Digging around on The Bulletproof Musician can turn up interesting things sometimes.
In the linked post, he contrasts two sayings that seem to be going in different directions:
“Fall down seven times, get up eight.”
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
We’re missing something, though. I don’t think they are necessarily counter to one another … as long as you don’t fall for the same reason seven times in a row.
Basically, fall down seven times … then sit there for a bit and think about why the hell you landed on your ass. Then, get up the eighth time and try to do things differently. And make damned sure that you don’t fall for any of those seven reasons again. Never fail for the same reason twice.
That’s totally consistent with the second statement: Don’t do the same thing over and over and expect it to go differently next time.
Basically, you’re going to fail, but make sure you fail differently each time, and learn what you can from the failures. At least then you gain some useful data along with the skinned knees.