labeling yourself as a ‘student.’
You are living by default if you feel burnout. Do you feel tired often, literally and figuratively? Perhaps you’re tired of studying, tired of being sleep deprived or tired of a specific course. In addition, you may feel sluggish due to lack of sleep. The combination of all these factors can led you to feeling burnout. And this is not a healthy way to conduct your studies or your life. Burnout will catch up with you consistently forcing yourself to do things. Please ask yourself and recognize if this describes you. Help is available, you must take initiative to seek it out.
You are living by default if you avoid emotions. We humans don’t like to feel negative emotions. We don’t like it when we’re overcome with anxiety, depression, sadness, loneliness, etc. (See Post #62). However, these are human feelings that we all sign up for. Everybody, I don’t care who you are, feels negative emotions in their lives. The big question: how are you going to handle them? Do you indulge so as to avoid feeling them – in which case, they only come back worse? Or can you recognize that emotions, as uncomfortable as they may be, cannot hurt us. Resisting them is worse than feeling them!
In summary, try to recognize if you are going through the motions – or living by default. It is usually a very unsustainable way of living so please seek resources to help.