I struggle with the right balance of routines. While at times I think they can build discipline and foster steady improvement, I also fear the comfort zone they can create. In a perfect world I would try a new form of exercise every three months, buy assorted foods at the grocery store, and explore one of the many places I haven't been to in Southern California on the weekends. But going for walks and bike rides, eating cereal, apples, bell peppers, and shrimp cocktail, and spending every weekend going to my favorite spots in Corona Del Mar makes me happy.
And that's great.
But I look back to times in my life when I broke away from a routine or regimented lifestyle and recognize the extreme benefits that these deviations brought to my life. A few examples are transferring high schools my sophomore year, studying and working in London my junior year in college, barely breaking even every month during my first job at Deloitte Consulting in New York City, and leaving Michael and Las Vegas after two years to spend a month in Champagne and Burgundy discovering my passion for wine. Throughout these experiences I was challenged, humbled, inspired, exhausted, exhilarated, sad, and happy. I'm still getting to know Newport Beach and Orange County, but am aware it is going to be very easy to get into a comfortable routine here. I ask of my friends to help me when this happens. It's healthy to get your ass kicked every now and then.