The saying goes…
The definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
Why don’t you ever change tactics?
Try something different?
Do something new?
So, do something new. Try something different. Change tactics.
You might just find you don’t get the result you are expecting but you might get something better.
Something different, something new, something great.
We have a hard time with this. We like sameness. We love our comfort zone. Despite the fact that nothing good happens when we stay inside of it. Doing the same thing over and over gets you where you are. And you won’t go anywhere else. How do we learn to recognize what we are doing isn’t working?
And how do we actually change our tactics? And which ones do we use?
It’s overwhelming. So we go on, we do what we’ve always done, and we make the same mistakes. We do that. We make the same mistakes.
Why don’t we learn? How do we grow? When does that change?
So often we make mistakes and we say to ourselves
“oh my God, I can’t believe I did that, again!”
“Why did I even DO that? I told myself I was going to stop doing THAT!”
“How do I stop making that same mistake?”
The judge turns to the jury and asks madam foreman:
“On the count of Mister Edmund making the same stupid mistakes over and over again?”
“We find the defendant guilty.”
“On the count of Mister Edmund thinking he’s shielding people from pain and hurt but not being completely honest?”
“We find the defendant guilty.”
“On the count of Mister Edmund holding on to guilt and using it to justify these decisions?”
“We find the defendant guilty.”
The judge thanks the jury and turns to the defendant…
“I sentence Mister Edmund to 2-3 very difficult conversations for every time you make this mistake. One thousand apologies a day for 6 months, with no possibility for time off for good behavior….unless you actually do change.”
Yup. That’s me. That’s my rap sheet. Am I sentenced to a life of bad decisions?
I think we all go through life and hurt someone at some point, hopefully not on purpose. I know those I have hurt have never been intentional. Just a matter of how life works out and how things happen over time and with relationships.
But… something happens after that. I feel really bad about it. I mean I just pulled the rug out. I crushed the dreams of someone’s future. I opened my heart when I wasn’t supposed to. Insert your own life shattering experience here and ponder for a bit… How did you handle that? How did it work out over time after that?
What happens is, for me, okay I smooth things over, I make peace, I do the work to show I care, etc.
Time goes by.
Then stage 2 hits.
Something is happening that may be related to that first (self-supposed)bomb I dropped. I say self-supposed because often those bombs we think we are dropping are more like minor milestones to the other person. Bits of information that they need to live their lives, or to actually just be happy for you. They may not like it but are they going to be hurt by it? Not necessarily. And even if they are they still need to hear it. ALL OF IT.
“But I hurt them so bad last time! I really don’t want to do that again. Maybe I just won’t tell them. Or maybe I won’t tell them everything. Or, hey yeah here’s a thought, maybe I’ll just tell them something else! Wait! Yeah that’s actually a great idea, then I can just slide the truth in casually at some point later when I feel they can handle it, yeah that’s a great idea.”
Well readers, now you’ve met the real me. That's the exact description. Well intended guided storylines. That’s SO Martin Edmund.
I don’t know what problem you are avoiding or what thing you are trying to do over and over again without a different outcome, but this is mine. I never quite seem to remember how badly this exact scenario worked out last time I did this.
Believe it or not I have actually grown a lot over the past year. I have worked on myself and have been able to shed myself of things within me I neither wanted or needed (See previous blog Outliving My Past). So why is it that as we advance our psyche’s and release our karma and get more in tune with each chakra that some parts of us still remain in tact and sadly those are the ones that make bad decisions, or keep trying the same thing with no results?
How do we change?
What does it take?
Where do we start?
How about this, next time I’m facing a decision or about to have a conversation that should be just a simple conversation and my eyes glass over and I have this look like I’m about to manipulate my target like Victor Newman from The Young & The Restless, someone do me a favor. Take my copy of The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson and actually slap me on the side of the head with it. Then, open it to any of the many pages I’ve highlighted about decision making.
This is by far one of my favorite books. It literally changed my life and the way I think.
Well, mostly anyway.
One of the foundations of this book that resonates throughout several times is in the two curves, or roads in your life. One curves up to success, the other curves down to failure. And every decision you make no matter how significant can make the difference in which road you take.
That cookie you want to eat.
That cardio you want to skip.
That job that could propel your career but may not pay more initially even though you need the raise in pay.
The ability to slide blame for that bad decision on someone else, something else or…on the perceived guilt of a past experience that you still feel bad about.
Oh God. Where was that book when I needed it. Oh yeah it’s on my bookshelf when really I need to wallpaper my bathroom with the most important highlighted pages. Maybe seeing that every day would remind me to think about my decisions, every one, long and hard.
Do I need that brownie sundae with that hot fudge that Josh’s mom made me for Christmas? No, but its sooooo good!
Oh fuck it, I don’t care.
Days later -babe why are my jeans tight? Did they shrink in the dryer? No you just eat too much crap.
At least the brownie sundae is only having a negative impact on my waistline.
Other decisions effects more than just me. When I steer a conversation in a certain direction to avoid saying something that I think may hurt someone, what inevitably, no what always happens, is that the real, entire truth comes out and those effected most are hurt and the ones I was trying to protect is just pissed I didn’t just tell them all of it right away. Rip the bandaid off. People tell me this all the time.
“But I need protect their feeeeeeeliiinnnnnngsssss!”
Oh Bullshit!Even if I could that’s not my job anyway. That’s not your job either.
Man up, say what you need to. If they are actually hurt, stick around and talk it through with them and work it out. If they can't accept what you say, when you need to say it and ALL of it. They never will so it doesn’t matter. And in not doing so you’ll never be free.
So…if I don’t say my truth when I need to I’ll be stuck in some past perfect participle of perceived planned purgatory?
If you can see through that horrible alliteration, then Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.
So, again, the how is in the head. Take some time to consider the real victims of your bad decisions, which is everyone and follow the following strategy for success:
Change your tactic.
Try something different.
Do something new.
Get a better result.
Stop the insanity.
The truth, all of it, will be out there. The chips will fall where they may. You will get relieved of that need for a follow up conversation with multiple people to backpeddle and explain your absurd rationale.
This shade of masculinity is all about you speaking your truth. Completely. Consistently.