Have you ever got so caught up in just doing the same thing, day in and day out, that you were barely aware of time passing at all, only to look up one day and realise that months — or even years — had flown by, without you even realising?
All of us are susceptible to living life on autopilot. After all, it’s natural to fall into certain routines and to end up settling into our “comfort zones” in different areas.
The unfortunate reality, though, is that living on autopilot comes with some real downsides — with regards to your personal life, your professional life, your goals and aspirations, and more.
Here are some of the downsides of living your life on autopilot.
You end up getting caught up in the same patterns over and over
“Living your life on autopilot” inevitably means that you end up getting caught up in the same patterns over and over, because of the basic fact that any time you do something more or less unconsciously and automatically, you will simply be acting on your familiar reflexes and according to your familiar habits.
But what if you’ve got bad habits, and your reflexes have been conditioned in a way that works against your best interests, instead of serving them?
It’s largely because of living life on autopilot that people end up getting caught up in self-destructive but largely unconscious routines and patterns over time. Like a chain smoker who stops themselves from thinking too much about the implications of their habit, but just does what’s familiar and comfortable.
Other people end up determining the course of your life for you
While the idea of “going with the flow” may sound nice, on paper, the less pleasant reality of the situation is that there are always people making decisions and influencing not only their own lives, but the lives of others, and the world at large, as a result.
If you give up your power to make decisions about how to live your own life on an everyday basis, it’s not that things will just “work themselves out” along the way — other people’s decisions will end up determining the course of your life for you.
Maybe you go to the same job every day, not really enjoying it or finding it fulfilling, and not looking for a different job, but just “going with the flow”. One day, your boss tells you that you’re being made redundant, or that your pay is being cut arbitrarily.
In this scenario, you were on autopilot, and your boss made the decisions that shaped your life — for the worse.
You get yourself into difficult situations that could often have been avoided
If you find yourself looking for the nation’s best diamond buyer, or listing half of your possessions on eBay out of the blue, it’s likely that you’ve ended up in a difficult situation.
Although it’s not always the case, many difficult situations can be avoided by living and acting more preemptively and intentionally, up front.
Often, living on autopilot allows these significant problems to develop and grow.