It’s Not The Definition Of Insanity But It’s Still Pretty Crazy

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The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The Definition Of Insanity – Not So Much

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

This quote must be true because it was said by someone super-smart.

Einstein, right? Benjamin Franklin? Um, Mark Twain?

No, no, and nuh-uh.

Oh okay. Then doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results must be a definition in the American Psychiatric Association‘s classification system?

Nope.

It’s neither a super-smart person’s inspirational quote nor a psychological definition. (Apparently it was first used in print by Narcotics Anonymous. Huh.)

You know what it is though?

Ineffective. Dumb. Cray-cray.

A Poor Strategy For Being Happy

Worst of all, doing the same thing time after time and expecting that it will turn out differently this time is a poor strategy for being happy.

For example, here are some excellent ways to make yourself miserable:

  • Trying to get someone to change by using the same old arguments you’ve used for years
  • Wondering why you can’t keep weight off when you’ve made no long-term changes to your diet or exercise
  • Being desperate to get out of debt but spending and (not) saving the same amount of money
  • Complaining about your crappy job while not upgrading your skills or altering the way you act at work
  • Feeling overwhelmed or unproductive yet not looking for ways to improve your time-management habits.

If you’re stuck in a pattern that’s not getting you what you want, then it’s time to change the pattern. Which means changing the only part of the situation you have control over – you.

New Input, New Output

Do something different. Change your behavior. Try a new approach.

When you act differently, other people have something new to react to. Situations adjust. Things change.

The result may not be the perfect outcome that solves all your problems. But it will be something different, offering new information that you can use to tweak your actions.

What you won’t get is the same result.

And, if you keep adjusting your behavior as you learn more, you’ll keep getting closer to the goal you want.

Which is pretty smart and effective. And sane.

Time To Do Something Different?

Is there an area of your life where you’d like different results?

What will you do differently?

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