Worlds of imagination by Sara B. Gauldin

Repeating Mistakes- Insanity or Human Nature?



I have often heard Albert Einstein quoted as defining insanity as “repeating the same action over and over and expecting different results.” I can understand that premise, but I am not sure that I fully agree with the idea.
In my experience, we all repeat ourselves. I postulate that it is in human nature to repeat ourselves. The qualifier in this behavior is the specific nature of the action that is being repeated.


Personally, I repeat achievement. I have a desire to achieve things during my life time. The specific achievement changes over time, but the act of determining a desired goal and pursuing it relentlessly is the pattern that I repeat. I repeated this course of action to graduate from high school, college, and college again, to learn the trade of computer networking, to learn the skills needed to be an educator, to parent my three sons, and most recently to hone the trade of becoming a published author. I repeat this goal setting and pursuit pattern over and over. The pathway is not always smooth and success is not guaranteed, but I continue to push forward.


I see others around me who are also repeating a pattern in their own means and manner. Some of them repeat a very positive pattern. They are not always successful, but they tend to have an overall positive lifestyle based upon the patterns they repeat. For some people, the pattern involves education. For my husband, it involves becoming more effective in his job. For others, the pattern that they follow is what brings them the troubles they see in their lives. If a person repeats the same mistakes, be they financial follies, missing opportunities, bad relationships, negative home lives and many other troubled courses, they will always meet the same disappointment and sorrow that come from the negative decision that they repeat.


This brings me to my question; what sets a person’s pattern of behavior? If we as human beings have this tendency to repeat ourselves, what determines what pattern we adopt? What sets some people on a repeating course of positive activity, while others doom themselves to repeat their mistakes?
Of course, with free will in human behavior there will be an exception to the rule. There are those individuals who have the epiphany that their pattern of repeating is the very thing causing the problem or dilemma they are experiencing. These rare individuals are somehow able to change course once they recognize the pattern they have set for themselves. This can be experienced on a small scale; such as the junk food junky which adopts healthy eating habits, or the couch potato that sticks to an exercise routine.

Most of us find changing these patterns very difficult.

I postulate that if we could all find the will power to look at our lives objectively and the determination to break cycles of negativity and replace those repeated mistakes with repeated positives that we would all be more content and more productive during our short term on this planet. I just wish I knew how to help others make these changes and how to help my sons set their lives in motion with positive repetitions.

Don’t miss Sara B. Gauldin’s amazing books! Click HERE!

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This entry was posted on July 22, 2013 by in What Crosses My Mind and tagged , , , , , .
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