Being seduced by the comfort of routine and the known is one of the ways we self-limit and avoid productive risk.
In his book on personal development and achievement, Unhypnosis, Steve Taubman writes that some people experience “atrophy of imagination” from a “continued repetition of an unsatisfactory life script… a rut is a grave with the ends kicked out. You have sacrificed your life in the name of comfort, yet you have far less comfort than those who risk and strive.”
Dancer Twyla Tharp in her book The Creative Habit makes a distinction for creativity between a rut – doing something repetitively, even when it doesn’t work – and grooves, which are helpful and nourishing pathways that can lead to new creative insights and work.
Maybe it’s basically a matter of our willingness to risk, and discrimination of potentially useful risks.
Psychologist Kenneth Christian in his book Your Own Worst Enemy: Breaking the Habit of Adult Underachievement describes a number of high potential people who keep following patterns that are self-defeating, such as focusing totally on minimizing risk, and avoiding situations in which they might fail.
“They gravitate toward occupations, relationships and activities that do not present serious challenges or reflect their real interests,” he writes.
More on self-limiting.
[Photo at top from vitalmx.com]