“Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.” – W. Somerset Maugham
This quote helps me to rationalize my infrequent use of the Wim Hof Method, my irregular meditation practice, and even less frequent writing sessions. It, the quote that is, holds truth. In my recent foray into bartending and mixology, I have learned where repetition is good, and where it is bad.
Repetition is good for creating muscle memory. And, muscle memory is key for consistency. But, consistency is not the way to experiment with new concoctions.
ex. 1: I am tasked with making 40 pineapple daiquiris. I fill two boston shakers, each with two daiquiris and ice. I shake them at the same time and fill up four coupe glasses. I do this 10 times in a row and I have completed my task.
ex. 2: I am tasked with creating one original drink using a new ingredient. I will make something (that will most likely taste bad) based on prior knowledge. I will taste it and then make corrections and taste again. Aaaaand repeat. This will take some time. Sometimes hours, sometimes weeks.
The first example shows why muscle memory is important. If this task is done every day for just a few weeks, the time that it takes to create 40 pineapple daiquiris will decrease. In example number 2, the process can be quite different. If we just mix new cocktails and taste them back to back to back some problems will arise. The obvious problem is that we will get drunk. The second less obvious problem has to do with set and setting. What else did I eat and drink on this day? What am I in the ‘mood’ to taste? The second time I taste triggers much less of a ‘light bulb’ effect. I become numb to the subtle nuances after just a few sips. Example 1 requires repetition and example 2 requires patience.
I think I will save further explanation on how I’ve used moderation and patience to make Wim Hof methods work for me.