Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Can I Change a 20-year Long Habit ?

I've been experimenting over the past few weeks to see if you can teach an "old dog" a "new trick."  The results, thus far, are inconclusive.  The "change" being made is arguably the dumbest anyone has ever come up with, but for me there is a more personal reason than I will share in this blog.

The details will follow, but here are a few questions so you can possibly guess the "change" I am trying to retrain myself to make:
 - What do you put in your pants pockets?
 - Do you have a specific location you keep your cell phone on your person?
 - Which hand do you use to start the ignition in your car?
 - Do you keep money in your wallet, pants pocket, neither, or a little of both?

If you've not guessed it already, my "experiment" is to see if I can successfully retrain my brain and my hands to keep my car keys, cell phone, money, and wallet in different pockets than they have been kept for 20+ years.

Historically, I have always kept my car keys in my left, front pants pocket.  This makes no sense when you really think about it because I never start the car (or unlock the door for that matter) with my left hand.  And that simple thought got me thinking about other pants pocket inefficiencies.  I also thought about how certain things kept in the same place in pants pockets over and over again can begin to leave noticeable wear patterns in your pants.  Maybe it's only happening to me, but when I stopped and looked, I realized that a keen eye could pick out exactly where all my pocket stuff was being kept in my pants.

I have to digress here for a minute and explain why I never keep money in my wallet.  That comes from when I was on my mission in Los Angeles and had a companion (that is what your fellow missionary was and is called in the mission field ... I don't mean "companion" like "life partner" or anything like that) who advised me against keeping money in my wallet.  I asked why and his answer was simple and scary ... but it also made a lot of sense: that way when you get mugged you can give them your wallet and only after they've run off will they realize you have no money.  So ever since my first month on my mission I have kept my "money" separate from my wallet.  This comes into play as I considered where to move everything now that my keys have to go somewhere else.

So my keys have been moved to my right front pants pocket ... and that set off a chain reaction.  My cell phone, usually kept in that pocket, needed to be moved to my left front pocket, so that it would not get scratched up by the keys jangling around in there with them.  I'll not say exactly where, but my wallet and separate money stash have made moves as well (it is crazy to feel your wallet in a different pocket if you are used to having it in one of the pockets on the back side of your pants!)

I may blog later once the "change" becomes natural, but for now it is still a reminder for me every time I put my pants on in the morning and every time I reach for my cell phone and every time I try to put the car keys in my pocket after a drive and ... you get the picture.

So try it out yourself and see how "stuck in a rut" you are.  I bet you'll be surprised and maybe not think this is such a stupid blog post anymore!  :)


1 comment:

  1. Heh... funny I do the same thing with my money and I learned that on my mission as well.

    I used to keep my cash with my "white bible".