The Pencil Limitation

The Pencil Limitation

In my life, as I set out to make lists, schedule my commitments, brainstorm what I want to do or how to spend my time, I have always gravitated to using a pencil as my writing tool of choice. Using a pencil allows me to take note of things that I value but at the same time, offers me flexibility of changing or correcting without the permanence of ink.

We often hear that saying “Let me pencil that into my calendar”. What that says to us is that we are ready to partially commit to a meeting, get together or task, but in the back of our mind, we value knowing that our commitments aren’t carved in stone and we take comfort in knowing we can change or erase it at anytime.

The ability to erase commitments, tasks or ideas allows us to look back at our calendars and lists and not be faced with a sense of failure or anxiety because of our hesitancy to follow through on our intentions. If we write it down in pencil and then erase it, we feel like we are free.

If we constantly spend our lives partially committing to things written in pencil, then we are too often allowing ourselves the chance to ignore or back away from our challenges. If we commit and then later erase the intention from our lists or calendars when we are not up for it, we are in essence convincing ourselves that we are achievers despite the reality that we are unwilling to face the obstacles.

This year, I made the decision to commit to using a pen in my daily planner. By facing each day with the task of writing down the things I need and want to accomplish using pen, I am making the decision to see them through.

There are days that some of the things I have chosen to commit to don’t see it through to completion, but for years, what I did when I chose to pencil in my commitments was to erase the things that didn’t get done and therefore not feel a sense of failure.

By making the commitment with pen, what I see now is that while there may be things that have not have seen their way to completion, by not being able to erase them from my planner, it motivates me to face the challenge or task with a new perspective and desire to refocus my plan, achieve results and make those intended personal connections.

The sense of accomplishment I feel being able to commit to pen and cross off the work I have completed has motivated me more than the sense of comfort I used to get when I would write things in pencil knowing that I was able to erase them later so that I wouldn’t feel a sense of inability to achieve results.

Are you ready to commit your life to achievement and accomplishment or are you still taking comfort in knowing that the “pencil mentality” will allow you to live your life with hesitation?

Throw away the pencil, embrace the pen and you will see your productive and creative life begin to take form and purpose by committing to your goals and seeing the process through to completion.

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