Helping Your Life Work
March 2010
Volume 6, Issue 3

'Expecting Different Results'

Despite the fact that it is the middle of March, it feels like the middle of spring outdoors. The sun is out in all its glory, the temperature will be rising to a balmy 15 degrees (nearly 60 degrees Fahrenheit) by the afternoon, the freshness of spring air is filling the house and the couple of cardinals that had taken up residence in our backyard last year have returned.

How do I know that this is the same couple? Because last year, I discovered that the female had an annoying habit of flinging her body against our plate glass window. It had taken me a while to figure out what the repetitive banging sound was that I heard from somewhere in the house, and when I finally located it, I watched in horror as she hit the window over and over again. I solved the problem by taping paper cutouts to the window and she stopped doing it.

This morning, I heard that familiar sound and discovered that the couple was back and she was at it again. I immediately ran upstairs to create some more paper cutouts (I had taken last year's down at the end of the summer) and put them up, but thus far, they don't seem to be working. Aside from the fact that flinging one's body against an immovable object is pretty painful, I wondered how stupid birds actually were. Wasn't there some sort of self-preservation, evolutionary design that would dictate that this behaviour was unhealthy, dangerous, stupid, and a complete waste of time?

But after thinking about it, I realized that we humans are not that much more sophisticated at times. We have all heard Einstein's definition of insanity of "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." How many years do we stay in a job that we hate or a relationship that is unfulfilling or maintain a habit that we know is not good for us? How many times do we need to bang our heads against walls until we realize it hurts?

What are you tolerating in your life? What wall have you been banging your head against? If you would like to stop, please call, I'd like to help you do so.

P.S. After writing this, I heard from lots of readers who have shared this problem. It turns out, that during nesting season, the female cardinal will do anything to protect her young. In seeing her reflection in the window, she flings herself against what she perceives to be a predator. Here are some of the websites that many of you were kind enough to share with me that I would like to share with those of you who might have a similar problem:

Barbara Fish, M.Ed.
Personal and Career Counsellor
416 498-1352
“Helping Your Life Work”

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