Repetition, Reiteration, and Resiliency


There’s a statistic I vaguely remember learning, something along the lines of how it takes ten times, ten repetitions, to truly keep something within one’s memory; maybe the fact that I can’t remember the exact number proves that (especially as when I google, I find varied answers about the exact number.)

It’s struck me lately how true this is. Last May, I wrote about feeling lost, having not gotten into graduate school at the time, and earlier this year, I also blogged about exploring while being lost. It was meant to be a New Years resolution.

Am I succeeding if I still find myself panicking time and time again over how I don’t know what I’m doing?

When I was younger, I loved using the word redundant. I’d scribble it over essays I was editing, not understanding why people felt a need to repeat something. Being concise with language is still an art I treasure, and strive towards mastering.

However, I also babble sometimes, reiterating my point in hopes of communicating better, clearer. I’ve discussed this in the past, in a Podditea episode, and I bring it up because I realize I don’t only do this as I mentally attempt to process events. I’m starting to think life is about reiteration.

It’s easy to fall into familiar patterns. I like routine, because then I know what I’m doing. That control is nice to have, as well as the feeling of security, stability.

Yet, not all norms are healthy, nor beneficial. An example of this could be when experiencing a rough patch in a friendship, my first presumption has been that the friendship is most likely to then end. This is false; while a possibility, there’s also the chance that it is a time to strengthen the friendship, clearing up misunderstandings and learning how to prevent them, as well as work through them better, for the future. Now, if experiencing insecurity in a friendship, while I do deem my panic valid, I also am quicker to remember that a) this will likely resolve itself and blow over, and b) it is not the end of the world either way.

It’s taken many difficulties to get to this point, having grown in this partially because of how many times it has occurred; this development also stems from how tired I am of experiencing this, feeling all the emotions that come from such a thought. I have learned to recover faster, to pull myself up again, to change my outlook, because the pattern wasn’t a good one. Merely repeating myself achieved nothing for me.

Reiteration involves looking to improve each time – and that includes starting from the bottom, from the very worst.

I was working late one night in university on a project with a colleague and friend, one I greatly admire. While attempting to analyze data or write a report, one of the two, we also discussed entrepreneurship. I spoke of how I admire those who strive to launch these businesses, and how I could never do it – or, something along those lines. And, I cited how I thought these ventures as brave due to the risk of failure.

My friend asked me whether there was something wrong with failure then. After I responded, he then went to the others working in the same area, people he knew, asking them if they thought failure was bad. The collective answer was that it isn’t – because, it’s a way of learning.

I was listening to Seth Godin the other day, and he spoke of how failure is good; it’s part of innovation, and if you can take a risk without considerable penalty, you should. How else does one grow if playing it completely safe?

To me, with my career path specifically, part of why I dislike feeling ‘lost’ is due to the lack of stability, security. I’m worried of choosing one field, because I don’t want to find myself ‘stuck’ in something that won’t make me happy. I want to explore so as to be able to determine one route that may work.

The truth is, no matter how much time I take, there are no guarantees; there’s none in choosing ‘one path’, and there’s none as I look around at the possibilities.

Some realizations need to hit you over and over again before they sink in; this is one for me, that either way, I will be taking a risk, and in some ways, I need to. But, though I still feel ‘lost’, I can change what I do, how I view, where I am in life. The first change earlier this year was in how I thought I’d use this time to explore. A newer layer to that is in using this time of discernment is how I really need to push myself as I explore, to look and consider things. Being passive gets me nowhere; claiming things gets me nowhere.

Maybe this sounds similar to before, but it’s a renewal to me, for me. I am invigorated once more as life goes on, as I head through it. Perhaps repetition has its uses, if it leads me to reiterate, to grow upon failure, to learn from it.

I’m starting to think this is resiliency: not only being able to get up from a fall, but to recover quicker, better, each time.

Figuring things out, and getting closer and better, improving, each time

Figuring things out, and getting closer and better, improving, each time



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