Have you ever wondered how those old guys in suits have managed to show up at the same time every day to the same office for the last thirty years? The ones who seem perfectly content to have spent whole swaths of their lives engaged in the same work, day after day?
Have you ever marveled at how they seem not to have grown terribly bored by all that sameness, year after year?
Those suit-guys must be some really plain-joe, vanilla specimens.
They must really love what they do.
Only, passion, alone, isn’t enough to keep a person going for decades. Neither is loyalty. There has to be another factor at play to have prevented these dutiful workers from jumping ship.
My guess is that behind every great routine-follower there is an exceptional awareness for, and appreciation of, the small but significant innovations that crop up from out of consistency.
The same routine done by the same person for years renders new realizations and opportunities for growth for the person who is on the alert for such things.
That’s what’s staved off boredom and staleness; it’s that whole old-dogs-new-tricks thing.
In the pursuit of excellence, the smart ones find ways to perpetually reconnect and reignite with their material. They do not see sameness expanding into forever, but notice and celebrate discrepancies from among the similar.
And that, ultimately, is how they become masters of their crafts. By doing the same thing over and over and over again, and by realizing that each reptition isn’t quite like the one before, and is therefore ripe with potential for growth.