Insanity Is Stopping After One Go

[3 Minute Read]Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, but if you're putting a new idea to the test, then repetition is your friend.

Discover more about your bold mind every Monday

Insanity is Stopping After One Go

Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, but if you’re putting a new idea to the test, then repetition is your friend.

Einstein hoodwinked you and me!

I just cracked open a corner of Google that I wish didn’t exist, and now the words “Quantum Insanity” dominate my computer screen. This place is scarier than the dark web, and it’s giving me the jitters.

Ten minutes ago, I was high-fiving myself. I had finished this week’s blog post a day early, and I’d reached the end of my 90-Day planning period. This week’s post was a thoughtful reflection on the journey of the last few months. Note that I said, “it was”.

With the body of the post written, I started working on the introduction. My brain searched for an opening one-liner. Desperate for answers, my fingers typed a cliché that experts often trot out when reflecting on the power of reflection.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

— ALBERT EINSTEIN

I clicked into Google to fact-check the quote and tripped down a rabbit hole.

People with brains bigger than mine argue that Einstein is incorrect. They say the same action will always produce different results. Furthermore, there’s nothing insane about expecting that to happen. The complex forces of nature cause infinite variations in outcome.

After reading their rationale, it seems they are correct for all practical purposes.

PHOTO: Our occasionally-working dog Lucy considers herself an expert on human behaviour.

The same action will always produce different results

My eyes glossed over the quantum particle references as I read their arguments. But there was one example I could understand. Pick up a handful of dice and roll them, and you’ll get a different fall and result from every roll. Same action, different result. 100% normal, no madness.

Once my mind was on that track, there was no turning back. I’ve seen the principle play out with business owners who make the same mistakes. Some people will get fantastic outcomes from repeating those mistakes, while others fail. They do the same action but have different luck in the results.

So, you can see why my brain is overheating, and I have the urgent desire to dive under a pillow. Einstein got it wrong.

Let me write down the correct version of the statement for you. It will make the truth more straightforward.

It is normal to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.

— KIRRILY DEAR

When written that way, it explains a lot. Getting different results from the same action is why we have scientific methods. After repeating the same action many times, we know the results will form cohorts. That’s when we can start seeing trends. Those trends enable us to make educated guesses on the nature of future results.

There is a critical lesson that you and I must draw from this. When trying something new, we must do it often because the first result will not be the future result. We must continue the same action until a noticeable trend appears.

The first result will not be the future result

Too often, I see bold folks roll their dice a few times and then stop.

They’ll send two or three email newsletters, do a few posts on social media or make a handful of phone calls. Based on that small amount of data, they conclude that their action doesn’t work. They then change tactics and guess something else that might work. The principle of knee-jerk redirection is what Einstein described.

The lack of result data means the next step can only ever be a wild guess. Of course, you can draw on other people’s results and best practices, so your guess feels safer. However, it will still be a wild guess without the results from testing within your context and goal.

I used to be good at knee-jerk redirection, but now I’m learning the power of consistency. I’ll write 100 of these blog posts before assessing their relevance and value. I execute plans for 90 days before reviewing my progress. I make fine adjustments on the hop, but they are a fraction of the total picture.

The definition of insanity is trying once or twice, getting an unexpected result, and then guessing what to do next. I’ve got enough reasons to lose my marbles with this project, so I’ll let scientific technique guide my decisions. I’ll test and test and then test more.

Discover more about your bold mind every Monday

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