Waking Up From Default Mode

Too much of our life is spent living on autopilot. Here, I share some of my own experience and invite you to wake up from your slumber and become conscious again.



I’m in a talk about waking up from, “default mode.” Let me first describe what that is. Default mode is that part of your life that I think you recognize pretty quickly as a huge part of your life where you have stopped thinking. You are living on automatic or autopilot and have not taken the time to analyze, maybe for years, whether this really works for you.

Let me give you an example.

There was a time that I lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania and commuted to New York 90 miles away. Every morning, I would get up to be on a 6 AM bus that would deliver all of us to Port Authority a little bit after 8:00 AM. I would walk to my office; do my job. Turn around and commute two hours back to Pennsylvania. I walked in my home tired, as you imagine. I went from waking up at more normal hours to doing this. Yes, I made a choice to move there. Financially it was a great decision because we sold our home on Long Island at the top of the real estate market and bought a place therefore much much less and I was willing to pay that price.

No some would be driven to school by my wife or as part of a carpool. It was a half-hour  to school and 1/2 hour back. After a while you stop thinking about it; I would keep going to my office and do the same things day after day in the same way and I stop thinking about it. I would respond to phone calls and emails, call people back who left voicemail, I would write ads for positions I was advertising, prepare candidates for interviews, tweak resumes … All the same stuff, day in and day out but not really thinking about whether or not I like doing it.

As a job hunter, it can also show up in your search whether somebody tasks that you get involved with where you don’t even think about whether you doing them well. There is a head of steam that starts to build up and never stop they ask yourself whether you could be better than this or continue to fumble around and be hired by accident by a firm. I say by accident because you strong a few sentences together well enough in an interview and someone was going to give you a shot. Had you prepared better, had you actually thought about how to answer certain questions in advance, it could’ve been a great performance but that’s not can happen.

I want to wake you up to the fact that there is a lot in the day that you can deconstruct and break down and say, “what can I do differently?” You can with his firm. Do this better? Do I even want to do this?

I was talking to someone I coach unrelated to job search and he is a manager and wants to get better and move into an executive position with his firm. I start to listen to him and he just has too much to do. Why? Because he refuses to delegate. So now he is taken some first steps toward delegating to people and now there’s more that has to come off his plate and he has to start coaching people. There’s a lot that he can do to motivate people but is out there doing way too much. And it’s at the point where he knows he can’t do it the old way much longer.

So I want to wake you up to deconstructing your day and deconstructing her life. Is this really working for you? Do you like doing what you doing? Are you happy doing it? Does it give you a certain amount of pleasure or is this just habit that has been compounded over years we are one day you’re going to wake up and say to yourself, “Is this all there is?”



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been coaching people to play their professional and personal games BIG for what seems like 100 years.

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