On doing the same thing for new results

There’s a quote attributed to Einstein that says, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Another wording of the same concept the phrase, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.”

While true in certain contexts, the opposite can also be true. Doing the same thing can yield new and exciting results. The clearest area where this is evident is in the learning of a physical skill. Often what’s required is day after day of repetition of an appropriate progression and then, boom, one day something new connects and the skill is gained.

Let’s consider this idea of doing the same thing with a less concrete example now: this blog.

From the perspective of wanting an audience, as long as I keep doing the same thing – writing to a decent standard and posting – then the likelihood of getting more views per day is likely to increase. I also get to learn which posts generate the most interest which could shape what I choose to write about in the future. Continuing to post will result in a more views and potentially a new direction.

Further, from the perspective of myself as a writer, with every post I write, I’m developing the skill of writing. The art of articulating things in a clean way becomes easier with time. Also, as posts accumulate, I may notice insightful patterns in my writing. For example, I might discover a key theme in what I write about and then decide to intentionally become an expert in it.

As I’ve written about the example of this blog, I was appreciating that although it does involve doing the same thing – writing to a decent standard and posting – the process is saturated with change. So, the lesson I’m taking away from this all is that although doing the same thing may appear like the same thing to the naked eye, if done intentionally, will include tiny, unseeable changes. It’s those tiny changes that change everything.