My mom recently was asked to narrate a story to our two year old daughter ten times in a row. This wasn’t a particularly entertaining story – it was the back story of how a fixture at home got there. But, nevertheless, she wanted to hear the story ten times and was an enthusiastic listener every time.
Such repetition isn’t out of place in a two year old’s life. As they take in new sights, sounds, and language, familiar stories help them find a balance of “explore-exploit” that they’re comfortable with.
The incident did get me thinking about repetition however.
Are there many other ingredients that are more important to a life well lived than repetition? And, if the repetition is smart – i.e. if it incorporated learning from the previous round – so much the better.
The act of loving those we care about contains a lot of repetition – giving many hugs and kisses, appreciating them for the little things they do, and consistently doing the little things that matter to them ourselves.
Building expertise in any skill involves a lot of smart repetition – deliberate practice, consistent routine, and a daily willingness to progress beyond physical and mental pain.
Love, wealth, happiness, and everything else that makes this life worth living is borne out of smart repetition.Take action -> learn from it -> do it better. Rinse. Repeat. Watch your efforts compound over time.
Every student of this journey comes to that point when he/she realizes that this life isn’t about doing big things. Instead, it is about doing those small things with extraordinary care – with plenty of smart repetition.