If It Didn’t Work the First 657 Times …

Posted: October 25, 2010 in Rules of Human Training

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
—Benjamin Franklin

Note: Apparently this quote is often attributed to Albert Einstein, but according to Wikiquote it belongs to Benjamin Franklin

If it didn’t work the first 657 times, it is not going to work!

The “I’ll keep doing it until it works” approach used to be exclusive to humans. So what happened to us?

When was the last time copying human actions was of any benefit to you?
(Well, maybe when you learned how to open a cookie jar)

My dear pals, it is time to return to our roots and use our own wisdom!

If something works, do it again. If it doesn’t work, try SOMETHING ELSE!

This is what separates us from humans who are burdened by all kinds of preconceived notions, worst of them being that it is the OTHERS who are supposed to change.

What makes humans behave this way?

Humans simply seem to believe themselves being important enough that everything else should adjust to THEM.

They stand so firmly in that belief that the fact that it hasn’t worked yet doesn’t even slow them down.

The bottom line is this – the only being who’s action you are able to control are your own!

And through the process of cause and effect, changing your own actions allows you to control your situation.

Regardless of what you’re trying to achieve, if you’re being unsuccessful, it is time for a reality check. There are two possible reasons why it’s not working.

You have either chosen an unrealistic goal, or you’ve chosen an ineffective strategy.

I am going to teach you how to tell the difference, but in the meantime here are a couple of examples.

It took my buddy J.D. over a year to learn that if he plays chicken with a tree, the tree is not going to get out of the way!

What do you think the problem was? Unrealistic goal or ineffective strategy?
Note: some goals are unrealistic only at certain stage of your human training.

My late housemate Bruin had goals that were realistic enough. His strategy, however, was lacking.

When he wanted to be let out to potty, he would simply walk to the door and stand there.

This worked when the humans were in the same room and could see him standing there. But what if they were in a different room? Yet he would still just stand there until either somebody did notice or … you get the picture.

Whether you are trying to train your human to take you for longer walks or let you sleep on the bed, if it hasn’t worked yet, stop what you’ve been doing!

Re-evaluate your goal and most definitely choose a different strategy.


  1. Kristine says:

    Hmmm, this could work for humans as well as dogs. Sound advice indeed. 🙂

  2. Jasmine says:

    Dear Kristine.

    Most definitely. Though I am not very worried that humans are open to learning BOL

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