I read today in the Daily Stoic about the ‘velvet rut.’ What is that I hear you ask? Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you feel stuck, unmotivated, or just going through the motions without really getting anywhere? The ‘velvet rut’ is a state of comfort and complacency that can sneak up on us when we get too comfortable in our routine. We may feel secure and safe, but we also lose the sense of excitement, growth, and challenge that comes with trying new things and pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone.
The danger of the velvet rut is that it leads nowhere good. John Paul Getty once wrote: “It shouldn’t be very difficult for anyone to resist the temptation to force himself into the pattern of the structured man. One needs only to remember that a groove may be safe – but that, as one wears away at it, the groove becomes first a rut and finally a grave.” When we stop challenging ourselves and taking risks, we may also stop growing and learning. We may miss out on opportunities and experiences that could have enriched our lives and opened up new possibilities.
We all captain our own ship, so how can we avoid the ‘velvet rut’
- Set goals – Having clear goals and objectives can help us stay motivated and focused. Make a list of things you want to achieve and take small steps towards them every day.
- Try new things – Break out of your routine and try something new. This could be a new hobby, a different type of exercise, or even just taking a different route to work.
- Take risks – Don’t be afraid to take risks and step outside of your comfort zone. This could mean as little as speaking up in a meeting.
- Keep learning – Learning doesn’t have to stop once we finish school. Keep learning new skills and knowledge to keep your mind engaged and active.
To me life has always been about growth and learning. Don’t let the ‘velvet rut’ hold you back. Seek and embrace new challenge, keep pushing