Are you on autopilot or self driving?

        Do you always set off your day with the same “ritual”? Do you ever wonder how you engage yourself  to go through the whole day or the whole week , for instance, after getting up, going to the bathroom for shower, then putting on the clothes, after that having a big breakfast, reading morning newspaper and having a hot cup of coffee, then going to the office. Or maybe, do you go to office by taking the same route? Let’s say taking the same street, passing through the same traffic light, or even making the same turn. Every single day passes like another day. Today is “grey”. Likewise, tomorrow is “grey. Different days bring about with constant activity- with the same direction. In plain English, doing this and doing that over and over without being parts of it to a certain extent resembles serving ourselves on “autopilot”

“Autopilot is a system used to control the track of a vehicle without constant 'hands-on' control by a human operator being required.” – Wikipedia.

        In this context, I relate “autopilot” to our behavior as well as physical or mental activities, the way how we control every parts of our body and mind. Intentionally or not, we tend to “control the track” of our activity physically without really getting into it. In the same way, as if we drove a car with both two hands on steer and two feet on pedals, our mind wasn’t actually there.

        Many people are on their highly full alertness when they start doing a new thing for the first time. They do it consciously for every step. On the next attempt, their consciousness slow but sure diminishes in such a way . This is continuously carried out from time to time . In turn, the repetition results in a series of the same pattern, habitual routine. Once they get the hang of it, they have a feeling of security, then they stay that way. They eventually enjoy being part of it.

       “Welcome, have a nice shopping!” says one of the shop keepers in a 24-hour convenience store as he greets some buyers. I, you and probably the other, notice that the greeting is nothing more than sincerity. Autopilot in connection with speaking, people are likely to use invariable patterns on saying greeting, asking question, responding, or even addressing others, no matter how fancy the words are, still they are using the same choice of words. Furthermore, it could occur by the time they are listening to others. They tend to respond with the same diction and gestures. When on autopilot, the body language, as well as gesture ,might exhibit the same pattern such as head movement, eyes contact, hand motion and so on.

         When it comes to carrying out some routine activities, autopilot shapes in such a way that people perform from one activity to another constantly and perpetually. Taking a shower, for example, we tend to start with the same step; first, brushing teeth, then washing up hair with shampoo, then followed by showering the whole parts of the body, and eventually picking up the towel. In particular way, we move the tooth brush, starting from the upper side, then going to the lower side and going backward or forward. All these show how autopilot works and affects our daily lives. The key word here is that we perform those activities but we, our mind, don’t actually control them.

          Maybe the reasons why people with autopilot mode are at ease with this circumstance, it is simply because when someone does constant routine, he walks on in comfort zone. His brain stays in a regular function-serving the brain into Delta range - the brain wave signal of the subconscious. In other words, they don’t need to push themselves or  think harder. than usual.

         Just imagine what would happen to the people who serve on autopilot. In career field, perhaps getting the job done comes first instead of getting into it. For example, a teacher concerns on his teaching only without seeing whether his students understand or not, or a worker concerns on his completing jobs only instead of trying to contribute more on his work, or a governor concerns on his popularity rather than his responsibility to his people, a doctor concerns more on his paycheck than on his patients' health. Consequently, I believe you know what it is going to ensue to the students, to the company of the worker, to the governor’s people or to the patients. In addition, for your thought only, you can also tell what will happen to the people who perform their religious ceremony with autopilot mode.

        To make long story short, autopilot deliberately or not, might run in our blood. It is a part of us. With or without autopilot, it indeed tells us as humans from as robots.




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2 Responses to "Are you on autopilot or self driving?"

  1. I think I'm both autopilot and self driving. Every morning, some days I do same things regularly, at the other times, I change my routine. So, what do you call me then? :D

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  2. Actually the essence is not about the routine, ms lila. Doing things regularly is only one of the symptoms which lead to autopilot mode. The bottom line is when you have those activities, are you actually there? Do you consciously have a full control of what you are doing?

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