It’s often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome. I should have this tattooed on my forehead and be forced to read it every time I look in a mirror!

I’m struck by the gulf between understanding something on an intellectual level and having the wisdom to be able to act on it physically.

I know that if I keep repeating the same behaviour in all likelihood, I will get the same result! I understand the statement; I understand the concept, and yet I continue to act and behave in ways that are not producing the outcomes I desire.

Why is this? Why is it so hard to learn lessons from past experiences? I wrote yesterday about the value of scar tissue in its predictive ability for future success and would like to explore this further.

I have been reading Russel Brand’s book, Recovery: Freedom from our Addictions. It’s a raw, honest book that provides a simple, no-nonsense, plain English guide to the Twelve Steps Program. Russel is 15 years clean and yet still needs and uses the lessons and practices of the twelve-step program in his day to day life. This continued need illustrates how difficult it is to maintain change, to thoroughly learn the lessons of our past.

The twelve-step program provides him with a framework to repeatedly remind himself of the lessons he needs to learn to live a clean life. I think this is where its power lies and could be very useful for “non-addicts” in daily life.

Often when we make a mistake, we only dwell on it long enough to feel anger and blame. But I think we need to move beyond this to understand how we can learn from this experience. It is common to write down our goals, but it would serve us better to write down the lessons we need to learn from failure.

This way we are positioning our mind to think through the failure and extract the positive lessons we can take forward. Then if we develop a system for referring back to these “Lessons from Failure Notes”, we will reinforce the message. Just maybe this will help us to break the pattern, like the addict using the twelve-step program and make a different choice tomorrow when facing similar challenges.

It is easy to write this, but like many other things will be hard to implement as it requires ongoing self-discipline. If you too are struggling with this, I share your pain; I know that self-discipline is the key to long term happiness, success and fulfilment of my dreams but it’s a daily battle.

I started writing this blog at the beginning of 2019. This blog is the 78th  post I have written. I’m hoping that through writing I’m getting closer to the wisdom required to learn the lessons of my past. Thank you for sharing the journey with me.

Remember, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.

Thanks For Reading!

Hi, I’m Luke Bream, the author of this blog, one of the co-founders of Valentte, hillwalker, cyclist, dreamer and an eternal optimist! My writing is focused on learning how we create the life we have always imagined, become the person we have always wanted to be in order to fulfill the dreams and goals we have set ourselves. I believe there is a power within each of us to achieve whatever we commit to mastering. Want to hear more? Read my full story. (coming soon…)

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Conversations are very boring if it’s all one-way. Don’t leave me talking to myself, wondering if what I’m writing resonates with you. Please be brave and share your own story in the comments section below. We can help each other by learning together. I read and respond to each one.

14 replies on “Insanity

  • Michele Worrall

    I have requested several sample and never received them can you please adevise if we are ever going to get them ?

  • Nicholla Atwal

    Hi Luke, great blog. I have several friends who use the Law of Attraction to lead fulfilled lives. I am still learning as it is not as easy as it seems. Just keep doing what you are doing, you will get there in the end.

  • Jayne

    Hi Luke, I have also been wondering how we can know so much intellectually but fail to consistently change our behaviours. It’s very frustrating!! So, I have just got home from a 3 day emotional freedom technique course (tapping) – so much to take in but it really shows how hard wired our beliefs from being a young child are and really unless we deal with the subconscious beliefs we will never consistently change the behaviour. Sorry for the long post – I don’t normally comment but this was too synchronistic!! Love your blog Jayne x

  • Layne

    Hi there I read your blogs every morning when walking my dogs bob & Marley . I found them very interesting food for thoughtfulness if that is a real word.ifind it’s refreshing to mind and body to try different patterns of life.sun is shining have a lovely day x

  • Khush

    Wow just wow. Everything resonates so much it’s a shame that the man I love the father of my children does not see the insanity and hates me for breaking the chain for the 2nd time.

  • Lucy Penn

    Luke. Love this post for perfectly illustrating what being human is about. A key breakthrough for me in turning the intellectual into instinctive was learning to love and ACCEPT myself which Jayne touches on. The intellectual was useless all the time I’d beat myself up if I “failed”. There are no failures, only lessons and opportunities to reinforce learnings. I’m still on my path :-). Lucy

  • Julie little

    Hi Luke missed you at grand designs ,
    Love reading your blogs and yes it is hard to change our ways but easy to tell others how to do it , you have probably got a block that is stopping you from moving forwards and sometimes need that little bit of help from maybe seeing a regressionist or hypnotist , I took my daughter to have a regression as she was always angry and she had a lot of bad energy with her from past lives that’s if you believe in this and that was removed from her during the session and she is now feeling x d behaving a lot better , it may not be for you but sometimes there’s things from our past that come with us to this life to deal with !! Just a thought Luke , if you need any info let me know
    Kind regards Julie Little,

  • Jacky Holt

    Luke, I love your blogs and can relate to so many of your ‘stories’, keep doing what you’re doing. I’m not a book reader but it’s lovely to take 5 minutes out find a quiet spot and read your blog, thank you.

  • Lynn wallace

    Really enjoy reading your blogs. Excellent food for thought and I am trying to act on some of them. As you say all sounds very easy to do but in practice we find it hard to do. Does not make sense that we fail to do simple things that would make our lives better. Thank you for the tickets for the show at Cheltenham, did try to seek you out to thank you in person but failed. Love your products especially the diffusers
    Many thanks and best wishes

  • Susan Pratt

    Hi I read your emails everyday and I have applied for your samples a couple of times now but still have not received anything could you please look into this as I know I’m not the only one who have never received them luvs xx

  • Martine Jayne Gunstone

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs, every time I receive my email I always have a look to see “what’s next” no matter what the subject is, I really enjoy them and some I can relate to!
    Thanks. It’s nice to read….. And not be expected to buy. Even though I’m tempted as I do love your products and have tried many.

    • Susan Wardle

      What a remarkable young man you are. You talk such sense. You should be a paid councillor!! I love your blogs and I love your products. You should be so proud of yourself

  • El3Sh

    As a life mess up kind of girl, I’ll tell you recovery is not easy and sometimes when people slip they may have not even had it in their mind too until they ended up in the wrong places at wrong times. They were reaching outward toward a rope when they fell off a cliff. And in life itself, we all learn our own set of lessons and no one is perfect so judging is not really necessary. You have wonderful points nut let’s try to keep it om point without pointing or sterotyping whatever groups. I think if more people showed more love “some” of these people wouldn’t end up that way. Ans it goes on among or within the groups themselves as well. Nothing like someone walking in front of you and doing exactly what you’re doing and walk out saying “you’re” the drug addict or whatever character names they give you. Just lighten up a little on the judgment and stay more about the point or subject. I love your points just not pointing. And I also love your products. The scents relax me and send me back to a whole other world before the chaos started. To a time that stood still in a young boys eyes.


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