View from an airplane window at the wings and flying over a scenic landscape of green hills and rivers
We are having guests over which required a quick trip to the big box warehouse store to pick up some wine and snacks. I pushed away from my desk, left my home, drove to the store, did my shopping, nibbled a few samples while doing the shopping, had a quick lunch at the snack bar, loaded my car with my purchases, drove home, unloaded the car, put the items away, and am now back at my desk.
And it was all done in a total and complete blackout!

I am aware all of that happened and yet I can hardly remember any detail. There was music on the CD player, but what was it? Did I pass a funeral procession? How heavy was the traffic? It is all a fog. Maybe shopping for wine and snacks is not necessarily a memorable occasion, one with depth and meaning (It was just an errand!). I can let that go. And what I do notice is how easy it is to get completely consumed in autopilot… where the miles and the minutes and the moments slip by and I have no sense of having been in control, much less a participant.

Wow! It’s all so robotic, so mechanical, so…so mind numbingly routine.
I wonder where else in my life I am in autopilot. My marriage? Raising my son? Coaching? And when I am in autopilot, what for? How does being in autopilot serve me? What do I know abut this state? If I would change these moments, what would I change them to? What is it about being solidly present am I resisting (even when driving and shopping)?

What does autopilot look like for you? How does being in autopilot support you and your goals? What do you notice you miss when you are in this state?

What does being fully present in autopilot look like?


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Gary M. Groth, MS, PCC, CPCC

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