One of my all-time favourite episodes of Seinfeld is the one where George is complaining about how everything in his life has turned out so badly and he figures it's because he always makes the wrong decisions. So Jerry suggests that George should try doing the opposite of what he usually does. “If every instinct you have is wrong... then the opposite would have to be right.”
At that point, the waitress comes and recites George's usual order of tuna salad on toast with cole slaw and a cup of coffee, but George shakes his head.
“No, wait. I always have tuna on toast. Nothing's ever worked out for me with tuna on toast. I want the complete opposite of tuna on toast! I'll have chicken salad... untoasted... with potato salad... and a cup of tea!”
This seemingly trivial change sets off a series of events that eventually results in George getting a gorgeous new girlfriend and a dream job with the New York Yankees.
While I'm not going to suggest that we regular people would get the same life-changing effects by making these kinds of small changes to our routines, I do think it's a good idea to “shake things up a little” every once in a while. So here are a few suggestions on how you could do that. And who knows—maybe you'll end getting a call from Steinbrenner. (Um, is he still in baseball??)
- Turn your clock radio to a different station. If you're used to talking heads, you may find that waking up to golden oldies will have you humming—and smiling—for the rest of the day.
- Try out a new brand of shampoo and conditioner.
- When driving your kids to school, leave ten minutes early and take a little detour through streets you've never seen before.
- Take your coffee break for once and use it to go outside and walk around the block.
- Invite a co-worker you don't know very well to join you for lunch.
- Close your e-mail program for two hours and see how much more work you can get done.
- As soon as you get home, read a chapter of your child's favourite book to her. Why should such a special moment always have to wait until everybody's half-asleep already?
- Have your family sit in different spots for dinner.
- Forget the TV. Why not pull out a deck of cards and have a spirited game of hearts?
- Instead of just reading this post and moving on to something else, leave a comment with your own ideas to add to the list! :)
Note: Special thanks to Copyblogger for inspiring this post.