#197: Insanity Thinking
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
There is nothing that is a more certain sign of insanity than to do the same thing over and over and expect the results to be different." Albert Einstein
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Have you noticed how innovative young children are? A simple cardboard box becomes an invincible fortress. A sawed-off broom handle turns into a magic sword. A towel tied around the neck and spread over the shoulders allows a child to fly, even if only in his or her imagination.
But then the child becomes an adult and is afraid of being embarrassed by such innovative thinking. Except for companies that thrive on new ideas such as computer and cellphone firms, many businesses and, consequently, their employees, are stifled and taught overtly and subtly that being different is frowned upon.
We are trained to obey rules. At home, at school at work and in society in general. Often this is good, such as with laws and rules of the road.
However, doing things as they have always been done simply for the sake of continuing the status quo is stifling, restrictive and boring.
What's wrong with eating a sandwich or spaghetti for breakfast or cereal for lunch?
What's wrong with doing our circuit training in the gym in a different rotation than usual?
Nothing, except for our fear of not doing things the "right" way.
Who's to say, though, what the right way is?
Take the simple game of tic-tac-toe. Winning often seems impossible. But winning at this game is easy if you use innovative strategies such a "wild-card" where you can use your opponent's symbol to create your three-in-a-row winning pattern. So what if you have two "X"s and a "O"? Who says the game can't be played that way?
Many people play Monopoly by putting fines in the center of the board and paying it out to whomever lands on Free Parking. But, that's breaking the rules, isn't it? Makes the game more fun, though.
So, when it comes to eating and exercise and life, think like a child and don't be afraid of breaking the "rules."
Often, it's good to be innovative.