Good evening. Happy Monday. Can’t believe the week started already. It’s exciting.
So today I got a bit bored doing something and that bought up all this, “Oh, why am I doing this again? I can’t believe we’re going to do this again” chatter in my head. Then I’ve had a moment, as I do when I find myself getting agitated or, let’s be honest, pissed off about something that I asked myself why.
That’s the most amazing thing we can do for ourselves is ask ourselves questions when we’re feeling in a certain way because it’s in the answer to that question that you find the solution to so many things, if you’re willing to be honest with yourself with the answer. That’s kind of the crunch. If you’re not willing to be honest with yourself with the answer, probably no point.
But that brings me to this topic because if you ask yourself enough questions, even if you start off going, “Don’t want the answer, I’m not going to admit to that, oh, dear …” The more you ask yourself the questions, the more honest you will become because you’ll want to start seeing movement, motion, transition. You will honestly have, all puns intended, you will want to start seeing more of the truth in yourself so you can see the truth in yourself, if you get what I mean.
So I was bored because I was repeating something for what felt like the 500,000th time. Okay, I’m 45. It wasn’t the 500,000th time I was doing it. It just felt like it. Why does that annoy me so much?
Repetition is the basis for pretty much everything. You don’t learn to walk without repeating it. You don’t learn to talk without repeating it. You don’t learn five times five is 25 without repeating it. You don’t learn in your keynote without repeating it over and over and over and over again. Let’s face it, you don’t get good at shnogging, be interesting to see if the transcription service can pick that up, without repeating it. Everything we do in life, we get good at by repetition.
Now you probably all heard of the 10,000-hour idea and that you get really good at something doing it for 10,000 hours. So when that came out, lots of people like creating this, “Oh, my God. Okay, so to get 10,000 hours, I need to do …” If you did anything for 10,000 hours, awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome.
But in some things, you can actually repeat a lot less to get good at things. You can learn how to swim, you can learn how to cook something, you can… not boiling eggs. See my earlier post about that. And with our children, we need to teach them that, “Okay, so the first time you cut an apple, you didn’t do such a good job. Second time, it’s getting a little bit better. Third time, yeah, you’re getting there. Get to job number 10, you’re cutting that up with your eyes shut.”
So it shouldn’t, well, there’s the should word, repetition in things, especially when we’re learning something new, we need to negate that boredom filter that goes up. We need to let go of that, “Oh, I can already do this. I don’t need to repeat it. I’ve got this in the bag.” We need to cut that shit out and we need to just keep repeating it.
In anything we try in life, I don’t think there’s ever a point where you can stop repeating something to be as good as you can be in it, even driving. With changes in road rules, with the changes in what’s happening in the streets, with changes in cars, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, and you get better. Hopefully I’m going to be repeating that for a very, very, very long time.
In what I do in speaking, for example, it’s standing in front of that mirror, yakity, yakity, yakity, yakity, yakity, repeating those lines until they’re soaked in. Then you might need to repeat it again because you want to tweak something or change something.
I’ll give you an example. Years and years ago, I did a show called Samantha Leith Made Up and I loved that show. If anyone wants me to do that again, give me a hoy. The premise of the show was it was a journey about our lives as told through makeup. So I started desk, the audience was my mirror. I’m in a dressing gown, stripped bare, totally stripped bare. As I apply makeup, I’d tell stories and it’s like this great big metaphor for life. So foundation is about our childhood, eye makeup is about power, lipstick is about sexuality. You get the picture. I’d rehearse the script and I’d rehearse the songs over and over and over and over and over again.
The night before opening night, I was opening in Melbourne and I said to the person I was staying with, “Oh, shit, I haven’t practiced doing my makeup.” Literally, the whole show was based on my ability to do a full performance face without a mirror and I hadn’t practiced it once.
So I get to the venue the next day for soundcheck and dress rehearsal before the show and I get to it. I literally do my face for the first time without a mirror and you know what? I could do it. One of the reviews was like… It’s Charlie, by the way, over there. One of the reviewers was, like, “Oh, my God, not only did she sing Betty Davis Eyes really, really well, but she did it while putting on liquid eyeliner without a mirror. Like, that’s some crazy shit.”
You know why I could do it? Because I had repeated the act of putting on a full face hundreds, hundreds, possibly… It was in my early 20s, probably not thousands, but definitely hundreds and hundreds of times. And I’d actually challenge any of you that do wear makeup, to try your make up without mirror. You know the contours of your face, you know the line of your lip, you know where the top of your eyelid is, you know the edges, you know where your cheekbones are to apply blush.
Okay, back in those days, we didn’t have all the fancy reflectors and things, might be a bit harder now, but that was probably the first time I really understood that when we repeat something, we succeed. When we repeat something, we gain a skill. When we repeat something, it becomes a habit. You know I like to talk about habits.
Flip side is if you repeat something that’s negative, that stuff stays with you as well. So we want to try and get repetitive on the things that are good. So we want to get repetitive on going to the gym, not repetitive on eating a tub of ice cream. We want to get repetitive on learning a new language, not repetitive on spreading malicious gossip. Go with the good. If in doubt, go with the good. If in doubt, go with the good.
My challenge here, I like to give you a challenge every day, is tomorrow or tonight, whenever you’re watching this video, if there’s something you’re doing that is literally giving you the shits because you think you’re doing it for the 500th time and, “Oh, my God, haven’t we got this already? I can’t believe I’ve got to repeat this. What’s the point?” Any of that stuff, even if your body can’t get past tomorrow, “Really, I’ve got this upper cut. I don’t need to practice,” you do need to practice it. So just notice how you’re feeling about the repetition and why you’re finding it not what you want to be doing and you’d be surprised what comes up. You really will be surprised.
Occasionally, shh, it’s a secret, it could almost be that you don’t want to get successful in it for some reason. We talk about that fear of success crap. So, yeah, get repetitive. It is not a bad thing at all.
So have a great night. Happy Monday and I will see you all tomorrow when you’re either in a fascinator or saying no to the Cup. Okay, for those of you not in Australia, Melbourne Cup Day tomorrow, quite a political thing these days, so we may talk about that. I try not to get political, don’t know. See how we go tomorrow. Good night.