Jan 272011

When it comes to success in life, the pen is indeed far mightier than the sword.

Most success does not happen in a burst of effort on one day. Success comes from building good habits while eliminating bad ones. No matter if you look at sports, at the workplace, or at home, good habits and daily effort makes all the lasting difference.

Changing habits is far easier than most people realize, if a person uses Pale Ink and the mighty pen.

As an example, lets take a habit most of us realize we should change, but usually make little progress on:
Getting rid of complaining and whining.

Like most bad habits, whining creeps in slowly like weeds in the garden, but getting rid of the whining habit seems like a near impossible goal. It is not impossible.

I decided to give up complaining for the six of so weeks of Lent last year.  From memorable experience, it is far easier to forgo chocolate or beer than getting out of the habit of complaining.  We whine about everything from the weather to the guy down the hall to the traffic on I-635.  The reason it is easier is that eating or drinking decision moments only happen a few times per day, while complaining can happen any minute you are awake. It takes constant vigilance.

Yet I pulled it off — within 2 weeks of starting!  I went the next 4 weeks averaging less than one complaint per week. By the way, I had enlisted my family and coworkers to keep me honest and they reveled in the job, so I’m quite sure I did pull off it off.

How did the small miracle happen?  Pale Ink!

I carried an index card in my pocket and a pen — and forced myself to write down what I complained about, whenever I did it.  The power of the pen is awesome. When you realize that you have to write it down on a log, it instantly raises your awareness of the habit and how often you fall victim to its grip. It only took two weeks before complaints were essentially cured as a bad habit.

Pale Ink works for creating good habits too.  Later in 2010, I decided that I don’t eat enough portions of vegetables.  So I decided to write down every portion and review my progress week over week.  Four weeks later, my portions doubled, because keeping a daily log raised my consciousness.

If you want to drink less beers, don’t set a hard limit:  Just write each one down.  If you want to work out more often, put a calendar on the fridge and color in work out days in green.  If you have a bad habit of using curse words, write each one down and time and date stamp it.

Pale Ink on a simple log is an amazing motivation tool. Start today with one small habit that you would like to change and make a daily log. You will be amazed at how much progress you will make in just four weeks if you make a sincere attempt to write things down.

To become more optimistic, a good habit is to answer every “How’s it going?” with a “Great, couldn’t be better!” response. Why not log every time you answer the greeting with anything less than 5 star enthusiasm?  Within a few weeks, you will see great results and will find that this one little change will be a spark that helps the rest of the day go better.

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