Our challenge this thirteenth week was to use pencil. That was it, those were our only instructions. I am not a fan of pencil unless I am sketching out an idea or drawing something I plan to then embellish. I actually completed another version of this, thought is was “blechkt!” then moved on to this simpler version. The bottom is supposed to represent pencil shavings. The minute I read the prompt this movie quote popped into my head. I am now reminded why I like pens and ink…and yes, I sharpened my pencil after writing each letter and now my pencil sharpener is full!
How easy it is to get caught in a rut. Doing things the same old way because it is comfortable, known, controllable. We know what we are doing, we do it well, we have mastered things and most of the time do not even have to think to do it well. Yet what we miss out on by always doing things we always do. Sure there is comfort and peace in routine, which eventually borders on boredom and can even leave us a bit rigid. I was reminded of all this today while only using a pencil.
Doing something different makes us think more, work harder and also sharpens our skills. It tests us and can even leave us felling flat – hence my two versions of the same thing! Testing is good. Trying new things is fabulous. Letting go of our natural tendencies and pushing ourselves to do it better, differently makes us try harder. It also reinforces our comfort zone and why we operate so well in that space. However, that doesn’t mean our comfort zone is our best space, it is simply our most comfortable space…and there is a difference!
I didn’t like it, yet I must give a shout out to the pencil. It taught me about myself, my habits, my go to tools and forced me to work a bit harder to work out an idea. Maybe you have something new happening in your life. Instead of finding a way to shoe horn it into your normal way of doing things, sharpen your pencil and let the “new” broaden your horizons and stretch your skills. That process, new hire, new program, new paint color may be just the thing you need to take your work to the next level.