It’s about time I talk directly about what I’ll call Default Operating Mode. It is how most of us have been living our lives, and ultimately the point of The Physics of Success is to learn how to stop operating in Default Operating Mode and start Living Your Life on Purpose.
Imagine for a moment that you just go out, jump in your car and start driving. You don’t have anywhere in particular to go, so you just take the easiest route. There are traffic laws, so you obey those for the most part. Making right turns is easier than left turns, so mostly you make right turns unless the left turn light happens to be green. Less traffic is easier, so you avoid congested roads. Limited access roads (freeways and tollways) are really easy if you happen to come across one that isn’t busy.
What might happen is you may end up driving around the block and getting absolutely nowhere. You might get a ways down the road, and end up driving around a block in a different neighborhood. You may turn into a neighborhood and find yourself in a dead end. Then again, you might get on an Interstate and end up in a completely different state. If you didn’t happen to bring your wallet, you might end up stuck in that other state with no gas. After all, this isn’t about planning ahead!
Figuratively speaking, jumping in our car and randomly driving around is the way most of us live our lives. Some of us go nowhere, some of us go somewhere after which we go nowhere. Some of us (maybe most of us) end up somewhere entirely unexpected that may or may not be better than where we started. Generally speaking, nearly everybody would like to be in a better place, and hardly anybody planned to be where they are.
In the example above, traffic laws are equivalent to the rules imposed by society. We tend to obey those rules when somebody is looking, and may fudge them a bit if we don’t think anybody will notice. The rules of society vary quite a bit depending on the company you keep. For some, it may mean a certain amount of education, getting a job, doing well at the job, and so on. For others, it may mean joining a street gang. Wherever you happen to be, after you meet your social expectations, life is then just a matter of taking the path of least resistance, very much like random driving. You may go to school and take somebody’s advice on a major, and then take a job based on what is offered and how much it pays. The probability is that you will either accomplish very little of substance, or end up with a completely unexpected life, for better or worse.
Compare the above to going shopping, say, for groceries. First thing, you’ll think of the store. You probably already know how to get there, and whether or not they are open for business. You probably have a list of things to buy. You’ll bring your wallet or purse. If you aren’t a guy, you will probably collect some coupons. You’ll have a good idea what the best route is going to be based on the time of day and traffic. You will likely check the gas before you move out of the parking space to see if you need to fill up the tank. You are also going to know roughly how long all of this is going to take.
You will find that you’ve pretty much done all of the things you need to be successful at just about anything.
Ultimately, the difference between those two scenarios is a mirror of the difference between living in Default Operating Mode and Living Your Life On Purpose by applying Success Principles in your everyday routine.