You know this popular saying: “stupidity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result”. It’s hard to argue against the logic of it. Yet, we all do it. Even when we should know better, we fall into the same traps, like we’re nothing but puppets of our own habits.
Habits are hard to break. Especially those we are not fully conscious of.
A year ago I started a new practice. When I find myself in a familiar situation, when I have this feeling of history repeating itself, I feel strongly what I want to do, a clear gut reaction. This is my cue to stop and go through other potential ways to act. I'm not trying to figure out the best decision – what feels best to me will likely be what I’ve done before, because, a) habits, and b) I started behaving that way for a reason in the first case. Trying to make the best decision also adds a lot of pressure, which is not always the best ingredient for smart moves.
What I do is just picking something different. Not the best option (but obviously not the dumbest either, a level of equal insanity is probably worth striving for). Just something that is not my default.
I can’t guarantee it will yield any spectacular results, but I can promise it will make life a little more interesting. If nothing else, you’ll learn a thing or two.