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Nobody wants to be nagged into self-improvement — it’s something that must come from within. And true enough, many big moments are focussed around trying to get better, trying to be better. I was either focussed to get a tremendous meaningful work done or trying to grow and test my limits as a human being.

However, in those big moments, I used to think it was all about being ‘productive’ in any personal and professional sense. It’s not. It’s about being “memorable.” And sometimes that’s enough.

Try to look back on last month. How many extraordinary days or moments in it could you remember? Most people can recall around three. The rest of the month was flushed down the drain. Those days happened, they only didn’t really record, and now they’re gone.

Where did those days go? Where did the time go?

 

“Time = Life, therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.” — Alan Lakein

 

Step Away From Your Routine

Dustin Garis gave a memorable TEDx talk ‘Pursuit of a memorable life’ and he is well known for his concept called ‘LifeProfit’. It’s a metric that comes down to the ratio of the part of your life that you remember to the part of your life that you don’t. In Garis’s view, to live a richer existence, you need more memorable days and fewer unmemorable ones.

A memorable life isn’t built on the things you acquire, or our status in this world. It’s built on the unforgettable moments that form the memories that make up the life you look back on. The idea is that even the ‘everyday’ shouldn’t be lost in a sea of forgotten time. Every day has the potential to be meaningful and memorable if you make a little effort to make it so.

Here is the thing, to have more memorable days, it requires you to plan them. It requires a system that forces you to break through routines as much as possible on a regular basis. Quit going on cognitive autopilot and shift to manual.

 

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” — Alan Lakein

 

However, even if you don’t plan for them, bad habits can be just as fixed in your routines as good ones. For example, you might never exercise when you come home from the office because your daily routine involves checking social media feeds on the couch, which leads to putting your feet up, which further leads to watching online videos instead of putting on your sneakers and going for a run. This doesn’t mean you should toss out your schedule, but rather take in mind on how your regular behaviours might be reinforcing negative habits.

 

‘I Am Doing’ to ‘I Could be Doing’

After listening to Garis’s talk, I realised that creating memorable days involves switching from “I am doing” to “I could be doing.” It’s the difference between the new thing I could be doing right now versus the safe habitual I am doing every day.

Usually, my days of big moments were driven by intensity and productivity. Now it’s driven by originality, newness or the unusual. Breaking from my old routine got me involved in more exciting emotions.

For example:

  • Interest to learn new things;
  • Gratitude for realising what I have in life;
  • Surprise for unexpected happenings;
  • Even Sadness or Frustration for the mistakes I made and learned from.

It’s a matter of finding the balance and create a lifestyle where I don’t get lost in forgotten days. Seeing the memorable value in a normal day-to-day lifestyle, instead of only focusing on the big trips and moments.

It’s easy to waste weeks away waiting for weekends, and months waiting for your next vacation. So much life is missed in those down times. It’s not realistic for every day to be some grand experience, but each day is once in a lifetime if we think about it.

 

Make Habit Of Breaking Routines

Surely, a routine has its benefits — it keeps us on task, removes distractions, and gives pace to a hectic life. Nonetheless, take time to drop your routine and embrace the unfamiliar by trying new things. The mistakes along the way may just lead to your best work yet. Breaking out of your daily routine can become a powerful way to unlock new ideas, both personally and professionally.

 

“Last thing, I challenge you to plan memorable days by breaking routine once a week. Looking forward to hearing what came out of it.” — Opportunity Knocking

 

  • Do you see value in each day?
  • How many big moments do you have a month?
  • How do you think about breaking your routine?

 

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