Autopilot Zombie Land?

Autopilot is awesome, but what is the cost of flipping the switch?

When was the last time you walked to your car, after the sun was down, unlocked the door, sat down in the driver’s seat, inserted the key into the ignition, started your car…and turned on the lights?  Turned on the lights?

It has been many years since I started my car at night and the lights didn’t come on.  Of course, I’ve had cars which didn’t have the automatic lights, but it’s been a while.

What about appointments?  I was without a smart phone for a few months, in early 2011 (it’s sad that I remember exactly when it was) I actually had to remember appointments because I didn’t have a phone to remind me to do something.

Have you ever been driving to the office, of course the same way you always do, and a tree has fallen across the road.  Due to the tree, traffic is being detoured.  You immediately panic, because you have to actually engage your brain in determining how to get to the office.  You are driving a 2,000 lbs. vehicle and are not thinking about where you are going…SCARY stuff.  We are all guilty of this, but if we are doing this as drivers, imagine how mindless we can be while walking or sitting.

Does this happen when you get home from work?  Is your family getting zombie parent and husband/wife?

While on autopilot, what are you missing?

Are you on autopilot as it relates to how you interact with your team?  What about how you respond to someone saying “Thank You”?  What are you doing to say “Thank You” to others?  Is it always the same?

We often walk around like zombies through the office, and find ourselves doing the same things day in and day out.  When you engage autopilot, you disengage your brain.

Please comment:  What have you noticed you do on “autopilot”?  How can you work to change it?


  1. I had to read this. And it was very profound to me. As a mother of 4 with a full-time demanding career, I know so many relate. Things I do in Autopilot Zombie Mode: drive, pretend to listen to all 4 kids at once(I know it’s bad), scroll through Facebook posts, morning routine, bed-time routine, conference calls Monday morning, come to think of it most things in life can become mundane.
    Great article. I feel challenged to engage in the things that I do more whole-heartedly so that I can enjoy everything in life and appreciate the small things.

    • DaveBratcher says:

      Thanks for sharing Jessica. This is something we all struggle with, but hopefully we can get better at recognizing it. Good luck.

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