Dummy Mode aka Mental Autopilot

“It’s a no-brainer; I take photos all of the time for my blog and Insta.” I thought to myself.

I quickly learned that simple point and shoot photos via my smartphone would not make the printer cut for my book. Oui mes amies, I’m m writing a book.

A few weeks ago, in my Instagram stories, I shared avec mes amies that I’ve elected to take a majority of the photos for my book. Before making this decision I had no clue how intense this “becoming” a photographer would be.

After the most expensive none designer item I’ve ever purchased arrived (my new camera), I enrolled in a photography course.

“Don’t be tempted to use the auto setting on your camera or the dummy mode (dm) as I call it.”

Suggested my instructor.

His statement prompted me to think just how often we keep ourselves inadvertently on autopilot, i.e., “dummy mode.”

You don’t have to enroll in a course or climb mount Everest to defeat “dummy mode.”

Here are free petit things that I shared avec mes amies on Instagram that you can start instantly to combat “dummy-mode”:


Eat or brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand once a day. You’ll be surprised just how much brainpower is used when you try to do mundane tasks with your less dominant hand.

If you’re feeling trés, trés adventurous, write the lyrics of your favorite song with your less dominant hand. If you post a photo of your writing to Instagram (or email me a picture) and tag me, I’ll be sure to repost you.


If you’re able to go for a walk or take a drive, try using an alternative route. Seeing new sites will prompt you to be fully engaged.

As scary as it sounds, there have been times that I have arrived at my destination, only to realize that I don’t remember actually getting there.

Driving the same roads every day leads to comfort, which can eventually make you think you can multitask. All too often, I see commuters on their phones or applying makeup while driving because they “know the road.”

Be safe while on autopilot or “dummy mode” don’t be the person who is texting and walks into a pole or the street.

You don’t need a passport to explore. Simply turn left instead of your normal right turn.


Grab a pen and pad and write down every telephone number you (think you) remember—no peeking at your phone.

Is it sad that sometimes I don’t remember my mobile number? Smartphones have indeed turned us into iDummies. We have the world at our fingertips, but we don’t retain a fraction of the information we obtain. When I was une petite fille, I remembered at least dix telephone numbers; now, well, you read the first sentence of this paragraph.


Change the language settings on your cellphone or TV. Mes amies, trying to figure out features in another language will leave you très, très intrigue, or ready to throw your phone across the room.

Speaking of languages have you downloaded a language app?

Take a break from scrolling on social media and use cinq minutes a day to test/build your language skills. A real test is learning your native tongue. You’d be amazed at just how little you know about your primary language.

If you doubt this lack of knowledge, I’m almost sure that your learning skills have been tested if you have a child at home virtual learning.

On more occasions than one, #jujuthecamerakid questioned did I really go to University.

Le sigh.

In my defense, we did math differently when I was une petite fille.      


Prepare your favorite meal from scratch. It doesn’t matter how simple you think your favorite it, because more than likely, it’s not.

Example: Pasta.

Don’t reach in the pantry for a box; make pasta from scratch. And just when you think you’re done, and you’re ready for sauce, think again, no reaching in the cabinet.

Grab a few tomatoes and get to saucing.

Until this day, my favorite salad dressing is a simple oil and vinegar mix that I whisk with nothing more than a fork and bowl.

Grilled cheese, you say? Try making your bread, oui mes amies from scratch.

I hope that these few tips assist mes amies avec transitioning from “dummy mode.”

Have you made a seemingly simple meal from scratch? Do you use a language app?

In the comments share your anti-dummy mode tips avec mes amies.

Ciao for now 💋


  1. J. Simmons

    Such a great point. When I moved to a new city in 2019, I made sure to learn how to get home from three main ways. It forced me to understand the section of the city I lived in. I’m going to add the non-dominant hand. My handwriting isn’t as good as it use to be because I type all my notes & communications. Also, I’m learning Spanish and refreshing my German using Duolingo. It’s been a fun experiment, and I’m over 200+ days learning on the app. As for the cooking, I consider following a recipe as cooking from scratch. I’m more of an eater than cook so this is already stretching my skills and expanding my brain cells.

    • I had to force myself to find alternative routes home, I am the autopilot QUEEN! And felicitations ma amour, you have a language streak going, I’m on day 304, I’m determined to makes 365. I used to be the chef but The Husband has taken over and I LOVE IT!

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