écouter et répéter

mocha momentsI love the French language. The guttural Rs…the way one word seems to join another in a sentence…except in certain cases…pure music. To learn French back when I was in secondary school – our teacher always started the lesson by asking us to “écouter et répéter…” – listen and repeat.

In Og Mandino’s ‘The Greatest Secret’, his instructions include reading a Scroll a day for thirty days in the following manner:

  1. When you wake up
  2. After lunch
  3. Aloud just before bed.

The second scroll addresses love, the third – persistence, the fourth celebrates the human life as a miracle etc…each one addressing a principle necessary to understand and make a part of your life if you want to enjoy sustained success.

Most of us don’t like repeating, re-learning or re-reading. It’s boring. We KNOW it already. We’ve read it before. But Og urges us not to take this simple reading of a scroll three times a day for thirty days lightly. This is what happens..

As you repeat the words daily they will soon become a part of your active mind but more important they will also seep into your other mind, that mysterious source which never sleeps, which creates your dreams, and often make you act in ways you do not comprehend.

“I was reading ‘Think and Grow Rich’ for the fourth time while walking leisurely along a business street in Sydney”, said The Honorable William V. McCall the youngest man ever to become a member of the Australian Parliament. “And then it happened! It happened suddenly. I stopped in front of a meat market window and glanced up. And in that very fraction of a second I had a flash of inspiration. I exclaimed aloud ‘That’s it! I’ve got it’. I was startled at my emotional outburst. So was a lady who was passing by. She stopped and looked at me in amazement. I hurried home with my new discovery.”

What he found was the power of autosuggestion. He said this about his aha moment:

You know conscious autosuggestion is the agency of control through which an individual may voluntarily feed his subconscious mind on thoughts of a creative nature, or by neglect, permit thoughts of a destructive nature to find their way into the rich garden of his mind.

From the book Success through a Positive Mental Attitude – Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone

The simplicity of the act of repeating makes it a turn off for many. We want complex. Difficult. Challenging.

Take Napoleon Hill’s Confidence Formula in the book ‘Think and Grow Rich’.:

repetitionI know that I have the ability to achieve the object of my definite purpose in life; therefore I demand of myself PERSISTENT, CONTINUOUS ACTION toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action.

I realize the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality; therefore I will concentrate my thoughts for 30 minutes daily, upon the task of THINKING of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear mental picture.

I know the principle of autosuggestion, any desire that I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it; therefore I will devote 10 minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of self-confidence.

I have clearly written down a description of my definite purpose in life and I WILL NEVER STOP TRYING until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.

I fully realize that no wealth or position can long endure, unless built upon truth and justice; therefore I will engage in no transaction which does not benefit all whom it affects. I will succeed by attracting to myself the forces I wish to use, and the cooperation of other people. I will induce others to serve me, because of my willingness to serve others. I will eliminate hatred, jealousy, selfishness and cynicism by developing love for all humanity, because I know that a negative attitude toward others can NEVER bring me success. I will cause others to believe in me, because I will believe in them, and in myself.

I will sign my name to this formula, commit it to memory, and repeat it aloud, once a day, with full faith that it will gradually influence my thoughts and actions so that I will become a  SELF RELIANT, SUCCESSFUL person.

The last paragraph contains the instructions – commit to memory, repeat it aloud, once a day  with full faith that by doing this you will influence your thoughts and actions.

I use to fantasize that if I just slept on my school books, that the information would magically seep into my brain and I would avoid having to read through long tracts and memorize verses. This doesn’t work, and neither does cramming. What works for me is reading and underlining, making notes and attempting to truly “get” what I’m reading. I’m not reading for speed…I’m  reading for understanding.

Consider writing out in long hand, every day, your main goal.

Take on Og Mandino’s challenge of 45 weeks of repetition. I’m currently on week 6. The first line of Scroll 3 – I will persist until I succeed. There ya go! I am finding it harder and harder to NOT do what I say I’m going to do. With those words floating around in my head, how can I be anything but persistent?

Do you want wisdom? Try following successful entrepreneur Steven K. Scott’s prescription: Read the Book of Proverbs, a chapter a day. Have a pen and paper handy to write down the insights you gain and how to apply them to your life that day. In Steven’s book – ‘The Richest Man who ever lived’, his mentor Dr. Gary Smalley recalls:

In 1974 as I was spending the night at Steve Scott’s small home in Phoenix, Arizona, he told me of his career difficulties. Steve was a little discouraged at the time. He had just lost his sixth job since graduating from college ffour years earlier. It seemed to him that no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t keep a job for more than a few months. He had even tried starting his own business a couple of times, but both had quickly failed. He wanted to know if I could offer him any suggestions. After praying about it I had an idea. I gave him a challenge. I asked him “How would you like to become smarter than all of your bossess?” He replied somewhat sarcastically, “Yeah right.” “No” I told him. “I can promise that if you’ll just do one thing, within two years you’ll be smarter than all of your future bosses. And I’ll bet you’ll be a millionaire within five years.” Gary’s prediction was correct but off my 3 years – Steve became a millionaire in two!

If you still think it’s a waste of time know that you’re missing out on a deeper learning, a much deeper understanding and a chance to integrate with the material so viscerally that nothing will separate you from the wisdom and NOTHING will prevent you from taking action in the direction of our dreams.

As Zig Ziglar said

Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.


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