“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
This has been called the operational definition of insanity. I honestly do not know who first said those words; they have been attributed to many famous people. But, to me, the point in that is that so many people see the Truth in these words, they co-opted them to themselves. So, if doing what you’ve always done and expecting something different is the operational definition of insanity, how can I use that to help me in my daily life? Well, for one thing, you can use it to identify the areas where you may well be insane.
Let’s look to our relationships first. If we keep having difficulty in our relationships, we should look for patterns: not in others, but in ourselves. Do we keep making the same kind of friends, or dating the same kind of people? Do we keep treating people the same way? Do we have a habit of abusing people, mistrusting them, taking advantage of them or not being there for them when they need us? And when things get rough, how do we handle it? Is there a pattern there? An honest revue of how we treat others and handle the problems that come up in our relationships might show us where our interpersonal insanity lies.
Then there is the issue of money. While it is not always in our power to be “well off,” it is certainly in our power not to be in poverty – especially in this nation, at this time in history. So, this is another area where it might serve us to look for repeating patterns. Do we work hard would be the first question, or do we look to work as little as possible? Those who work harder make more, and making more is the first step out of poverty. Next, what do we do with the money we have? Do we save it, or better yet, do we invest it for the future, putting our money to work for us? Or do we spend it on something we “have to have?” And do you later find that you didn’t really need that “latest and greatest,” and that you could have used the money for something you did need? The truth about money is that many people who consider themselves to be ‘poor’ have a hand in their situation. If they would look for the patterns in how they handle money, they might be able to identify the areas they need to change to help improve their financial situation.
Now, let’s look to politics. What sort of patterns can we find in our political beliefs that may indicate insanity? If we keep voting for the people our Party puts forward, and they keep letting you down, then you might need to consider voting differently. But what if we keep voting for people that do exactly what they say they are going to do, but nothing gets better? Could that indicate insanity?
Sticking with the same ideas – doubling down, if you will – is the essence of what the quote in the sub title of this post is all about, and nowhere do we do this more than in these three areas of our lives: people, money and politics. Now, it may just be me, but I suspect that, if we are honest with ourselves, we will find many such patterns in our lives: patterns of failure where, rather than changing the way we do things, we just keep trying to do it the same way we always have and we keep being disappointed when we keep getting what we’ve always got. Maybe it’s time we try to stop that insanity in our lives and see if things don’t get better?