Thursday, May 14, 2009

How to Think Like a Fool #14: Repeat Repeat Repeat

RISK: Repeat Repeat Repeat
This one apparently contradicts the last entry, which contradicted the one before that, which will contradict future entries. Are you seeing a pattern here in fool think?

The message today is, "If it at first you don't succeed, try the same thing again and again and again."

People often repeat this non-clinical definition of insanity: "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" (a quote repeatedly attributed or misattributed to many different people). The fool's secret is that if you do the same thing over and over again with awareness, you may actually get different results.

A running gag—a joke that is repeated throughout a performance or fiction—initially loses its funny, and then triumphantly regains it through anticipation, variations, and the absurdity of the persistence. Similarly, a meditative mantra loses its meaning through repetition, becoming just nonsensical sounds, then eventually quiets the mind enough for new insights to be heard.

You either repeat the same tactic until you find the subtle twist that solves the problem, or finally see the problem for what it truly is, or make that creative leap to a better, different tactic.

Think: What am I doing that's not working? Repeat repeat repeat repeat repeat rinse repeat repeat repeat...

Tomorrow: How to Think Like a Fool #15: Play It Safe

Previous "How to Think Like a Fool" Posts

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