Time to think…about new ways versus old habits

“Won’t you be walking in your predecessors’ footsteps? I surely will use the older path, but if I find a shorter and smoother way, I’ll blaze a trail there. The ones who pioneered these paths aren’t our masters, but our guides. Truth stands open to everyone, it hasn’t been monopolised.” Seneca, Moral Letters.

Habits are trails of behaviour that have been ‘blazed’ in your brain. Following old, tried-and-tested ways of doing something offers a sense of security and reinforces one’s sense of competence, because of the ease and speed at which the intended behaviour can be enacted.

Compare that with trying something new: novelty comes hand-in-hand with uncertainty, which gives rise to trepidation and anxiety. Who knows what you will find? Will it be better than the old way, better than your habitual pattern? Will the exploration reap a reward or a punishment? Who knows! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. But be sure that you know where you want to get to before you set off. Let your values be your guide.