26 Jun Mindful Monday | Repetition = Freedom
“Only repetition invites spontaneous innovation.”
Are routine and discipline killing your creativity?
Are they stepping on your ability to get and stay organized?
Are they threatening to flatten your spontaneity and turn you into a robot who can’t think for herself?
Only in science fiction.
The truth is revision is where your best work happens.
Rehearsal is where actors and directors learn how to make bold surprising choices after they have repeated a scene dozens of times.
The same goes for dancers and musicians. Jazz musicians improvise based on very specific repeatable phrases and patterns. They don’t make it up out of thin air.
The magic is that they make it LOOK like they made it up, but the brilliance that dazzles only comes from repetition.
Likewise tailors and plumbers and chefs.
The first time a tailor sews something, it may be great. But the 200th time he sows something, he can feel his way through the cloth to where he wants to go.
The reason we go back to our favorite restaurants is because we want the same dishes we enjoyed last time. Again … and equally delicious.
No matter how talented or creative you are, your best work, your most inspired work almost always springs off of repetition.
And yet there are so many stories circulating that scare us into thinking that spontaneity only happens when lightning strikes.
When magic is in the air.
When your muse is talking to you.
As you learn new habits to get and stay organized, as you seek out the simplest easiest ways to reduce clutter and distraction, you need to repeat what works.
Over and over.
You don’t strike out on your own to reinvent the wheel.
You roll the wheel someone else designed and gave to you so you can cover more ground faster.
You embrace repetition.
You recognize that your freedom is directly tied to how well you can repeat certain processes.
Until the process seems natural.
Until you don’t have to think about the process to achieve the results you seek.
That’s the hidden beauty in repetition.
If you repeat something enough times, it becomes automatic. A habit. Like brushing your teeth.
And when that happens, you’ll always find your keys and cell phone in their homes.
You’ll find anything in 30 seconds or less.
You’ll be free to spontaneously respond to the universe around you without wondering if you left the gas on or the front door open.
That is true freedom.