Get Out of That Rut

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This is the second in a collection of newspaper ads from United Technologies that appeared in the Wall Street Journal from the late 1970s through the early 1980s.

Each one of the ads was a classic, and as soon as I start reading one of the ads now, it all comes back to me, over 30 years later.

Here’s the ad, titled “Get Out of That Rut”;

Oscar Wilde said,
“Consistency is
the last refuge of
the unimaginative.”
So stop getting up
at 6:05.
Get up at 5:06.
Walk a mile at dawn.
Find a new way
to drive to work.
Switch chores with
your spouse
next Saturday.
Buy a wok.
Study wildflowers.
Stay up alone all night.
Read to the blind.
Start counting
brown-eyed blondes
or blonds.
Subscribe to an
out-of-town paper.
Canoe at midnight.
Don’t write to your
take a whole scout
troop to see him.
Learn to speak
Teach some kid
the thing you do best.
Listen to two hours of
uninterrupted Mozart.
Take up aerobic dancing.
Leap out of that rut.
Savor life.
Remember, we only
pass this way once.

While all the suggestions are just as useful now as they were 30 plus years ago, here are some activities that may have made the list if United Technologies came out with the ad today:

  • start reading, and writing, a blog
  • take an online class
  • open a Twitter account, and start tweeting
  • use the Shuffle feature on your iPhone when listening to music
  • create, edit, and share a video on YouTube
  • use Duck Duck Go as your search engine
  • play 18 holes of Tiger Woods golf
  • learn to program in Java
  • skip work and  watch a movie using Netflix
  • go vegan for 30 days

After all, #YOLO.

4 thoughts on “Get Out of That Rut

  1. Moving to London is definitely getting out of your rut!

    Hidden Brain had a great podcast on this topic … considering you’re in London, you’ll probably be interested … excerpt:

    “HARFORD: Yes. So in the case of commuters, there was a transport strike in London a couple years ago – Shut down not all but most of the London underground stations for 48 hours. So not a long strike. But most commuters in London use public transport. It’s not really set up for the car. But you could travel on the bus. There are over-ground trains where you could use some of the tube lines that were not shut down. They have various other options. And the economists who studied this got hold of the data as to the trips that people were making. They identified people who took the same route to work every single day. Well, there’s a technical term for this, it’s called commuters.


    HARFORD: You would think that these are the people who have absolutely perfected their route to work. Surely, commuters – they know every step. They know, you know, where to stand on the platform, which track. And yet the economists found, looking at the people who took the same route to work every day, who then changed their route during the strike – thousands of them, about 5 percent, thousands upon thousands – stayed with the new route. So these are people – this is the optimum population for having honed their route to perfection. And yet, 1 in 20 of them discovered that when they were forced to find a new way, they found a better way.”

    Full transcript here:


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