Friday, June 08, 2007

Million Dollar Habits - Repetition

In Rober Ringer's book, Million Dollar Habits, he says in the Introduction that "Success is a matter of understanding and religiously practicing specific, simple habits that always lead to success." His objective in writing Million Dollar Habits was to share with his readers a wide variety of habits that he believes always produce positive results.

Ringer write:

"Interestingly, however, when I searched (on computer) for the word "repetition" in my book, I was surprised to find that I had used it only twice. And neither use was in conjunction with developing success habits.

In other words, I never actually explained how to go about forming those habits. It's been 15 years since I wrote Million Dollar Habits, so it's difficult to recall precisely what was on my mind at the time. In hindsight, however, it appears that I assumed the reader would understand that habits are formed through repetition."

In writing circles, this is known as presumption of (reader) knowledge on the part of the author, and it's something that a writer should always strive to avoid. It's the writer's duty to make certain that not one reader is left wondering, "But how do I actually do it?"

Every sports fan knows Larry Bird's story - practicing on a rickety old basket in French Lick, Indiana eight to 10 hours a day. Even though Bird was not considered to be a great athlete, through the sheer power of repetition he became a Hall of Fame legend.

Today, of course, there are millions of basketball players, from middle school to the pros, who are great shooters. And they all acquired that skill the exact same way - through repetition. There is no shortcut.

Repetition is how you become good at any sport, artistic endeavor, math, writing ... just about any activity one can think of. We've heard the truism all our lives: Practice makes perfect.

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