Albert Einstein is quoted as saying:
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Whether or not he said it is immaterial because the truth of the statement is self apparent.
In order to fix a problem, we have to elevate our mindset to a level higher than that which created it. In other words, we must evolve.
Now, this truth is applicable in nearly every facet of our lives: from becoming healthy to healing a depressed mind…even all the way to fixing a calculation error on a report.
The problem is that even though we know we must elevate our mindset to correct an issue we often don’t know how to do it. So we stay in that mindset, repeating old errors.
Einstein is also quoted as having said:
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.
And our world, and by extension, our lives, in some sense, are nothing if not insane. Don’t take that personally, I don’t necessarily mean it in the clinical sense.
If we take Einstein’s meaning then everyday we go about a habit hoping that we’ll feel differently about it is insane.
Going to a job you don’t love yet hoping you’ll suddenly love it – insane.
Dealing with an chemical addiction you won’t fix – insane.
Lifting the same 10 lb weights everyday hoping to see bigger gains – insane.
In order to get out of those ruts we have to evolve our thinking. We have to change our minds which takes a great deal of courage. See “The Stories We Tell.”
A lot of my blog posts have ultimately been about habits/addictions. We are creatures of routine after all, and our habits are nothing if not comforting.
But our habits were created by a certain level of thought and the only way to break those habits, especially the ones that are destructive, is to elevate our thinking. We break habitual behavior by breaking habitual thought/emotion.
This blog is becoming entirely too self referential. See “Chasing Happy.”
One of the best ways to break old habits is to create new, healthier habits – but that can ultimately set us up into yet another, albeit healthier, routine.
Meditation is another excellent way to break old habits because it can put you face to face with why you have the bad habits you have in the first place.
But if we do nothing, and many times we don’t, we’re stuck reliving the same day, same week, same year over and over and that’s insanity.
So, evolve or repeat, what does that mean?
It means we’re either playing the game of life and leveling up or hanging out at level 1 dodging goombas. It means that we’re setting goals and working toward achieving them rather that taking no initiative. It means we’re being the responsible co-creators of our lives rather than sitting back waiting for it all to fall into our laps. Or worse, it means we’ve become lazy and content living the same re-run life.
Changing our lives takes courage because it brings us into the unknown, and even though our routines are comforting, they’re only comfort to us because we know what to expect. You don’t fear what you know. It’s the unknown that can be terrifying.
We’re what stands between ourselves and our dreams. We’re what stands between ourselves and our joy, our peace. We’re what stands between ourselves and our health. We’re the mountain we have to climb.
So, put on your climbing shoes and start climbing. Take a chance on yourself and change your mind. You might end up changing your life.
Evolve or Repeat.
Om, Baby. Om!
This essay was originally publishes at thetaylormadefit