Legs running

The sanity in doing the same thing over and over

We often hear “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” At times, of course, these are important words of wisdom. They can break out of addiction or other toxic behavior.

But generally, I don’t think they are actually that true or helpful. Many of our greatest breakthroughs, discoveries, and accomplishments come only from doing the same thing over and over and over. We practice. We obsess. We persist. And eventually, we grow. 

If we attempt to run a marathon, the first time we often fail. The next time we get a bit further. Eventually, we may make it. 

Through persistence, eventually, we come out with greater strength or stamina or can approach the same old problem from a higher, more complete, wiser perspective.

What problem in your life might benefit simply from doing the same thing over and over?

Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

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