Insanity: Doing the same thing over and
over again and expecting different results.
I often tell people that you cannot make a mistake
in living your own life. It’s just not possible.
You make the best decisions and choices you can
at any given moment in time, and then you live out,
through experience, the consequences…and see if
you would do the same thing again. Or not.
This is the basis for living, learning, and growing.
Doing the same thing over and over again, without
learning from the consequences, is not learning.
It’s Einstein’s humorous definition of insanity.
What Do You Know?
Knowing something about the choice
you are about to make should make
it a more informed choice or decision.
Having information from sources that you
trust can also make a huge difference.
And knowing what generally is right and
healthy for you, from experience, can be
one of the most important guides you have.
What Do They Know?
Growing up, I had a keen interest in
experimenting…however, that’s where the
comparison with Einstein sadly must end.
Specifically, I was interested in putting
to the test whatever it was that people had
told me that I should just “trust them” about.
I don’t think I ever “just trusted” what someone
told me…I had to learn if what they were
telling me was true from my own experience.
I feel now for my parents, who helped me to
pick up the pieces of some of my “experiments.”
Are Ginsu Knives Really Sharp?
If you’re not old enough to remember the TV
ads for Ginsu knives, they were among the first
infomercials on television. The voiceover guy
said that they could “cut through a nail, tin can,
radiator hose, and still cut a tomato paper thin.”
As a very young kid, I was highly skeptical about
these miracle Ginsu knives. I didn’t trust TV
advertising of any kind, having been burned when
toys I got didn’t live up to the exciting promises
made and seen on TV (thanks a lot, Sea Monkeys!)
And my parents had told me forever that I
couldn’t buy or order stuff I saw on TV,
because, in their words, “that stuff never works.”
Putting It To the Test
So, I was pretty surprised when I found that
my Mom had actually ordered a set of these
Ginsu knives, and they arrived in the mail.
Why would she buy something that wouldn’t
work? Was it really as sharp as the ads said?
Inquiring minds wanted to know.
I bet you’re thinking that I went and got a
nail, a tin can, a radiator hose, and a tomato.
I wish I had been that smart. But not trusting
anyone but my own self to see if these knives
were really sharp, I decided to test it out on
my finger I kind of expected them to be
pretty dull, but I was wrong. And this is how I
learned for certain that Ginsu knives really are sharp!
My 12-Year-Old Knows This…
What kid wouldn’t know that knives are sharp?
My own daughter is a bit ahead of me in the
ability to discern potential realities and knowing
whom to trust about certain things. She doesn’t
have this need to constantly test and prove
to herself whether what people she trusts say
is true. She observes carefully, she learns from
others’ experiences, as well as from making her
Learning the Hard Way is Still Learning
But that was not my way. My way was and, to
a certain extent, I fear may always be to test
and “see for myself.” But I’m not hopeless.
I have learned over decades that it does actually
pay to use common sense, and not everything has
to be tested by me personally. I have learned
that it’s okay to trust that some people really do
know what they’re talking about. I have learned
the difference between unhealthy mistrust and
healthy mistrust, unhealthy trust and healthy trust.
Let’s Hear It for the Skeptics!
I will always love those who are skeptical…who need
to have things proven to them. And any and everything
that I will ever ask a client to do or try I always say
they need to decide for themselves, at their own pace,
what is right and healthy for them…and make the
technique or tool prove it’s usefulness to them…
don’t “just trust” me. Figure out for yourself whether
meditation, journalling, cognitive therapy, and
affirmations are really effective.
Sometimes it’s good to learn the sharp way! 🙂