I use to believe REPETITION was evil and a waist of time. I still have days where this feels very true. That said I’ve come to understand this beast and I’d like to share with you some insight.
I may not be the only one to feel frustrated or guilty about repeating, reviewing, and re-reading yet again. I feel annoyed mostly because I’ve attached a story to it that feels yuck. Allow me to illustrate:
“You should know this already”
“Why didn’t you get it the first time around”
“Here you go again repeating the same lesson”
“Why does it take you so long to Get It”
“This is a waste of time, you should know this already”
Have you had any of the following happen to you..
Read a book (let’s say a few hundred pages). You loved it! Now you want to tell a friend about it and are aware you’ve retained a fraction of what you thought you learned.
You attended a conference. Listened attentively to speaker after speaker and thanked your lucky stars you took the time to come and learn from so many talented individuals. You go back home and tell your friends and colleagues about your experience. Humm generic feedback.. really valuable, you must go, I learned so much. Or Did You?
Your college education. Mine is a fog and I’m not the party animal type, so I can’t blame the alcohol. Before each exam I wished I had a photographic memory. I often daydreamed about how wonderful it would be to read it once and know it all.
Some of you may jump to the conclusion that if you are truly passionate about what it is you are learning you will retain the knowledge you are cramming in.
Even if you listen attentively, watch closely, and read carefully, It still takes time to soak it all in. In my line of work (personal development) even the lessons you love and understand conceptually take time and practice.
I’d like to encourage you to find a new angle or peaceful perspective.
Frequency is your friend. What each of us retains takes time and our desire to turn our new knowledge into wisdom is worth the time it takes.
As my clients and I try to change a few unwanted habits I like to remind them that practice is part of the ride. How about this mantra? Repeating it twice is twice as good. Thank you Seth Godin. So repeat repeat repeat. Assuming of course what you are repeating is something you actually want to have in your life.
What I do know and know well, is what I’ve practiced over time.
In the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, practice is KEY… use it. Speak about it. Tell others. Use it again. We each learn differently but we all need practice.
As my mentor Martha Beck likes to say, “You must live it to give it!” i.e practice what you preach, teach, and speak…
I love it when you share your stories. Let me know what works for you…