Repetition enables mastery

Who is the more formidable chef? One who has cooked a 100 different dishes or one who has practiced the same dish a 100 times?

The key word here is ‘practiced’. To merely make the same dish over and over won’t help you master it. To practice is to learn from each iteration.

The world discourages repetition. A person who has cooked a 100 different dishes is likely to have a more formidable resume. But repetition and the practice it enables is where mastery truly lies.

Whipping up a red sauce arrabiata a 100 times lets a budding chef combine the following variables in different ways:
– The choice of oil
– The browning of the garlic
– The ratio of tomatoes to onions
– The ‘doneness’ of the pasta

At the end of 100 iterations, she is likely to have mastered those key variables, which she can then translate to other dishes.

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. – Bruce Lee

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