Frustrating Commute can be Lucky

You’re Taking the Wrong Route to Work (and how to find the right route)

You may not know it but you are taking the wrong route to work.  How do I know?  Because most people are doing the exact same thing.  

The wrong route is the one that you took yesterday, and the day before and the day before that.  You keep taking the same route because it is the easiest route, or it is the quickest, or because you are used to it and you don’t have to think about where you are driving.


Your Commute is a Routine

When you do the same thing too many times in a row, you build a routine and your mind goes into autopilot so that you don’t have to think about it.  Remember the movie Click with Adam Sandler?  

Sometimes routines and habits are good for you because you shouldn’t have to make meaningless decisions when you don’t have to.  Meaningless decisions just weigh you down mentally and that’s why Steve Jobs was known for always wearing the same clothes, but that’s a whole other post.  


Open Your Eyes

By changing up your routine and specifically (for this post) changing your route to work, you will automatically pay more attention to your surroundings.  

When you are paying more attention, you notice more about what is going on around you, what is new, what has changed and if you train your brain properly, you see many new opportunities.  You may notice a new business in the area, a fun attraction for the weekend or even a potentially faster way to get to work.


Make Your Commute Fun

However long your routine is, it becomes a pain, tiring, a necessity and sometime frustrating.  By taking a new route, you have new entertainment.  You see new areas of town, new people and get to daydream about new opportunities.  


Think of an Apple Orchard

Professor Richard Wiseman gives the example of an apple orchard.  When you have an orchard, full of apples, no matter where you go, you will find plenty of apples.  If you keep going to the same section each day, eventually, the selection will run dry.  To find more apples, all you have to do is move over to a new section of the orchard.


Do You Commute by Train?

Changing up your way to work is not just for drivers.  I used to take the train to work I found that just by arriving a few minutes earlier or later can make a big difference.  The traffic changes and different people will be waiting for the train.  During busier times, you get to see how people act being squished together and during slower times, you can see the designs and ads on the walls, and find less stressed out people to start a conversation with.  


New York City has Some of the Best

If you are lucky enough to live in New York City or many other major cities, you can also enjoy all of the entertainment that the subways have to offer.  5 year old break dancers, talented musicians and even comedians who claim that the subway car is their home that they rent for $2.75 per month.  Complaining that people are hanging out in his house and putting their feet up on his chairs.  


Tourist Bring Luck

Major cities get a lot of tourists and tourists bring a lot of luck.  They come from different cities and cultures with different perspectives and if your speak to them, you can rip of your blinders and realize that there is a world outside of your city.  



Taking a different route to work or changing up your travel schedule can take you out of autopilot and open your eyes to a lot of luck.  So, if you take the same route to work every day, it’s the wrong route!


Action Steps:

To get lucky, you can’t just read articles and books.  You have to take action and get out of your comfort zone.  

  1. Change your route to work – try doing this once per week for the next month and see what it does for you.
  2. Change the time that you leave for and from work – different flows of traffic get your creative juices flowing.

Let me know if you tried this “action item” and what your results were in the comments below.