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More than a decade ago, while listening to a University Statistics Lecturer, I stuck into my memory one statement he made. He said, “repetition is the key to intelligence.” For so many years I had thought that those who have the ability to assimilate information all at once were the most intelligent people. I never realized until then that those with quick understanding as well as those who need to behold it over and over again are all intelligent, inasmuch as the information ends up being retained. Due to many people’s ignorance on the true definition of intelligence, a lot of people with delayed understanding have felt inferior  before those they perceive to be smarter. The truth is that everyone is smart; all it takes is the time to prove it.

Having realized this, I adopted this psychological belief in teaching my children. Although, one can sometimes be impatient in transferring information to another person, but one key I have continuously used to unlock the door of knowledge into another person or people is teaching or saying it over and over again. I am an emphatic teacher; expressing important points through high and audible tones and at the same time repeating it more than three times. When I introduce a new Mathematics or English comprehension topic to my little children, I never panic if they will understand because I make the assumption that they may not at first. My comfort stems from the fact that I’m ready to teach it over and over again until they see the answers in their dreams.

In my personal studies, I adopt  the same approach. If I truly want to learn something, that topic will regret ever meeting me. Even if I grasp the information all at once, I am not just interested in quick understanding but retention. Your ability to recall a sizeable portion of what you learned after a couple of years is determined by how much knowledge you retained. So, you may quickly understand, but how much do you recall after a few years down the line. It is repetition that will make you recall a whole lot of the information you ingested a couple of years behind.

Another lesson I have learned from repetition is that it is the basis of reproduction. Reproduction, not in the sense of producing humans but creativity. I have discovered that whatever you know very well, you can adapt and innovate. From a basic design, you can redesign and reformat what is already in existence. The advancement of technology began from the basics of Physics and Mathematics. Today, most people involved in technological designs are neither Physicists nor Mathematicians, but their adept knowledge of these subjects is the foundation of their creativities. If they hadn’t repeatedly engaged in the basics, they won’t gain access into the unknown. You can’t research into something you have not reviewed.

As a trained Biochemist, I am conversant with the centrifuge machine. The centrifuge machine is used for separating different extracts. What it does is separate the solid particles in a solution from the solvent/liquid. The solid becomes sediments at the bottom of the test tube while the liquid/solvent remains on top. The centrifuge machine uses the principle of spin or revolution just like the washing machine. By spinning or revolving the test tube at high speed, separation occurs. A spin or revolution is based on the principle of repetition in a circular motion. Where there is repetition, there is separation. To be separate from those who are lazy in imbibing information or knowledge, you must repeatedly assimilate it until you fully retain it. Without continuous spin, revolution or repetition, you can’t retain the sediment or main ingredient of information.

Learning begins with consciousness, but as you repeatedly learn the same thing, you unconsciously perform the task excellently without even thinking about it. Repetition helps you reiterate. Repetition gives you a second and more chances of perfecting what you think you neither know nor understand. Everyone is intelligent; no one is a dullard. If you simply repeat it, you will easily recall it. Repetition is regurgitation. Repetition is a form of meditation. When you continually ponder on a specific subject, you’ll become a specialist is that subject. If you feel you’re slow in understanding, never mind, just continually repeat your ingestion, and you will see how smart you are!



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Ken is a leadership Motivation, Strategy and Personal Development Writer, Blogger and Speaker. He writes for a number of magazines and blogs. He is also a mentor and published author of several books.

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