New habits can be powerful. But habits can also create barriers that limit the perspective, which can hinder kaizen, creativity, and even our knowledge of ourselves. The proverbial rut. We’ve all been there.
Sometimes you just need a break to re-center, recalibrate, recharge, or readjust the horizons. In the Zen world this is datsuzoku, a break from the routine. This can be as simple as a good night’s sleep or as common as a week of vacation. Deliberate, intentional breaks require a recognition that even good habits may be creating boundaries and paradigms that should be tested or even broken.
I try to insert a break in my routine in many ways. My wife and I visit a couple of new countries each year – up to over 60 now. Later on I’ll tell you about how each year for over twenty years I’ve had an annual goal to “do or learn something different” – which has included running a marathon, learning HTML programming, and even researching Biblical history. Each month I try to read a book on a topic I otherwise wouldn’t have been interested in. Each week I take some time for myself and try to find a new place to walk. With each of these breaks my perspectives are changed and I learn something.
What habits or activities do you have at work or at home, personally, professionally, or with your team, that need to be examined? What would happen if you broke that routine? What would you learn? How would perspectives change? Could it enable change or innovation?