|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
WordNet defines a rut as a groove or furrow (especially in soft earth caused by wheels) or a monotonous routine that is hard to escape; as in "her job made her feel that she was stuck in a rut".
What is this thing that we call a rut? Is one man's rut another man's rapture? I. What is a rut?
In nature, weight and repetition form a rut. A wagon wheel travels the same path over and over and over again until the ground retains the impression. If you've ever driven a rutted road you know that once in the rut it becomes difficult to get out. On the other hand a rut may serve a useful purpose; before a road gets paved and straightened out, it often begins as a series of ruts. So a rut may lead you to a useful place; it may just need paving.
The elements of a physical rut on a road can be compared to our ruts in life. Our lives are full of repetitious activities from eating to sleeping to brushing our teeth. Our jobs require that we take the same road or train or bus. We take the same elevator, we encounter the same people, we do the same work, we go home, sleep and start all over again.
Some repetition is useful and necessary - too much seems to lead to the formation of a rut. Let's look at the emotions that being stuck in a physical rut cause. If you can't get your bike or car out of a rut, you quickly begin to feel trapped, frustrated and stressed. Sometimes you bow to the inevitable and simply continue to move forward until the rut runs out. You may not be carrying the equipment needed to bust out of the rut. You might need someone else to help you pull out of the rut.
II. How did you get there?
When you were a toddler you learned to walk often by falling down a lot. Sooner or later repetition had its effect and walking became second nature. You might remember the first time you successfully dressed yourself or tied your shoes and now these activities are second nature.
Our human selves are gifted with this ability to learn a task so well we don't have to think about it at all. This makes us more productive; consider how long it would take you to dress and get out of the house if you had to think consciously about each step of the process.
This learning process will eventually affect any behavior that we do consistently. And this can lead to ruts. If you get home at 6 p.m. every evening and lay on the sofa for an hour, you'll eventually find you've fallen into a rut. I guess you could say that a rut is a habit that we don't like anymore.
Look at the areas of your life you consider ruts - what activity did you do repetitively that got you into the rut? Why was it a good thing at first and not good now?
III. Do you want to get out?
But if we say we don't like the rut - are we sure we really want it to go away? We must sometimes examine the reasons for our ruts. It may be there to protect us from some pain we perceive that the effort to change would cause.
Most of us don't change (behaviors, attitudes, relationships) until the pain gets great enough. This doesn't need to be physical pain - psychological and emotional pain can cause us to change as well. The desire to get out of a rut - in our relationships, our jobs, our free time - will only motivate us when the alternatives become unattractive enough.
So your first task in rut busting is to honestly ask yourself if the pain you feel is sufficient to move you in some other direction. If the answer is "no" then the next task is to begin to add reasons to change. Start a list - write down as many reasons as you can to change and a second list of reasons to let the status be "quo".
IV. How to get out of the rut.
Move in a direction perpendicular to the rut. In daily behavioral terms, this means applying direct pressure in the direction away from the rut. It means going out and walking instead of sitting in front of the TV. It means confronting the jerk at work instead of knuckling under. Ever notice how loud an engine gets when it's trying to power out of a rut? This is hard to make ourselves do but probably the quickest way to get results.
Get a plank or some other tool to increase your traction. In life terms this means taking a class or joining a support group or reading a book. It may mean asking for help which, if you've ever been stuck in a rut, can be embarrassing.
Call a tow truck. Hire a coach or get some counseling. In this day and age it is not a negative stigma to establish a relationship with a professional who can guide you and provide you with the life tools you need to change. Email me at the address below for information on a free coaching session.
Get a more powerful vehicle. Go back to school. Strengthen yourself physically. Eat better, sleep more. One of the things I learned after I'd taken Time Management and Stress Management classes was that I was able to handle more "things" in my life which kept me out of a rut.
V. How to stay out.
Map out the road ahead to avoid the ruts. If you have no life goals or plans you'll tend to get back into ruts easily. Read Barbara Sher's book "I Could Do Anything in Life, If I Just Knew What it Was".
Get a guide who can show you how to stay out of trouble. Ole Steve, the Croc Hunter, never seems to need a guide - but most of the rest of us do. Again, the key here is a relationship with a coach or counselor or support group who can help you stay honest.
Conclusion: if you still don't know how to get out of a rut after reading this, then write me with your circumstances. I'll try my best to give you an objective evaluation of your situation - though you may not like the answers!
Hal Warfield is a professional speaker, teacher, and coach. Contact him at email@example.com.
Beyond Good Luck: A Sense of Control Increases Motivation, Productivity, and ... - PayScale Career News
Going with the Flow
This whole idea of change is founded on a single principle: CHANGE IS ALL IN YOUR MIND.First comes a desire or need to change.
A Perfect World ... Imbalance Creates Motivation
I am a big proponent of balance. Everything has to be just so.
I had a friend ask me a question not to long ago that really led me to do some thinking. "How do you manage to stay so positive all the time?" You never seem to have "bad" days she said.
Need Help? Look Within First
After eating a turkey and dressing sandwich for breakfast, I am raring to go! For those of you who wrote and asked where the article was last week, I appreciate the fact that you look for it! I apologize for missing it, and to make up for it I have posted on my website a web log and pictures of the barn raising party we had last week. Look for the link on the front page of www.
For Those Who Have Suffered!
As one who has suffered from the long, term effects of trauma I feel compelled to share some experience and hope with those who seek to heal themselves and create true quality of life.First there must be a desire for change.
About That Dream...
About that Dream..
Wherever you Go - There you Are
Wherever you go, there you are. This is the title of a fantastic book by Jon Kabat Zinn.
Is Your Passion Fizzling Out?
Starting a business or project is one thing, keeping it running successfully is another issue.Do you recall the initial enthusiasm, drive and passion you had, when you were working on setting up your business or project?You spent countless hours working on it, researching about it, making calls to people whose assistance you required, dreamed about it and even told everyone who could listen about it?do you recall that passion?You had the commitment, determination and the passion to make it happen.
STOP! Reading the Headlines and Live Your Own Life First
Imagine! 40 is old. The California State Supreme Court has said that when are you are 40, employers can discriminate against employees using this age as the excuse.
5 Great Ways To Overcome Procrastination At Home
If you procrastinate at home you may suffer some consequences from disgruntled family members who have to carry your share of the workload.A worst-case scenario is that your procrastination and lack of motivation may carry over to other members of your family, resulting in absolutely nothing being done.
Motivation: 3 Keys to Lasting Change
David Bowie once sang, "Ch-ch-changes, tryin' to face the strain."There are times in life when trying to change can be a strain.
On the J-O-B. That's where I met him.
Have You Just Hit The Wall?
Have you hit the 'brick wall' yet?No? Well it won't be long.I started tinkering with the internet at the start of 2003, then finished my property maintenance business towards the end of that year and went full time online.
How To Get Through A Bad Day
No matter how hard you try to make them otherwise, some days are just awful. They start off bad, they never get any better, and they end on a low and sometimes even gloomier note.
Employee Motivation - The 8 Basics
Building a team of motivated people in your business is vital to get the very best results, but so many managers focus on the 'ra-ra-ra', rather than the important things - the things that make people feel comfortable in their working environment. Here are eight that you might want to have a think about:The WeatherIs it too hot, or too cold.
What Does Your Future Hold? Do You Have A Plan? Or Are You Just Waiting To See What Happens?
We often find ourselves in a situation in which we either accept the change that someone else imposes upon us or in which we ourselves effect the change we would like to see happen. We sometimes stammer and hesitate and procrastinate with regard to decision making.
The Ultimate Kick-butt Motivational Lesson
How often have you struggled with yourself over the work that needs to be done? How many times have you put off performing some task or other because it's too mundane?Not everything you do in business is going to excite you. There will be many times when you just can't get yourself sufficiently fired up to make the effort to start, develop or even finish a project.
Hurry Up And Procrastinate
I've been meaning to write this column, but I keep putting it off. There always seems to be something better or more important or easier to write about.
Hey CyberJunkie, Clean that Booger off Your Nose!
Regret or Passion? Which Will Be Yours?
I once attended a retreat on how to live with passion and fulfill one's life's work. The facilitator posed the question, "If money was not an issue, yet you had to work full-time, what would you do?" Answering this question was a turning point for me.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.