ACCORDING TO THE INTERNATIONAL Listening
Association, within twenty-four hours, we forget half of any
information weve heard. Forty-eight hours later, weve
forgotten 75 percent of it. And we dont grasp everything
we hear in the first place. But these numbers change when what
we hear is repeated. And the more its repeated,
the better the numbers look.
All this has a huge bearing on how you
make changes in your life. You change your behavior by changing
the way you think. But the way you think is as ingrained and
habitual and as resistant to change as any physical habit.
So learning new ways of thinking and behaving
and learning them well enough to actually make a difference
requires repetition. If, for example, you find a book
that really makes a difference to you, read it again and again.
Make it an annual event. Every time you read it, youll
come across things youd forgotten about.
Audiotapes are ideal for repetition. Listen
to tapes in your car and traffic jams will be transformed from
an annoyance to an extended opportunity to improve the quality
of your life.
Telling your friends about something youve
learned helps cement the new information in your mind. The more
you share it, the better you learn it. The effort and concentration
it requires to explain something to someone makes it clearer
in your own mind and more permanent.
There are always so many new books, new
tapes, new shows, new ideas, new information we know well
never get to it all, but our curiosity constantly pulls us toward
it. But keep this in mind: Most of that new stuff isnt
very good. And even less applies to your situation. So when you
come across something that is good and does apply
to your situation, hold onto it. Reread it. When you come across
a good chapter in this book that applies to you, read it again
in a month. Write a letter to someone and explain the idea to
them and how you used it and how it worked. Post it on your refrigerator.
Read it onto a tape and listen to it in your car. Keep it in
your life. Repetition makes a difference.
With repetition you can take a fleeting
hope sparked by a good idea and turn it into an actual change
in your life. Instead of that possibility fading with your memory,
it can grow stronger and stronger until your life is changed
for the better. The distance between hope and actuality is crossed
To turn good ideas into real
change, use repetition.