I think I may be going insane.
Just this other day I was doing some work on my computer and I came to the realization that over the last few weeks, I have been going slightly insane.
Albert Einstein once defined insanity as “doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result”.
In this situation, I was trying to add new content to a certain section of the website, for the fourth day in a row.
For the fourth day in a row, I wasn’t really getting anywhere.
I couldn’t quite decide the approach that I wanted to take in writing this content and nothing was really happening.
The odd words were making on to the screen but, really, my progress was non-existent.
I realized this was insane.
I was doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.
So to funk it up a little bit to change things around and to hopefully get a result, I decided to shift to another way that I use sometimes of writing and delivering content, which is recording it on an audio app on my Kindle.
This article you are reading now was written as I’m driving back from dropping my son, Oli, at school over near Bakewell.
The downside of now living 45 minutes away from my son’s school is I have to do a lot more driving than I did before.
The upside, this extra time can be used to do things like this – record and use audio content which I will then get transcribed by one of our outsourcers in oDesk.com.
Or listening to audiobooks and learning something new.
Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is something that we all do from time to time.
It’s an old habit I just slipped back into countless times over the years.
It’s something we regularly see from the new members as they come and join us at RISE.
Knowing this though does help us break that cycle before we waste too much time on it.
So if there’s an area of your life, where you are repeatedly trying to do the same thing that hasn’t worked for you before, recognizing this and remembering that it didn’t work for you in the past, will hopefully inspire you to try new ways of doing whatever it may be.
So if you are struggling to write something for work, maybe try as I do, to record on an audio app and get someone to transcribe it for you.
If you are struggling to stop eating the cakes and biscuits as they’re passed around at work, try something new, whether that would be move your desk or bring something new in to replace the cakes and biscuits, time your toilet break or your fresh air break for the time when that happens.
If just trying to resist the cakes and biscuits hasn’t worked for you in the past… it probably won’t work for you this time.
Another little technique that I have used with clients in the past is to set reminders for appropriate times to either do or not do certain things.
One of my former one-to-one clients when I was at DW Sports Fitness, had, for 30 years, at 11 o’clock taken a biscuit and some cake from a snack trolleys that came around at work.
For 30 years, she tried harder and again not to do this.
We made one little change, which was to set up an automatic text reminder to go to her phone at 10 minutes to 11 saying, “Hi Janet! Just a quick reminder that you’ve told me that you don’t want to eat these snacks and cakes that come around in 10 minutes time, and that you know that long term doing this makes you really unhappy.”
Trying that different approach worked instantly.
Janet fed back to me the next time I saw her and every time thereafter.
That different approach had made enough of a change that she was able to resist that temptation.
If you have tried other eating or exercise options in the past and they haven’t worked for you, chances are they are not going to work for you again for whatever reason.
It doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you, just you and the method you’ve used aren’t a good fit for some reason.
So if you tried joining the gym every January for the last several years and has never quite worked out.
If you keep going to a slimming club, get some of a degree of the results, going backward and then rejoining and getting a degree of the results and then going backwards and then re-joining and so on – then maybe it’s time that you tried something new.
There are very few right or wrong answers in life.
For everything that you desire, there are lots of different options.
Try the different options and find something that’s a good fit for you.
But remember, insanity is trying the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result.
If you haven’t tried the RISE option yet, then we have the free briefing meeting for the next ’28 Day Body Transformations coming up at the end of the month.
It’s a no pressure, no salesy stuff, friendly chat over a coffee – your chance to find out more and decide if we’re a good fit for each other.
You can apply for a place here.
Jon “Feeling less insane now” Hall