If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, how can you expect different results?
The first time I heard that line was during a conference call with a group of salespeople. As far as I knew, it came from Doug, the man who was running the call. Later, I read a variation of it somewhere online: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. I then realized the words weren’t from Doug. Since then I’ve seen variations of it more times than I can count. It’s been attributed to Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin and many others.
The line is referred to and repeated so often because it’s one of those statements that makes you stop and think: “That’s right! If I want to see some change in (fill in the blank) aspect of my life that I’m not happy with, then I can’t just sit around and wait for that change to show up. I’m going to have to BE the change!”
The Positives and Negatives
Like so many things in life, there’s a positive side and a negative side. For instance, brushing your teeth. Most people brush their teeth at least twice a day expecting to maintain healthy teeth, and for the most part it works. However, some people don’t bother brushing their teeth regularly and are surprised every time they go to the dentist to hear the sound of the drill.
Tooth brushing might seem like a simplistic metaphor to use to illustrate a life lesson, but some things are just that simple. If you’re consistently getting the results you’re looking for, then keep doing what you’re doing. Go further and fine-tune your endeavors, figure out exactly what’s bringing in those positive results, intensify that and KEEP DOING IT. However, if nothing is happening and you’re doing what you’ve always been doing hoping that things will change, then you better think twice because you’re going to be in for a long wait.
Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life
Oftentimes we hope or wish things were different. We might go so far as to think positive thoughts and visualize a different life for ourselves. But hoping, wishing and visualizing isn’t going to make one speck of difference if you don’t get down to the basics. If you continue to not brush your teeth, no matter how much you visualize the dentist not picking up his or her drill, nothing is going to change.
Look at an aspect of your life that’s not unfolding to your satisfaction. You might believe you’re doing your best, unflagging in your persistence and that might very well be true. But sometimes it’s not a matter of how hard you work. Sometimes it’s a matter of completely rethinking your approach and changing it up. Walk, ride a bike, drive, parasail, skip, give yourself permission to take the road you’ve never taken and see where it leads. Ask people who’ve succeeded at what you’re trying to accomplish and incorporate their advice. You may not get to where you want to go right away, but at least you’ll be getting somewhere different and with enough persistence you’ll get yourself pointed in the right direction.
If you’re happy with the way things are going then keep on doing what you’re doing. If you’re not happy, then it’s time to change things up!