‘ I'm blocked, I'm stuck in a rut and my work is getting stale- perhaps I should just throw in the towel?

I had lunch last week with a dear musician friend. He has enjoyed success in his musical endevours and established his music internationally, yet today he feels stuck in a rut and a bit fed up of the industry.

We decided to do a little experiment. We would swap perspectives for one week. He would send me his rock CD’s and the Rolling Stone books and blogs he read each week and in return I would send him the psychology research journals I read. Through swapping our habitual experiences we were doing something psychologists call breaking the state: interrupting your habitual pattern of behavior with something completely new and unrelated.

I spent the week reading about rock music and the skill of creating songs digitally and he spent the week exploring psychology.

Well, do you know what? A week has gone by and the results have been phenomenal!

After the experiment he rang to tell me that he had been able to approach his work in a completely new and novel way, sharing inventive tracks with his label that had a really fresh quality to them.

He was getting along better with his staff and even had the pleasure of a few new romantic interactions.  

I too enjoyed it. I liked taking on his musical perspective and was able to use the insight gained in my meditation sessions. All round it was a fantastic experiment. 

Q: What are your patterns? Could there be room for a pattern interrupt in your life? 

Here are 5 points to get you started.

  1.  Start small. Decide to get out of bed a new way, each day
  2. Use your mindfulness practice to be better aware of your own habits and patterns, this way you can spot areas for growth
  3.  Find a friend that lives or works in quite a different way to you, forward them this email or tell them about the message. Swap interests for 1 week and see how your mind widens with the process
  4. Perhaps there is someone you know who goes about life in a different way to you, take time to get to know them. How do they see the world?
  5. Read outside your field. Nassim Taleb in the black swan suggest that in order to advance we need not look to what we have done before but instead embrace the unknown and seek out new opportunities to maximise luck


Wishing you all the very best in your pattern interupting experiments,