Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

Focus On Your Practices


Ryan Holiday is a modern-day stoic philosopher I follow actively. He says we should all focus more on practices and not get sucked into routines if we want to lead a productive life.

What is a routine, and what is a practice? 

  • Waking up every day at 6 am and watching the news while you have your coffee: that’s a routine. Sitting in meditation every day is a practice.
  • Going out for lunch with friends every day at the same time is a routine. Eating healthy or avoiding carbs or sugar is a practice,
  • Going to the gym at 9 am is a routine. Exercising regularly is a practice.
  • Writing down a to-do list every morning is a routine. Reviewing your performance and tracking progress every week is a practice. Journaling every day is a practice.

Routines are all about daily rhythm. But, unfortunately, they are fragile. External factors can disrupt our routines very easily. For example, your boss expects you to get to work by 8 am next week, and your gym routine at 7 am is disrupted, just like that.

Practises, on the other hand, are different. Practices are things you do regularly- perhaps daily, perhaps not- but you engage with them as lifelong pursuits.

Practises are flexible but consistent. Unlike routines, they don’t get disrupted. Going back to the same example, your routine of going to the gym at 8 am may get disrupted, but you find time during your lunch break to hit the office gym to exercise. That’s practice.

Quoting Ryan Holiday- Practices are things you return to, time and time again, to center yourself. To reset. To reconnect. To focus.

We don’t control what happens, but we can certainly control how we respond. 

In a world where uncertainty reigns supreme, things are constantly in flux, and very little is under our control, what we need in our lives are practices that anchor us and give us the confidence to feel in control. 

It would good for everyone to make and inventory of routines and practices they have in their lives.

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