Are you on the right track or in a rut?

Maybe you don’t recognize the rut.

Maybe you think you’ve finally settled into a good routine. What happens is that your day passes without thinking. You don’t question yourself about what to do next. Everything just just falls into place. Does it mean that life is perfect? Or does it mean you are too deep in the rut to see out?

wagon road trail

Image by Sean Munson via Flickr

It is one of the great frustrations in life. Sometimes you know that you are unhappy; that life is unsatisfying and that you haven’t satisfied that longing within you. You know when you are in the wrong job or when you are studying the wrong classes. You know when your friends are all jerks. In all those cases the solution is in your hands. You just need to take action. And even in the case where you know you are on the wrong track, it is hard to make the change.

Despite the situation being totally within your control, changing course is difficult enough to handle and most people are not man (women need to man up too) enough to fix it. But that is just the obvious.

But what if you think it is all good?

A much bigger problem is when you fool yourself. You aren’t happy or fulfilled but you are comfortable. Because there isn’t anything obviously wrong, you don’t need to make any big decisions minute to minute. You move through the day busy and untroubled. But the big question remains; are you happy or just in a rut?

Being busy with a full schedule is sometimes only a mask for a life that is empty of meaning. Why are you busy and what about your daily activities gives meaning to your life. What is your purpose? Surely it’s more than filling time.

And if you don’t know your purpose or question the road you are on check our these two articles to help you find your answer. First from Steve Pavlina and then Zenhabits.


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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Bill Murney November 7, 2011, 8:33 am

    Ralph, I suppose for most people life is a routine but to answer your question – yes I am in a rut but it’s a happy rut.

    Bill Murney’s last Blog Post ..Falling Behind

    • Ralph November 7, 2011, 10:36 am

      Nothing is better than finding the right rut.

  • Bill Birnbaum November 7, 2011, 12:37 pm

    Hi, Ralph… I certainly agree with your point about busyness being a mask for emptiness. I think that this is the issue with many workaholics. If they dare retire, and many don’t, they stay busy running from one event to the next. Bill
    Bill Birnbaum’s last Blog Post ..Retirees too need discretionary time

    • Ralph November 7, 2011, 2:22 pm

      It’s part of the letting work define you (or letting your activities define you) instead of letting those activities flow from who you are and what iris important to you. If you have that problem during your working years you are likely to have that problem in retirement.

      • Bill Birnbaum November 20, 2011, 9:37 am

        Ralph… Yes, I see your point. It’s actually a choice between defining who you are from the inside out verses from the outside in. Bill

        • Ralph November 20, 2011, 9:58 am

          I had to think for a moment but your distinction works for me.

  • hansi November 8, 2011, 6:49 am

    I’m happy, and in a comfortable groove, not a rut. As I get older I’m realizing that my body and everything is changing. I can either accept that change and enjoy it for what it is. Or, I can resist it and suffer.

    Ralph, I think You are way over-thinking a lot of stuff. You’re not gonna find the meaning of life in some formula. Let things be, you’re already good enough, no need for improvement (but a little maintenance once in a while helps). 🙂
    hansi’s last Blog Post ..Herman Cain be Drivin’ Me Insane

    • Ralph November 8, 2011, 7:44 am

      Rut and groove- subtle difference but very important. And yes I do overthink many things. It’s just what I do. Try to get you mind around overthinking overthinkng and you know what it’s like to be me,
      Ralph’s last Blog Post ..CNS November 6, 2011 No Naked Dining?

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