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When I get into a rut, my temptation is to think myself out of it.
I sit there waiting for inspiration to find me as the weeks and months go by. I pontificate with little in the way of direction.
Maybe I should have 6 kids and be a stay-at-home-mom.
Maybe I should run a marathon.
Maybe I should finally read War and Peace.
One of my favorite financial writers, Michael Masterson, recommends defying the conventional wisdom that one should use a “ready, aim, FIRE” approach. Sure, there are situations that warrant being risk-averse, but being wildly successful often comes from taking risks and making it up as you go along.
Masterson advocates using a “Ready, Fire, Aim” approach instead, taking a risk in the face of some uncertainty and deciding later to stay the course or cut bait.
How wise this is.
One of the hard things about being human is that we don’t have perfect knowledge of what will make us happy and the things that do, often end up surprising us.
So why not break out of that rut by just trying something new – anything new – and seeing where it takes you? Don’t think about it too hard. Just do it.
Then course-correct as needed.
Some starter ideas to fuel your fire:
1. Travel somewhere unlike any place you’ve been before to re-frame what’s possible.
If you’re in need of a major re-boot, do what this guy did when he got divorced and lost his job (or don’t!).
2. Give your fitness routine a reboot.
If you’re a gym nut, take it outdoors. If you’re a solitary exerciser, join an intramural team.
3. Request an informational interview with someone in a field you might be interested in.
• Buy them lunch and pick their brain.
Careers often happen by accident.
Nothing brings meaning and perspective to your own life like giving to another person.
Think about what excited you as a child. Is there a way you can do something like this in a side/volunteer capacity?
For example, if I loved cooking, I might offer to play chef for a busy mom friend one night a week. If I loved acting, maybe I can volunteer to help with the play at my local school.
Perhaps the best way to get out of that rut, is to totally rethink how you would normally try to get out!
How do you get out of your ruts?