When I got up for my shift this morning, Theo told me he had prepared some coffee a while ago. Sitting in the cooled down espresso cooker on the stove, I automatically thought to myself: “Nice, I´ll have to find the small pot (The one we repeatedly used to reheat coffee), give the pot a wash and pour the hot black brew into another cup to enjoy it outside watching the waves break around me.
What a wonderfull start in the day – but wait! Why do I make this so complicated? Why do I use an extra pot to heat the coffee? Why do I have to use 3 tools to make a coffee when I only needed 1 simple steel mug on the fire, when we backpacked through Europe?
I found my mind sailing on autopilot!
Caught in an everyday routine thinking pattern, I realize how one is tempted to automatically step up on the comfort ladder once given the opportunity. This process seems to happen slowly and in quiet secrecy of our conciouesness. Having lived on a quite comforable boat, with a very well equipped galley, for more than 3 months now, must not be a reason to loose a sense of what one really needs!
The words of my favorite American teacher Mr Ferguson in Psychology class come to my mind. Our human brains need to develop patterns and repeat these in order to spare energy for more complex tasks. This is natural behaviour and neccessary for our functioning!
But the more we rely on our inhabited autopilot, the less flexible, the less creative turns out our ability to react to change, develop new strategies. We depend on the tools which we think are needed to perform certain tasks.
Also this is just natural becaus our brain functions in the way it is trained. Generally speaking, every time we repeat a perticular behaviour pattern, it will be available more quickly and less effort in terms of thinking and performance – energy is used. Simple way of learning.
Now, at which point starts the margin of our cleverness to save energy by performing patterns, to disable our force for innovation?
Am I free to following my everyday routine or am I a slave, imprisioned by the learned structures of my neural – pilot unconsciously commanding my actions?
The coffee could escape its fortune this time and was reheated directly in the steel mug over the gas flame. Despite this, my thoughts kept on challenging the free time given by the ocean.
In the end my mind agreed to repeat enjoying the daily morning coffee, just a little bit more 😉
What is it like to cross an Atlantic?