I think by now we’ve all heard Einstein’s definition of insanity; you know, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If this is the case (and all roads lead to it being so) then I am bat shit crazy.
Sure I could list the many, many, ways that would colorfully illustrate this insanity; tales of arrogance, ignorance, insecurity, fear, and on occasion, good ol’ fashion stupidity.
As funny (and sometimes sad) as these gems are, I’ve put them behind me. I’m changing the record, rewriting my movie’s story, switching out the 8-track (what?). I’ve decided to do things differently.
As someone close to me once asked, after I spent 12 hours in Nicaragua after impulsively accepting a non-paying job working with drug addicted kids in the barrio, and then moving back to my parent’s house, ”How’s this working out for you?”
In the Seinfeld episode, The Opposite, George Constanza begins doing the opposite of what he would normally do. I have to admit that I’ve only seen the first six minutes, so I don’t know how it ends, but it’s really the concept that I’ve taken to heart. I’ve been doing the opposite.
I’ve made crap ass choices and I’ve made some of the best decisions of my life. But when it feels as if you’ve been chasing your tail, because you keep ending up back where you started, time and time again, even I can see that something isn’t working.
It makes sense (at least to me) to take an honest look at possible reasons and explanations. I mean really look; like pick up the friggin’ area rug and sweep that shit out, looking. Look under the bed too. And of course in the mirror.
I’ve pulled geographics, I’ve left jobs when things got too hard and I’ve doubted myself, and let insecurity take control. Even when I’ve identified my impulsive choices, and less than stellar decisions, I carried on, expecting, as Einstein said, that this time would be different. It wasn’t.
Doing things differently isn’t for the feint of heart, especially if you’ve got decades of thinking, reacting and behaving in a certain way. Resisting what comes naturally, or what is habit, is not easy.
Unless of course you like chaos, drama, endless complaining and dissatisfaction, while you continue to wonder why where you are is not where you’d like to be, but just can’t understand why. If this doesn’t bother you, carry on.
I can tell you from personal experience that when you begin to do things differently, doors open, and opportunities reveal themselves. I know now that when I catch myself and there’s is a clear choice between the old and the different, and the idea of the latter scares the holy bejesus out of me, then I know that I’m in the right place.
Besides, what do I have to lose? Insanity will always be available to me.