Creatively Or Routine? How Is Your Life Lived?

I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence. ~Frederick Douglass

It isn’t going to be given to you

It’s up to ourselves to use our talents and create our personal contentment. No one is going to create the perfect position in the ideal company and throw money at us to entice us to work for them. In today’s work climate, we’d be lucky to be offered a horrible job for little pay… So, what to do?

We have to create a new set of rules for ourselves, and operate outside our zone of comfort. To be true to ourselves and our desires, we’ll have to strike out on our own… Be our own monkeys.

Identify the routine
Feathers and coffee DO NOT go together...

Feathers and coffee DO NOT go together…

Much of what we do in life is routine… It’s done the same way every time. We don’t get creative making the morning coffee…

Doug tried this once, and let’s just say that chicken flavored espresso is not as good as you might imagine… especially with the feathers getting stuck in your teeth…

Routine work gets routine rewards in the workplace. Creativity is often suppressed in the name of efficiency and  standardization.

Creative workers can become liabilities in work situations where they aren’t appreciated.

Routine doesn’t warrant creativity, it demands the opposite. If you feel a sense  that there is more to life, you’re right. You won’t be content with routine, once you realize that life can be anything but.

Discover where and how to be creative

It’s our responsibility to discover how to use our gifts in life and in work. Maybe you’re not ready to start your own business, but there is bound to be situations in your current job that can stand a bit of creative thinking.

Doug and I always injected our personal brand of monkey juice into whatever job we were doing in the past. Sometimes it caused us trouble, but often we discovered new and better processes that made our work better and easier.

Don’t settle for routine, just because “that’s how we do it”. Routine does not mean the best… It just means people stopped thinking about how something is done.


What do you do in life that is routine? What do you do in your work that is routine? You may be surprised when you realize how much of life is lived on autopilot.

Think about your day, from waking up to going to sleep. How much of the day have you given over to thoughtlessness? What in your life can be turned into routine to free up time for creativity? What is routine but should maybe be thought about a little more?

Get off the beaten path!


  1. I raise my glass to “monkey juice” 🙂

    1. But not chicken coffee!

      1. Lol, definately not!

  2. My whole day seems to be on autopilot; some days even my blog writing and song writing is routine. It’s hard to break.

    1. It is difficult to break… I suffered from depression in the past, but do pretty well keeping it bay now.

  3. Whilst I agree with some of what you are saying, it’s also important to realise that when it comes to sustained creative work, some routines and structures are necessary to support the work. As a full time painter it is routine which gets me into the sutdio, routine which means the less enjoyable work gets done, and routines for housework, cooking etc which save my creative energy for what it really important to me: painting.

    Routine isn’t all bad, it has its place.

    1. Thanks for reading Birdie. I agree with you… That’s why in the second to last sentence I suggest looking at life and seeing what can be made into a routine to free up time for creativity. Routine is good for repetitive tasks, but not so good when the majority of life is lived (or worked) that way.

      1. Ha ha, I missed that. 🙂

  4. Reblogged this on Career Excellence and commented:
    Reading through Doug’s post, I observed very interesting perspective that could increase reflection on how best we can increase our self direction. Here are Doug’s Ideas;

  5. […] Creatively Or Routine? How Is Your Life Lived? ( […]

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