Insanity. Insanity. Insanity. Insanity.
I can type the letters I-N-S-A-N-I-T-Y in that exact order as many times as I want to, hoping each time that a new word will emerge, but the result will always be the same word: Insanity.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting a different result. So, allow me to ask a question — you can choose if it will be a rhetorical one.
Are you insane?
Perhaps I should rephrase and redirect the question: Am I insane?
To answer the question, let me propose a hypothetical situation. Imagine I’m following a road. La dee da, there I go, ambling along the road before me. Suddenly, as I’m walking, I run into a huge brick wall that just happens to be blocking the entire road in front of me.
I persistently continue walking, but each time, I walk into this brick wall. Again and again, I try to keep walking on this road. Again and again, I run into that wall.
If you saw me attempt this feat, I hope you’d say something like, “You know, I don’t think that’s the best road to follow. Maybe you should go around the wall or take a different road.” But you’d probably snicker and be more like, Okay, this girl has some issues.
Yes, I’m being slightly facetious since I doubt the majority of us will ever actually encounter a scenario like this.
But what about those of us who keep facing the same struggles in our lives and keep failing to overcome them? Because if you’re anything like any other human in the world, it’s highly likely that you’re facing — or have faced — some obstacles in your life.
I don’t want to waste my life running into the same roadblocks. But to overcome those roadblocks, that means changing something. And it seems odd, but change often correlates with humility.
Snap. Did I just say that?
Yep, I did.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Perseverance and determination are also essential for change and for overcoming challenges. But I think the first step just might be humility.
If you’ve used Google Maps, Waze or any GPS app, chances are you’ve heard the word, “Recalculating.”
There are an assortment of reasons that could prompt the word. Maybe there’s road construction or an accident along the way. Maybe there’s a mass exodus of drivers to the grocery stores in lieu of an impending winter storm, causing an insane amount of traffic. Maybe you made the wrong turn.
But all of those reasons boil down to the fact that the route you were originally following wasn’t the optimal choice. It wasn’t perfect.
So, you have to adjust. And that can be hard to do because that means maybe, just maybe, you aren’t perfect. And, let’s be honest, who likes admitting that?
But I don’t want to refuse to adjust my path because I’m too proud, afraid, lethargic or stubborn.
At some point then, don’t we need to rethink something? Don’t we need to recalculate and adjust? Don’t we need to admit that something needs to change?
Maybe you’re not content with the progress — or the lack of progress — you’re making. Maybe you wish you were on a different path, but you’re too afraid of change. Maybe you’re just comfortable with the same old routine you’ve been performing for years now. Maybe you think you deserve the bruises that brick wall keeps giving you.
But I challenge you — just like I challenge myself — to look at the road you’re on right now and assess both your progress and the destination you’re pressing toward. Are you getting where you want to be? Or are you stuck in a gif-like loop of walking into the same brick wall?