Grow Different

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

This well-known expression is an interesting one to me because I think it has two worthwhile interpretations. First, in the linear sense:

Here, an individual repeats the same process, despite the same results. This implies the lesson of learning through personal experience.

Here, an individual repeats the same process, despite the same results. This implies the lesson of learning through personal experience.

More interestingly, I think the expression can be interpreted as multiple people “repeating” the same process across a period of time.

Here, multiple individuals do the same thing. While each individual only acts once, they are effectively “repeating” the action of their peers.

Here, multiple individuals do the same thing. While each individual only acts once, they are effectively “repeating” the action of their peers.

The lesson from this more insightful interpretation is that we can learn from the experiences of others without having to actually do the same thing.

While admittedly obvious, I think that this can be a great lesson in regard to personal and career development: If we’re following similar patterns to our peers, we’ll end up in similar places. By reading similar books, learning from the same leaders, and following the same daily routines, our results will end up basically similar. Doing the same things as everyone else will result in similar outcomes.

What are you doing differently to grow differently?