By Jacki McLenaghan
Today I’m asking you to be bold and to sleep with a biker!
Okay I’m not really. Instead I was attempting something called Pattern Interrupt. It is a great tool not only to stand out but to also change up the wiring in your own brain. To save time our brain expects certain words, actions and situations to remain consistent around us. It’s the reason why we can drive all the way across town and not remember how we got there.
We go on autopilot.
We are creatures of habit and when we consistently do the same things over and over, we are going to at best, get the same results, and at worst, we are going to become irrelevant and fall by the wayside. We all know that old hippy that hasn’t changed their wardrobe, their hairstyle or their music in years.
What happens to them?
Well first of all we refer to them as “That Old Hippy!” But even worse than that, we get stuck in old ruts of living in the past or worrying about the future. When we do that we stagnate and we do not grow to the fullest expression of ourselves as human beings.
A pattern interrupt takes us out of our usual way of thinking, grabs our attention and pulls us into the present moment. So no, you do not ACTUALLY have to sleep with a biker, (although I’m not stopping you either) but instead I want you to stop living in useless patterns that no longer help you expand your potential.
Today I challenge you to do some pattern interrupting. I would like for you specifically to do 3 different pattern interrupts. Two are you interrupting you, and the third is pattern interrupting someone else.
Do something different today. If you always drive the same route, change it up. If you always eat the same food, eat something different. Even if you brush your teeth in a certain way (because you do) change that up. Whether we realize this or not, we are a walking ball of patterns and habits. That can save us a lot of time in a day but it can also cause ruts.
Here are some examples of some extremely simple of patterns or habits you can change today:
- The food you eat
- The clothes you wear
- The routes you take
- The time you go to bed
- The way you groom yourself
- Take a mental health day from work
- Visit your own city like a tourist
- Get a make over
- Call someone out of the blue
It can literally be ANYTHING that you normally do not do in your day.
People watching is one of my favorite activities. It keeps you fully in the present and allows you to witness the patterns and habits of others. You can see a lot of people just waltzing through life on autopilot BUT you can also see some pretty bold people enjoying their lives.
That is inspiring!
So today you will change up your regular routine in some way.
Then you will create a pattern interrupt in others. Let me give you a short example.
Years ago I was collecting flat rocks on the beach. I decided that I was thirsty so I went up to a little stand and ordered two bottles of water. The girl said, “That will be two dollars please.” I reached into my pocket and the first thing that I felt was my rocks, (That sounds bad.)
Anyway, I pulled out two of my rocks and I handed them to her. I had a completely blank look on my face. She was taken aback. She looked at me, then she looked at the rocks, then she turned and looked at the girl behind her.
The look on her face was priceless.
I started laughing and then let her off the hook. She started laughing as well and it was awesome. Now we have a funny story that we can both share for years.
On a quick note:
Here is another story of how a fun pattern interrupt can work out really well for you.
I was in Hawaii a few years ago and I was waiting in line for my car rental. I hate those lineups. You are hot, tired and dragging around all of your luggage. You just want to get to your hotel and start your vacation.
Finally the painfully slow line moved and it was my turn to be served. The girl couldn’t find my reservation, then her computer shut down for a bit. It was one little hiccup after another. Finally everything was ready to go and she said; “Now I just need your drivers license.” I said “Oh I don’t have one.”
Again…. no expression on my face.
She paused for a moment, obviously confused and then she said in an exasperated tone, “Well then I can’t rent you a car.”
I let her off the hook and told her that obviously I was joking. She laughed so hard and said that people are usually just so grumpy to her and don’t bother taking the time to joke around. Her delight in my shenanigans resulted in a very sweet up grade to a hot convertible. NO EXTRA CHARGE.
Today you are going to pattern interrupt someone and here are some simple examples:
- Stand the wrong way in an elevator and face other people
- Say something strange
- Talk in an accent to people you know
- Wear a wig
- Dress in a costume
- Pull any sort of lighthearted prank
- BE CREATIVE.
The purpose here is to pull whomever you are engaging with out of their regular routine and into the present. Trust me, people generally get real joy in being in the exact moment that they are in. You are doing a favor for both of you.
People who keep things fresh and are leaders are generally quite brave. Take this short quiz to find out “How Bold Are You?”