Reassessing A Very Famous Quote

Mike Coval
January 7, 2021

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results" - Albert Einstein

Or it could be genius and not insanity at all.

Hear me out.

What about the person who commits to losing 30 lbs and then as a part of that commitment, they promise themselves that for at least 20 minutes each day they will break a sweat from some form of physical activity?

They dial-in.  

Each day for two months straight they stay solid with their commitment.

Two months in and they're down 12 lbs.  However, for the next 3 weeks, the scale doesn't budge.  Despite no change, they continue to push through and fulfill their commitment.

In the 4th week, they manage to drop 3 lbs, but then again, the scale stalls.

Nonetheless, they remain committed to breaking a sweat daily for at least 20 minutes. 

6 months later, they've reached their 30 lb weight loss goal!

Let's leave alone all of the other positive benefits that they have achieved. other Let's focus solely on the 30 lb weight loss goal. 

Let's go back into month 3 when the scale wasn't budging.

What if they panicked?  What if they said "this isn't working anymore" and they abandoned the behaviors that helped them shed the initial 12 lbs?

Maybe they would have decided, "okay, I'm not doing enough.  I need to do more!"  Maybe they change 20 minutes to 40 minutes, and then for a week and a half they remain committed to it, and then life happens.  They start missing sessions.  They start believing that if they can't get the 40 minutes in, then there's no point anymore because clearly 20 minutes wasn't working (although it was).  One missed session leads to another missed and then soon enough, this person is missing multiple sessions per week.  The scale is actually going in the opposite direction now.

Doing the things that you know you should be doing to get on the right track is HARD.  Doing them over and over and over again is even harder.  Especially when whatever you're using for metrics of progress aren't trending in the direction that you would like.  But, eventually, if you continue to put in the right kind of work, the results will show.  It just takes consistency over time.

In my opinion, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results = the process.

 I'm not so dense that I don't know the kind of person that Einstein might have been referring to when he made that statement regarding insanity, but hopefully, this gives you a different perspective on the quote.

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Mike Coval

Coval Fitness is a Personal Training Studio and Gym in Ann Arbor, Michigan

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