We all have a routine - something we repeat over and over again. We have a morning routine whereby we wake up, splash water on our face, brush our teeth, shave - you get the picture.
Maybe we have workday routines, driving routines, fitness routines, parenting routines. Whatever our life is made of, I bet you've got a routine for some parts of it.
While routines can add familiarity and help us get things done without thinking, they're usually meaningless. Without attention and purpose, routines are just emotionless actions. We may as well be a robot.
We need fewer routines and more rituals.
Rituals are also comprised of repeated actions, but are infused with meaning and purpose. A ritual is a deliberate action taken, even if it is the same action we took yesterday.
By adding meaning into our behavior, we can move from routine to ritual. While you're brushing your teeth, think about one person you can help today. When you're driving to work, continue to marinate on that big dream of yours. When you prepare your lunch in the break room, find a fellow co-worker to sit with and ask about her family.
Every routine has the potential to be so much more, if we're willing to upgrade it to a ritual.