The Power Of Monotony: A Prologue

Monotony – lack of variety and interest; tedious repetition and routine.

No wonder the word has a bad rep. Factory workers know exactly what this feeling is like. You’re working with machine parts, no variety or variation to the procedure. Repetitive work. Just thinking about it makes me want to take a break.

“We are what we repeatedly do.”

– Will Durant ‘The Story Of Philosophy’

If you prefer the exact quote from the man with whom this famous saying was drawn from:

“As it is not one swallow or a fine day that makes a spring, so it is not one day or a short time that makes a man blessed and happy.”

– Aristotle

If we believe the statement (and it is true and very easy to prove) what would be the result of automating traits that we consider advantageous? I know brilliant people. Incredible conversationalists, writers that can blow your socks off, astonishingly, beautifully sculptured gym enthusiasts, guitarists that would make a deaf person fall in love with music… the last is hyperbole but I am certain you get my point. What separates those people from the people they were prior is repeated action. Like a stonemason chipping away at a boulder what started as a vague form found shape through repeated chiselling and over time morphed into a thing of beauty. The process of chipping away at rock is tedious, repetitive. It takes a long time and a lot of effort.

But the apparent hurdle, that elusive activation energy that yields the results that many aspire to have but never grasp – it’s annoyingly simple and incredibly unglamorous. It’s called monotony and it’s more powerful than we give it credit for. We’ll be looking at how to harness repetition to enrich our lives.

Get excited, I certainly am.

PS my previous post was about appreciating people while they’re still here to be appreciated. Just a few minutes ago I was still celebrating my 24th birthday. I was more than overwhelmed. For that, I am truly grateful. You’d think this blog has a far greater reach than it actually does judging by the volume, depth of feeling and variety of messages of appreciation I received. Maybe it does.  But even if it doesn’t, you have my thanks and you know who you are.

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