Insanity has been defined as “Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results”. There is disagreement on who coined the phrase. There is even disagreement on whether the saying is useful at all.
But I was reminded of it this morning on a rural walk. I take the same walk most mornings in the week. It’s over 3 miles and includes a fairly steep climb. That makes it a useful exercise.
I also like to take photographs of what I see on the walk. On a country road with no footpath, it is safer to walk on the same side as traffic coming towards you. That means I mostly see things on one side of the road. That’s also the sunny side of the road, so the light is often better for photographs. Walking the same walk every day can become part of your comfort zone.
Today, I changed sides and walked on the other side. It was shadier. I also had to keep an ear out for any cars coming up behind me. BUT, I saw a lot of things I did not see on the sunny side. It’s now autumn, so there were many different kinds of fungus, even one unusual rare one that was not present on the sunny side. The blackberries were slightly behind those on the sunny side, extending the season for foraging.
So what does this say about life in general? Walking on the same side every day is pleasant but you can miss a lot.
If you change your way of doing things, even by as little as walking on the opposite side of the road, you can get results you never expected because it takes you out of your comfort zone and lets you see things differently. You may notice something you never realised was there before. That also goes for walking the circuit in the opposite direction. The hill is steeper that way, giving a tougher exercise.
What different small change could YOU make to something you do often? What results do you think you might get? Try it and see. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results from a walk on the other side.