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When you do something that doesn’t work

I think it was Albert Einstein who once said ”Madness is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results”. Brilliant! I could check out and stop writing this text right now because that quote is hard to beat. Well thought-out, wise, funny and with an important point that you can apply to most things in life, and who can really ague with a guy like Albert Einstein? I would like to try though, not to argue against, but to expand and clarify his words with two new quotes and since I like this thing about training, personal development and well-being both physically and mentally that is the perspective I will relate to. So sharpen your eyes, here we go.

”To do almost the same thing over and over again and be aware of the result and the progress is the basic principle to all training”

”When you do something that doesn’t work – Stop it and do something else instead”

Baam. Nailed it. Super clear when you read it like this, right? But what does it really mean in reality? Let me clarify it even more.

When we practice we (hopefully) wants to get better at something. Maybe stronger, faster, assiduous, more agile, healthier or better good looking. To become better at something we need to practice. When you practice and learn you must successive increase the difficulty to continue to challenge yourself and progress. If you want to get stronger you have to make demands on yourself. To lift the same weight with the same amount of repetitions and set each time won’t make you stronger. You need a plan. Put on some extra weight, do one extra repetition or one extra set. You can use the exact same exercise but you challenge your muscles which makes them stronger. You need to be aware of what adjustments that you make to track your progress and evaluate the result to see if it was helpful.

This brings us to the next quote. Evaluate your progress. If you got better, awesome! Keep up doing almost exact that with small adjustments to make sure you are challenged. If it didn’t work, let it go. You don’t need to try the same thing again. Don’t stick to hold habits just because they feel safe. Dare to let go and do something that works. Have you been to the same class for years and wonders why you don’t get stronger? Have you been running the same track over and over again without getting faster? Have you tried to lose weight without success? Haven’t you got more good looking despite that you train exactly as the people on TV? Have you been trying to learn something new without success but stubbornly kept on trying? Stop it and go do something else insted!

This is not the same thing as that you shouldn’t try and fight for your goals! Sometimes progress takes time. Sometimes we get stuck. Sometimes we need to take one step back to later take two steps forward. So to now where you are going; make a plan, follow it, do almost the same thing over and over again, be aware of your progress, evaluate and dare to let go of the things that don’t work.

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