Stay out of Ruts!

Rhythm vs Rut

Definitely a rut.

Back in my Marine Corps days I was instructing rooks on Humvee (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) driving. A pretty fun albeit slightly crazy task. The basic idea was that the new drivers had to push the Humvee to its limits — which was always much further than the new drivers’ limits.  The discussion of the day with the other instructors was ruts.

My question: “Why the hell are you telling these guys to drive in the ruts?”

Answer: “Because I figure that other drivers went there and it worked for them.”

Me Again: “No. Stay out of ruts! They’re hard to maneuver out of and they limit you to one path.”

I did not know at the time that this was not just good advice for driving but good advice for life as well. A rut in life is a fixed and boring routine that creates clones. We fall unconsciously into them, lulled by the slow powerful rhythm of safety or carbohydrates. We’ve all been there, hit by a holy shit moment: Did I really just lose two weeks, two months . . . two years of my life to this?

Find a Rhythm

This is where I think rhythm comes into play. A good rhythm picks you up, gets you moving, and motivates you. How many guys like to listen to music while working out? Exactly. An example of rhythm in life is doing an adventure every weekend. The adventure is not the same every weekend, so there’s no rut, no clones. It will pick you up all week and carry you along like a wave.

There are two common questions I hear at work outside of the business stuff:

  1. What do you have going this weekend?
  2. What did you do this weekend?

I realized that many people are looking to live vicariously through you — and you is anyone who actually does something more often than not. As for answers, nothing will kill the conversation faster than “house work” or “HGTV.” The best part is that adventure can be anything from a new hiking trail to firing rockets off with your kids at the local school yard. What’s been working for me lately is that I’ve been trying to turn my rhythm idea into a system of difference, of trying something new every weekend. It will change your life and help to keep you out of those ruts. To turn this system into a habit, you’ve got to plan ahead. One way is to make it a habit to think about what you could do every time you stop at a red light on the drive home from work — or every time you waste a bit of your life waiting in line for coffee. If you can train your brain to think outside of the ruts, you’ll recognize new possible paths everywhere you go.

 

Disclosure: Reviews and Gear Links:

In addition to Man Makes Fire buying gear for reviews and guides, gear manufacturers occasionally ship review units to Man Makes Fire. If we like it, we spend some quality time with the gear and review it, noting if it was provided to Man Makes Fire. After the review, we return it, give it away, or work on longer-term review follow-ups when applicable to reader interest.

We do not accept any gear in exchange for coverage. If we do not truly appreciate the gear, we don't write about it at all -- bad gear will fade into obscurity on its own if everyone ignores it. In addition, we focus on gear from reputable companies, reputable brands, and reputable retailers that we trust.

The gear links on Man Makes Fire are focused on what we are willing to recommend to our own family and friends. Many of our specific gear links connect to industry-standard affiliate advertising programs that can result in a small percentage of resulting online sales paid to Man Makes Fire.

Basically, we deliver the advice and insight you need, you get the gear you want, and then everyone wins. Pretty straightforward.


  1. I can relate got stuck in a sewage pond in Baghdad when a not so ingenious officer decided 2 Hummvs could make it through. Little did he know that the first one made it twice as hard for the second.
    Lesson learned: Just because someone has been down that path doesn’t mean it will work for the next guy. Make you own path learn from other peoples experience!

More Stories
This photo shows the Plano All Weather Bow Case with a compound bow inside.
Plano All Weather Bow Case Review