Repetition: The Key to Success

The common saying goes like, “Hard work is key to success.”  It may be true but hard work alone never going to get you success unless you couple it with repetition.

The act of repeating a particular thing; doing something again and again is the process of repetition.

You are a student or a sports person or an entrepreneur; repetition is for you. Though, how to use it depends upon circumstances and may differ from person to person. But one thing is sure: that is victory, achievements and triumphs ahead of you.

What is Repetition?

Repetition creates pathways to information in our brain, which we can access easily if we walk down those paths few times. It helps in transition of skills from conscious to sub-conscious fluency. Every time we do something: study, muscle training, touch-typing, etc. we reinforce the connection further, making a significant positive impact on our learning processes. Gradually with the help of repetition we start mastering different skills, even those which we thought indomitable.

For retention of information, we have to keep revising it periodically; generally known as “spaced repetition”. It is a far superior alternative for “the cramming process” of learning. In this process, we start by learning something new. Then we make a proper schedule for multiple revisions, with passing of each revision we increase the time gap between them. Gradually, pathways become so familiar that we can easily recall the information at the time of need; without much hassle.

Repetition & Neural Pathways

The pathways created by following repetition process simulate muscle memory faster. We can make our body to come out of the comfort zone and reach for new dimensions in the fields of athletics, body-building, touch typing, learning, etc. See, these activities are highly based on muscle memory and endurance. So, when we practice them daily, i.e., daily practice, our body become adaptable to harsh training regimes and tough postures. It also starts reacting automatically when a specific event trigger. For e.g.:

  1. When you walk our body retains balance, we don’t have to do it consciously.
  2. If you never swam in your life and just started learning it, you will find it very difficult, this is because swimming is a totally new venture for you. As you start practicing daily, your body will start adopting itself; muscles will become more toned to withstand the water current. After sometime, it will all become natural. Whenever you will enter a swimming pool, your legs will automatically start moving to balance the body. You don’t have to think about it even once. 

The Six R’s of Remembering

According to Prof. Colin M. Macleod of University of Waterloo there are six R’s of Remembering.

  1. Recoding: The transformation of what is actually experienced on its way into memory.
  2. Rehearsal: The review of an already recoded experience in memory.
  3. Relearning: The (unaware) enhancement of memory by re-experiencing.
  4. Reminding: The association in memory between two related events.
  5. Retrieval: The recovery of previously learned information from memory.
  6. Reconstruction: The assembling of an episode in memory for the purpose of recollection.

Leaving first R, i.e., Recoding alone rest of R’s are connected with repetition directly or indirectly. Rehearsal, Relearning and Reminding can only be achieved through proper repetition process. If we do so properly the events of Retrieval and Reconstruction will be effortless and smooth.

Conclusion

It is scientifically proven that by using the technique of repetition in a proper way you can hack your brain to break old chains of habits and form new ones. It can even cure OCD problems. The neural pathways become robust with each repetition until the habits or behaviour which we are trying to learn is the new normal.

The benefits of repetition were recognised hundreds of years ago. The Greek philosopher Aristotle mentions:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

He further mentions:

“It is frequent repetition that produces a natural tendency.”

Repetition may seem annoying at first, but know this “Practice makes a Man Perfect” and as we follow this process gradually and scientifically, our skills, learning abilities will start honing up and slowly but surely, we will feel the difference between our old and new selves. So, what are you waiting for? Hook yourselves for the ride! Repeat, repeat and repeat until you master it.