‘Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’
One of my university friends once used the above quote to justify giving up on revision for an impending exam he just could not wrap his head around (the joys of studying Physics).
Whilst at the time everyone just thought that it was very witty and clever, I keep thinking about this quote whenever something is not working.
It can range from when I am covering new library books at work and trying to minimise the amount of horrible bubbles the plastic leaves on the cover, to how I can actually get offered a job after an interview rather than being told they thought you were very nice and polite, BUT…
I have always had this phrase running around in the back of my mind, but I am now only just realising how wise and applicable to almost anything it is. That Einstein was a smart one! We should check out whether he has done anything else exceedingly clever.
A lot of situations do not improve unless some effort is put in to actually make a change. Maybe if I changed my book covering method slightly it would look less like a child had done it. Maybe I should apply for different kinds of jobs, or maybe going travelling or doing a course or working abroad might make me more employable. Maybe I need to change my interview technique.
I find it very difficult when I feel like I have tried everything to achieve something and it just doesn’t happen. But sometimes I just have to remind myself that, well, I have not tried everything. I have just worked out what needs improving and what does not work. I just reminded myself of another phrase from another clever guy.
‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’
Thomas A. Edison
It can be difficult to work out what actually is not working and what is due to other factors like the person interviewing you being in a bad mood or the book you are covering in plastic being made of a ridiculous material. I suppose that’s the hard bit, working out what doesn’t work and then working out how to change things so you get a different results.
It is not necessarily bad if things don’t work. Sometimes things that don’t work can be fun, even if not all that sustainable or sensible. Life could be full of things that don’t work exactly like I want them to. I suppose the key is to try and enjoy them anyway and learn as much as I can for the future.
‘I write one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.’