Routines and Reality

Life is full of routines. We tend to eat the same foods, frequent the same places, and even put our clothes on in the same order over and over. Disrupting our routines can be unnerving or it can be invigorating, depending on how we look at it. Try putting your pants on “other leg” first and see what I mean.

Our economy is full of routines as well. The baker knows how much bread to bake because a certain number of people routinely buy a certain amount from him/her. This allows the baker to plan ahead of time, neither baking too many nor too few loaves.

What happens when routines are disrupted in the economy? If our baker suddenly has 20% more customers than usual, it can mean running out of inventory. 20% less means waste eats up profits. On a larger scale, bread-eating trends could change within an entire economy. Think of the low-carb diets that became popular a few years ago.

Changes in routines are necessary and healthy. None of us escapes personal growth. No economy moves forward without the endless cycle of birth and death. Products and services that sell like hotcakes for years suddenly die off in favor of the “new thing.”

We cannot stop change from happening, but we can prepare for it. Think about your profession. What will current trends in technology and our social structure mean for your future? Will you job be changed radically in the next few years? Will it even exist? Write down your thoughts about how you will deal with changes in your industry. Then write a plan for dealing with those changes.

When the winds change, you want to be the one who knows how to trim the sail.

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