The Road Always Traveled

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Most of us exhibit some signs of this form of insanity, though. It’s part of living in a comfort zone.

Albert Einstein at the blackboard

Albert Einstein at the blackboard

We might wish that things were different, we might want a different result from life, but there we go again doing the same things. The same comfortable things are producing the same familiar results.

It’s as though life has to get really bad before we’re willing to do something different. That comfort zone can contain things that are downright un-comfortable, but at least familiar. Maybe a familiar situation of pain seems more tolerable than just a “hope” of something better, but unknown.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can push through that zone of comfort—really it’s just inertia—and experience something new. Something better.

I think the key is understanding the link between what we think and do, and what happens. If we really see that we’re creating our lives through our beliefs and our choices—then we can more easily make changes. Contrast this to the idea that life “just happens.” How can we hope to orchestrate beneficial changes if life is random?

Instead, I have learned to take full ownership of my life. I have learned to use discomfort as my “red flag” for change. Rather than waiting until things get really tough—I start evaluating the situation early on. I ask questions like, “How is this a reflection of what’s going on in my head?” and “Is this situation supporting a belief I have?

Usually I can link the discomfort to ideas that I’ve had, poor choices that I’ve made and errors in my judgment. I take ownership of the situation so that I can take ownership of making a change.

Then taking the road “less traveled,” seems more doable. Stepping out of a comfort zone is less risky when you know that you can change things for the better. You may not make the best choice every time—but then you can choose again. Life is unlimited and so are the chances for improving our lives. We may have to walk down several roads to find the destination we want. That’s OK.

We’re worth it