Most People Are Insane.
Today we’re going to talk a little bit about being insane.
I believe it was Einstein who said:
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again expecting a different result.
Around this time of year, we start thinking both forward and back — the year-end is a time to assess what we did right this year and what we might want to do differently next year. Otherwise known as “New Year’s Resolutions Time.”
Which one is yours? Or maybe you have more than one? Let’s see:
- Lose weight
- Get a better job
- Start a business
We all say that I will strive to do something new, different, and better next year. But, of course, nothing happens. Well, it may happen for a while, but then we all return to our old habits.
You’ve seen gyms in January and then in February, March April. The numbers dwindle because people don’t commit to change. People get tired, lazy, and injured, and they just stop. They go back to what they did before.
It happens all the time. This is part of human life. We’re creatures of inertia. Change is difficult for us.
If you read up on it, there are a lot of good books on the topic. All our habits are stuck in the most ancient part of our brain. They are there for life — we can’t budge them. The only way we can change behaviors is to overwrite that old behavior with new behavior and continuously overwrite that old behavior with a new behavior until that new behavior sticks, which takes a very, very long time.
Some say ninety days, some say months, and others say years. Depends on the behavior.
My wife and I had a resolution a couple of years ago to work out every weekday. We signed up at a local small gym and would go out workout every morning, every weekday for months and months and months. We thought that we were making good progress, getting leaner and leaner. The problem was our goal was to lose weight, not get lean.
We realized that we weren’t making any progress against our true goal (losing weight), and we stopped, and I think that’s what ends up happening to many people. You either don’t progress towards your goal, or you realize that what you are doing is moving towards a different goal than you intended, which may or may not be a good thing.
People don’t fulfill their dreams because what they do is change their lives for a short period, and they see that either nothing changes or the changes are small, and they give up.
The reality is that “small changes occurring over time” is the only way to achieve any goals. Big changes do not happen, or they happen rarely enough to be statistically irrelevant. Overnight successes are black swans; you can’t rely on them.
Everything moves in tiny little increments. The only way to change is to keep moving towards your goals daily, week after week, month after month.
It may be cognitively tiring, but we must constantly battle our brain’s constant tendency to coast. Coasting is the natural human condition. The only difference between high-performing successful people and the average person is that high performers never let themselves coast. They are continually weighing every possible action deciding if the next action that they are about to take will move them towards their goals or away from them.
If you think about it, it’s like they are constantly pivoting. Like in a startup, if what you are doing isn’t working, if the market is not interested in your product or service, you pivot until they are. You keep pivoting and iterating until you get the results you want.
You must do that every day, every moment, on every decision that you make. Every decision needs to go through that filter. Am I wasting time doing X, or will time doing X help me? If X is not going to help you, or worse, be neutral, then you must stop doing X.
The only way to change your behavior is to make a conscious effort and decision to change your behavior, moment by moment.
Once you understand that you must control your life and that you are the only one in control of your life and your business, you can make change happen.