• Coach’s Conundrum #7
7. “You can’t expect different results by repeating what you have always done.”
This conundrum might have something to do with not being able to solve the Rubik’s Cube. You keep trying to solve the puzzle, without a clue of how to solve it. One just keeps trying it over and over, continuing the rotation, but with no solution forthcoming. So you try it again, and again, and again—just trial and error!
What I have observed about myself is the regression to my “old ways” when I am under pressure. I somehow think that the “old ways” have worked for me in the past, so I can resort there when faced with impossible challenges to my time. It is true that I am often disappointed with the results of all-or-nothing approach to get things done. It is almost always the result of poor planning and the failure to divide the project down into smaller achievable parts. Then there is that old tyrant of productive time—procrastination.
Have you ever observed just how creative you become when you get under a time pressure? I sure have. It is an amazing thing! If I think I might to able to do it in a shorter time, I will postpone it. So some times I just “wait a little more” to create that tension of pressure, before I can concentrate all my efforts to achieve the task. I know the clock is ticking, and I am watching it. I am measuring my effort by the clock—the tyranny of the urgent.
This definition of insanity has been attributed to Einstein. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If we are to learn from our experience and our repetitive mistakes, then we must find a better way to improve our results by the way we attack our time. This empty pattern of repeating unproductive habits is ridiculous. We all do this! We need some better attack skills, not trial and error, so we get different results. While it is helpful to try a different combination of efforts to solve problems, the insanity is the repetition of effort with no alternative options being tried. Therefore, we get the same results—again.
Coach’s Conundrums This is a new series: my collection of pithy principles that need some explanation. The implementing of these conundrums could alter your paradigm for children’s ministry or influence the way you approach kids.