Until you change your thinking, you will always recycle your experiences.

Until you change your thinking, you will always recycle your experiences.

What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome.

So why are we all susceptible to such behavior? If it is clearly a waste of time, one might presume we would be more willing to recognize it as such and leap beyond the obvious pattern, and yet many of us (myself atop this list) continue to behave in this manner.

You can pick your topic. Exercise, diet, relationships, work considerations, interaction with others, mindset…. The topics vary, but the stagnant approach does not. We are conditioned to keep trying but we are considerably less conditioned at reframing our mindset in order that we might accomplish the goal.

Take the topic of weight loss (for example). This is one of the merry go rounds on which many people exhibit this mentality. We might look at ourselves in the mirror and decide we are not pleased with what we see. So we make a resolution, and go on a diet or make a few concessions, but within a short period of time, we are right back where we were. So what makes that scenario perpetuate? Clearly what we saw in our reflection in the mirror was not to our satisfaction, so shouldn’t that be the motivation enough to break the pattern?

Unfortunately…. No.

The pattern is much more deeply ingrained. In my case, stress eating has always been my nemesis. So it would be logical to presume that if stress is causing me to eat, I should decrease my stress. But, I thrive on doing highly stressful things. And getting up from a stressful activity to “reward” myself for the stress I have just endured is/was/always will be… my enemy. 

Without turning this rant into a weight loss discussion, the final understanding that my problematic eating occurs at the stress center, it was time to really dig down and see when the trigger hits and watch myself in a 3rd person scenario going through the motions and watching how and when the infractions occur.

Once I was able to see the issues, trying to find alternative solutions became the only option for me. That meant learning to reward myself with some carrots or grapes instead of a crunchy carb, and it meant understanding that if I was determined to stay in that habit of stress eating, that my exercise regimen would require more cardio and more calories burned. Because the body is a math problem.. calories intake / calories burned  plus understanding the food groups, etc.

Other recurring problems might include staying in a completely broken relationship when you are fully aware that it is beyond repair. Convenience, finance, children and other variables are likely to complicate the resolution of this scenario, but if it is broken, then you are going to live in a broken relationship until you either leave, or work together to fix it. Waking up every day feeling despondent that you are in this situation is your stimuli… what are you going to do about it?

Working in a dead end career is another common one. Those feelings of being under appreciated, under paid and over worked are as commonplace as oxygen. Far more rare, is the person that wakes up to that realization and starts to study, explore and find that pathway to a new and different life.

There are many patterns that fall into this category, including our dynamic with our children and our parents and other family members. Some of these relationships are very broken and dysfunctional. The recognition of the problem is the impetus to changing that dynamic. Quitting smoking, or drinking or drugs are all favorites throughout society.

Throughout the entire set of examples provided and countless others, the common exit from insanity is opening the door. If you stay in stasis, the insanity repeats. End of story. How does that proverbial door open? It starts in the mind. It starts with a determination to draw a line in the sand and promise yourself that you are making a stand and will not go backwards. (Even if you have a set back and do go backwards, it is not the end of the world, it is a reason to increase your resolve and do it again.) 

Once your mind has agreed to the pact you have made with yourself, you can add a reward to the outcome. Whatever the reward, make it one that is worthy of the mindset you are working to overcome. One that will keep you going as you strike out against your previous patterns and work to improve something about your circumstances that has become intolerable.

My current task is to make it one week without honking at an idiot on the road. I do not like this quality about myself. It will most likely get me into trouble, if I do not learn to quell that behavior. But all it takes is someone cutting in front of me on the highway at a speed that is substantially slower than I was going, and low and behold, I feel compelled to share that thought with them. Or the person in the fast lane going 50mph while texting to someone. Or the person slowing way down to make a right turn from the middle lane… I currently have 0 days completed without a honking incident. But today is another day, and perhaps I will get to the point where I can claim 1 full day completed. (But I said that yesterday morning, and, you know…. )

None of us are perfect, and I am so very far from perfect as to make my musings about such things amusing (to me) aka… those who can’t do, teach.  But even in my imperfection, perhaps if I share something with you that connects, you will find your own impetus to change your thought process and that is the whole premise of my writing… to change the world, one thought at a time.

Happy Thursday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!