Monday, 27 May 2013

The Definition of Insanity

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting a different result.” This quote has been attributed to quite a few people, including Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, and Mark Twain. I’ve researched it now, and it seems it has been repeated, in some form or another, by so many people, so often, that it’s now considered all too hard to categorically state who said (or wrote) it first.

But that’s beside the point. I like what it says. I don’t mean in the proper, clinical definition of insanity. I’ve read a few articles by mental health professionals, and they seem to HATE this saying!!! Maybe they are thinking that it can discourage people from trying to form good habits (remember I talked about habits once?), and a cop-out when things get tough.
Anyway, what I mean is how I think it can apply to what we do in our everyday lives. Something has to change if I want to get a different result. That change could be big or small, maybe simply in how I think (did I say “simply”?).

My preferred place to exercise - outside.
Not going to happen in Bathurst in winter!!
Over the years, I’ve joined many gyms. So many times I joined up, thinking I would suddenly acquire the discipline needed to trot off there every day or so to get my required dose of exercise. Each time, I knew that this time it would result in me losing the weight I needed to lose, becoming more toned, increasing my fitness so I could be better at hockey, and above all, being one of those cool people!
Of course that didn’t happen. I think the longest I ever stayed a member of a gym was 2 years. And the longest I ever kept going to the gym was about 18 months – yep, I kept paying for membership of one gym for 6 months after I stopped going! I think the average time I was a member of a gym was less than a year. The shortest was 2 months.

Hmmmm - what can I say? This guy
probably does go to the gym!
Why did I keep on joining gyms? Why couldn’t I keep on using them? And why have I started going to the gym here in Bathurst? Am I insane!!!? Maybe.
I do realise that if I approach the gym the same way this time as I have in the past, I will get the same result. And yes, I’m insane if I think it will be any different. But this time, I’ve acknowledged that my past experience is to NOT persevere, and something has to be different this time if I want to get a different result.

So, this time, I haven’t actually joined the gym. It just happens to be where I go to attend my exercise class. That means that if I don’t go, it doesn’t cost me anything (that could be a bad thing). This time, the class I’ve chosen is made up of people who are there also for the social aspect as well as the physical. That means I feel involved in the class, that I’m noticed, and not just a shadow in the corner. This time, I’m realistic about what I want to get out of the gym. That way, I won’t be disappointed when I don’t become one of those cool people – that’s never going to happen!
This time, am I insane?

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