Jeremy Côté

The Joy of Repetition

Each day, I wake up, eat a bowl of cereal, and go for a run. Day after day, month after month. The specifics of each run vary, but the repetition is relentless. I do a similar thing with my writing and drawing. I have a schedule and I stick to it, showing up again and again.

This might seem boring or constricting. This doesn’t sound like the spontaneity of the artist, or the “awesomeness” of an elite athlete crushing a workout. And yet, the atomic building blocks of mastery come from this repetition.

Being able (and willing) to focus on just a few activities in your life helps speed up your progression.

The key is that focus allows you to accelerate. If you only give small tugs at a pursuit, you won’t be able to ever pick up a lot of speed. Sure, you might make progress, but the feeling of getting better and better in an accelerated way won’t happen. That’s because you aren’t giving a sustained push.

By repeating things over and over, you gain momentum. Each small act gets magnified, and before you know it, your daily activities lead to big accomplishments.

The crazy thing is that the daily activities don’t have to change that much. You don’t have to do a ton more to reap the benefits. Instead, you need to be willing to commit. If you can find the strength to do that, the rest follows in time.

It’s not quick, it’s often boring, and it’s difficult, but repetition transforms us. Find the joy in repeating an activity, and you will find the path to mastery.