On Repeat

On Repeat

Repetition is good. Repetition is bad. Both things are true, depending on specific values of “Repetition”.


Bad repetition:

  • Having to listen to the same playlist of thirty songs because the soundtrack where you work never changes
  • Initiating patterns of compulsive, destructive behavior in every relationship
  • Racial/sexist/homophobic slurs learned from parents blurted in public
  • Obsessively checking your social media feeds for the dopamine loop hit

Good repetition:

  • Playing a beloved song over and over until you know every line and every note by heart
  • Saying a poem to yourself until you can recite it by memory
  • Lifting weights in sets so as to increase strength
  • Working on a daily creative habit

Might have fudged the last one, there. But it isn’t what you create, it’s how you get it done, and it is a kind of repetition. Mindless, habitual, until you forget about motivation and stamina and working yourself up to forge ahead—you just do the thing.

Comments are closed.