We’ve all heard the term “practice makes perfect.” It’s something instilled in us from a young age, from the repetition of the alphabet to the memorization of the multiplication table. Repetition is synonymous with practice, particularly in sports. Learning the proper technique and repeating that technique over and over again is the cornerstone of success in hitting a baseball, swinging a golf club, or shooting a free throw. We perform these tasks until their execution becomes automatic, natural, reflexive.

Major Leaguer Vernon Wells said, “I think hitting’s just repetition. The more you hit, the better you’re gonna get.” Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson put it this way: “A baseball swing is a very finely tuned instrument. It is repetition, and more repetition, then a little more after that.”

And this commitment to practice and repetition is not just a hallmark of the sports world. Author and positive thinking guru Norman Vincent Peale said, “Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.”

Repetition is utilized by actors and actresses, presenters and speakers. In his book, “Leadership,” Rudolph Giuliani extolled the importance of practicing a speech over and over not only to build confidence in the words and their presentation, but also ensure it is delivered in the right tenor and cadence. Some great speakers have even been known to practice their speeches in front of a mirror to also ensure appropriate body language when giving their address. Actress and activist Jane Fonda said, “We cannot always control our thoughts, but we can control our words, and repetition impresses the subconscious, and we are then master of the situation.”

This effect of repetition on our subconscious, our entire psyche really, is evident in the daily affirmation. We’ve all come across them, as memes on Facebook or inside our fortune cookie at our favorite Chinese restaurant. Take for instance, “I’m in control of what I think and how I feel,” or “Today is going to be a great day.”

Daily affirmations are preeminent in the self-help industry. A simple mantra, thought, or idea to be ingrained in our mind through daily repetition. And it can be incredibly effective. Boxing icon Muhammad Ali said, “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

You could also think of it in the terms of starting or perfecting a business. Companies have mission statements and philosophies. They have processes and policies shaped to support and grow these philosophies, and their business. As Elizabeth Arden said, “Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers.”

The same is true in the quality industry. Repetition is not only a part of its business philosophies, like those above, but also in the techniques we provide in product testing. Like Repetitive Shock (RS) Systems. Read all about it in our test and inspection article, “Repetitive Shock or Electro-Dynamic: Which Vibration System Will Meet Your Needs?” and everything else we have to offer in this month’s Quality.

Enjoy and thanks for reading!