The Danger of Going Through the Motions

The Danger of Going Through the Motions

January 22, 2020

Savage Gentleman Josh Tyler Bearded Robot Automaton


How often do we simply go through the motions in our day to day lives?

It’s easy to fall into a pattern and set the cruise control. Becoming perfunctory is the inevitable outcome when things are too redundant or too predictable.

But the danger that arises when we "check out", is that our minds can drift to anywhere else but here. We focus on the past or look to the future, instead of embracing the present moment, which is something we frequently take for granted.

On a small scale or for certain tasks, this isn’t a huge problem. But when it accounts for the majority of everything we do, it can become an issue…

Too often, we follow our routine and just coast from one day to the next, with perhaps some small deviation and a bit of variation for the weekend...Or perhaps not.

For many, the only break from their monotony comes but once a year in the form of a vacation. Yet others aren’t fortunate enough to even have this luxury.

But is that really the best use of what little time we have been given? Should we be content to spend most of our lives as an automaton? To just “show up” and play our part with no keen awareness of what we are doing or where we are going?

Machines are great for performing tedious tasks ad infinitum. But should we strive for such an existence for ourselves? Are we in danger of becoming nothing more than some meat covered machination?


Many of us accept the false pretense that our main purpose in life is to find a “good job”, make enough money to survive, and if we’re lucky, some day retire so that we can enjoy the fruits of our labor.

But man was not meant to be a cog in a wheel. And simply
making a living is not the same as being truly alive. Sometimes, we must color outside of the lines to create the image we want to see.

This isn't necessarily a call to action to do something brash, (though we shouldn't be afraid to be bold, if needs must.) To shirk our responsibility for frivolity or flights of fancy is unwise and ill-advised. We must all pay our dues to some extent, and so there is a time and a place for sucking it up and pushing through.


But in the midst of these periods of putting our heads down and just moving forward, it is essential to occasionally look up and take in our surroundings. Admittedly, there are benefits to mentally checking out in certain situations. Sometimes it can be useful to parlay our full attention...but this should never become our default setting.

We should strive to be engaged, present, and mindful as often as we can. Otherwise, what is the point? To not do so is to be nothing more than an instrument ourselves. A soulless robot that completes its tasks without a second thought to the “why” and “how”, and the “what else”.

We must recognize there is immense value in taking even the briefest moment to ponder, embrace, and appreciate the things around us. And the more often we are able to do so, the more fulfillmentwe will receive from whatever situation we find ourselves in.

In truth, we may not be able to immediately change our circumstances, and in all likelihood, few of us will ever be able to have complete autonomy over our time.

But we can learn to become a more active participant in our lives. To seek out new challenges and experiences. To pay attention and be present, to appreciate everything that we have and are able to do.

We must try and remember that all the parts, all the moments matter...Because they are all that we get.

There is no second season or spin-off series. You can’t fast forward through the bad parts and you can’t slow down the good ones.

All we have for certain is our right NOW.

So embrace it and enjoy it.

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