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How to Make a Change to Reach Your Goals – A Simple Analogy

You need to make a change to make things change. Have you ever heard the Albert Einstein quote ““The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”?  Personally, I’ve never heard a truer statement.  But, as with many seemingly obvious observations, it’s one of the most common mistakes people make.

Evaluating Progress for Change

Now don’t get me wrong, some things require discipline and sincere effort in order to achieve the long-term payout.  This may mean that you will have to repeat some things over and over until you’ve perfected them or advanced to the next phase in your plan in order to see a change.  I think in part this is where some people veer off course.

It is sometimes difficult to know when enough is enough or to be willing to admit that something is not working.  The secret is to determine if your continued effort is getting you closer to your goal.  You’ll need to determine if you are making progress, if you are improving the situation, and if the effects of your efforts are more positive than negative.

Analogy #1

Let’s say you’re hanging pictures but the wall already has screw holes in it from previous pictures that were hanging.  You go into the garage and find that you have a small round screw, a medium round screw, and a square peg to work with.  Grab the two screws, the square peg, a hammer, and a screwdriver.  You start with the first hole and decide that the small screw appears to be the right fit so you screw it in and it goes in easily.

We should all know by now if it seems too good to be true it usually is.  You hang the picture from the screw and start to walk away just as the picture frame falls to the floor and the glass shatters.  Would you continue to hang the rest of the pictures with the same size screw in the same size hole?  Of course not!

Analogy #2

Let’s say that you decided to instead use the square peg to hang your picture.  You go to the first hole and notice that the square peg is visibly larger than the hole in the wall.  You also notice that the hole is a different shape but decide to take the hammer and start hammering away anyway.

The peg doesn’t stay inside the wall but rather starts breaking away the drywall around it.  Again, would you continue down the line of holes expecting a different outcome?  Not unless you wanted a drywall project on your hands instead of the much simpler task that you started with.

Fundamental Meaning

Whether it be something that seems too easy then eventually fails or something that takes more work and never actually pans out; it is truly insane to think you can do the exact same thing repeatedly and get a different outcome!

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