Sometimes you have to create something new. It’s very easy to rely on old tricks. Old tricks are perhaps what lead to cognitive dissonance. You see, we live our lives in something like a keyhole. Imagine that. Now, imagine that when you are trying to create something, even if it’s something as simple as conversation, you keep going to the same places for your information. When you reach for something clever to say, you say the same old things. When you reach for the next rung on the ladder of your creative or human life, you keep reaching for the same shallow rung, accidentally, over and over.
This is laziness, or apathy, or both. It can be both. Reliance can be an awful thing. Reinvention can be hard to deal with, but almost never bad. Reliance on anything, especially when it comes to one’s own behavior, is always bad. Relying on actions, phrases, gestures, slogans, even thoughts, is what we call being “in a rut.” It is what we call “running in place”, and in some cases “washed up.”
And prolonged reliance results in this keyhole being so worn down, that nothing we put in it can take hold. No key fits, and the only thing we can think to do is keep putting the same things in it.
When we’re “in a rut”, the thing we’re forgetting is that the keyhole doesn’t require a certain kind of key. You can put any key in it, not simply the one that worked before. The trick is to keep finding new keys to put in it.