THE BLOG
09/03/2015 12:24 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Why a Pattern Interrupt Is Just What You Need

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"If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal."

~ Paulo Coelho

Routines are great for getting us out of bed in the morning and keeping the momentum alive. We know exactly what to do and when. But what about creativity in this busy predictable time? How do we make room for growth, expansion and new beginnings? It's time, of course, to introduce a pattern interrupt.

A Pattern interrupt is a technique to change a particular thought, behavior or situation. Behavioral psychology and neuro linguistic programming use this technique to interrupt and change thought patterns and behaviors. It can be as simple as initiating a handshake or as definitive as seizing the moment to travel or fulfill your bucket list.

Humans have an average of up to 50,000 thoughts per day. Amazingly up to 95 percent are the same thoughts, repeated every day (according to the National Science Foundation). That's a lot of repetition. And very little space for new thinking. Einstein summed it up nicely.

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Turning my back on insanity, I recently embraced a pattern interrupt. One whole delicious month of travel overseas. Of course pattern interrupts don't have to be saved for just holidays. Taking a week, a day or even an afternoon can still be of immense benefit.

Here are five truths about pattern interrupts and why, if you haven't taken one recently, it might be just what you need.

Truth #1 A Fresh Perspective

A pattern interrupt transports you to enticing new places, physically and mentally. It jolts you out of your familiar thoughts and routines and into a vast openness of possibility. It's like seeing things for the first time again.

Truth #2 Trust in the Future

Scheduling in a break for a walk or a yoga class is great for an hour but let's face it, you're still in your safe zone. You know what's next. A pattern interrupt involves some risk, bravery and one hundred per cent committment, even when you don't know what's next.

Truth #3 Relinquish Control

An interruption to our schedule can be an inconvenience, don't you think? All sorts of 'What if's?' pop into our head. It's so tempting to avoid these feelings and not rock the boat. Managing that challenge requires letting go and accepting we can't control situations and outcomes all of the time.

Truth #4 Growth and Expansion

The big one. Where there is life, there is growth. But how much growth can really happen when we are on rinse and repeat, day after day? When we are programmed to perform we do what's expected of us. Spread your wings and give yourself some space to grow. Imagine where that could take you.

Truth #5 Creativity Thrives

It's a bit like the inspirational ideas that can often pop into our head in the shower, in the car or just before we fall asleep. Only magnified. Creativity is not on a schedule. It often appears when we least expect it. Sitting in silence, admiring a view, getting lost in a new city, savoring a great meal, lost in conversation, anytime anywhere.

Are you ready for a pattern interrupt? Start small, today. Go digital free and spark your energy, set your imagination alight, discover a new kind of silence or simply rest. You will receive what you need to, in ways that simply are not possible by following the same routines each day.