There is a quote that has been repeated countless times in every sitcom for the last 20 years, and attributed on the Internet to Albert Einstein:
The same Internet tells us that Benjamin Franklin said these words...
The Internet also assures us that it was the wit and sage, Mark Twain, who uttered this line first. For the record, Oscar Wilde didn't say it either.
I just saw another use of the line in the ad for a sitcom this week. It made me laugh, because the line is ridiculous.
First, the actual quote is: Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results. Step Two in Twelve-Step Programs such as Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, it marks the point when Fellows come to believe that "a power greater than [themselves] could restore [them] to sanity."
Second, I am not a mental health professional, but for all the maladies that can affect the human mind, I am certain those words do not appear anywhere within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
Seriously, I’d bet you anything!
Third, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of a perfectly sensible job search.
This is especially true of freelancing where your part-time job in the effort to find work is submitting dozens of proposals, over and over, in the hopes you can edge out dozens of others doing the same and competing for the same projects.
It is also true of looking for permanent, full time work. Sure, you customize your cover letter and tweak your resume for each job you apply for, but generally, you just do it over and over and over, and keep doing it until you hit the target.
It’s called perseverance and it is a virtue not a sign of weakness (which is the stigma of 'insanity'). More importantly, the patience required to complete a journey to reach a goal is not always going to come with instant gratification. Sometimes it takes what feels like an eternity to some to get the reward we seek.
I think the quote we must rely on is that nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. Believing otherwise is defeatist and I ain’t no quitter, baby!
So I toil and plug away, and know that this is just part of paying your dues before success is finally mine. Hope and patience and perseverance...
Clarity is the definition of sanity.