On June 18th, 1914, Lawrence Sperry demonstrated autopilot on an aircraft for the first time, becoming one of the most important innovations to the cockpit in history. In the aviation world today, autopilot is used more than ever. It guides an aircraft from takeoff to landing in the most efficient way possible. Autopilot is the foundation of many positive innovations in the aviation world today and will continue to impact the industry in the future. However, what I am writing about today is a different kind of autopilot with a less desirable outcome.
Listen to the Good Christian Podcast episode about this post:
“Don’t Trust Autopilot for Your Life – Take Control”
Throughout the years, I’ve discovered that the world has its own form of autopilot, affecting humanity.
Every man and woman has an internal form of autopilot that we are all born with. Unlike an aircraft’s autopilot, which is programmed for a particular reason; to get an aircraft from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible. The internal autopilot of the human race is not programmed by the same positive, results-driven standard.
The internal autopilot of humanity is programmed by a combination of influences, comfort, and an obsessing over the future, which is not heading for a positive destination.
Unlike the autopilot of an aircraft, which again gets the plane from point A to point B in the most efficient way possible, humanity’s internal autopilot is designed very differently. It can be quite dangerous if you keep it on for too long. It’s sending you on a collision course! Let me explain.
Our internal autopilot is programed by a combination of influences, comfort, and obsession with the future. I’m going to explain each of these then share with you a solution for disengaging autopilot and living a more fulfilled life.
This is the first and primary way that our internal human autopilot kicks in. Instead of thinking for ourselves, we trust those that influence us. The primary influences for people are two things, TV and social media. We’re obsessed with the news, politics, entertainment, gossip, following trends, and never experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out). We’re glued to these things that once supported us but are now the top factors of unhealthy consumption and all sorts of awful health problems that we’re experiencing.
The world sells this; you need to be comfortable, happy, and of course, yourself. Because it’s your choice to live life however you want, and although I agree it’s your choice to live life however you want, I can tell you that it isn’t healthy to do that. I certainly don’t live my life the way I’d want to all the time. And here’s why: comfort is an illusion. In fact, if you’re always comfortable, you never stretch your mind, and if you don’t stretch your mind, it starts dying. The same is true with your body, which is why exercising all the time is important.
#3. Obsession of the Future
We are obsessed with what comes next. We don’t live in the moment, and we live in the future, a “what’s next?” mentality. This mentality is causing us to go through life without stopping to enjoy the moment we’re in. Obsessing over the future and always thinking about what’s next is the fastest way to end up on your deathbed where you’ll share one of those stories we’ve all heard with someone saying, “Where did the time go?”
If we continue allowing ourselves to be comfortable and follow these influences in our life, here’s where we’ll end up:
You’ll go to school, and you’ll play sports during the evenings and summers, you’ll graduate, then go to college, you’ll graduate, find a career, get married, buy a house, get a dog, have kids, get a new car, get promoted, get a better raise, have grandkids, retire, move to Florida, then die. Again, if you follow the world’s plan for your life, this is exactly what will happen. And autopilot can get you there!
How does that sound to you?
If the above plan for your life doesn’t sound bad to you, then no worries. Continue as you are. But for those of us who want to fulfill God’s plan for our lives, impact the world, and leave a legacy, we are called to something more. I’ll admit, it’s not always a fun path, but it’s always rewarding and fulfilling. So you have two options right now, continue as you are, and you can stop reading this now, or if you want something different for your life, continue reading.
If you’re not sure how you’re feeling, let me ask you one more thing. Are you enjoying your life where and how it is right now? No, really, stop and answer that question. Are you REALLY enjoying life? If you’d say no, or there’s any hesitation in saying “yes,” then continue reading; there is something more for you.
The solution to the world’s plan for your life: Challenging the status quo.
There’s a quote by Neale Donald Walsch that speaks to this point,
Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.
Challenging the status quo is uncomfortable. But remember, comfort is an illusion. (And actively contributes to negative health) Turning away from this world’s influences makes you an outcast, but outcasts are the only ones who change the world. Living today instead of always thinking about tomorrow can be scary, but that faith in the future enables you to enjoy your life more in the moment.
Sin thrives when you’re on autopilot.
Have you noticed that everything you watch on TV is becoming increasingly Godless and immoral? Have you noticed that “doing what feels good so you’re always comfortable” ends up getting you into some situations that you later feel guilty about? Do you find yourself forgetting to love those around you because you’re so focused on tomorrow?
Let me tell you something; God isn’t found in the autopilot of your life. You have to disengage and live counter-culture if you want to be with God. This point is made clear in the Bible,
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” – Romans 12:2
If you’ve been following my blog posts for some time, you know I’d never leave you hanging! With that said, I’ve put together a few ways you can begin to challenge the status quo, which disengages autopilot in your life.
4 Ways to Challenge the Status Quo:
#1. Cancel cable, remove social media from your phone (or at least limit the time you’re allowed on it) Be intentional with how you’re influenced!
#2. Do something that makes you uncomfortable every day. (Check out this post: How to Live a Life That is Proactive Instead of Reactive)
#3. Get back to the basics with God. (I’ve been watching this YouTube video by Clayton Baird on repeat, BACK TO THE BASICS.)
Be not conformed by this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Your life’s autopilot has you on a collision course, destined for mediocracy. It’s up to you to challenge the status quo and live above what the world has planned for your life. It takes intentionality and courage, but you have that within you, thanks to Jesus. My friend, I challenge you today to turn off that autopilot. Get into the word of God, allow yourself to be uncomfortable, and you’ll begin experiencing a more fulfilled life!