The twin sisters

Do You Write With A Pencil, A Ball Point Pen Or An Ink (Fountain) Pen?

Tools to match the skills

As a child, when you first started school, your teacher handed you a wooden pencil, with lead running through the middle of it that could be sharpened to a point, and erased should the need arise. You learned to form your first few alphabets with a lead pencil, guided by your teacher. If you made a mistake, out came the eraser and away went the mistake. 

As you progressed through school, the pencil was discarded to be replaced with a ballpoint pen. More permanent and easy to write with, despite the initial struggle (learning curve) to get the formation of those words right. Eventually, you mastered writing and were confident enough to write flawlessly. This is the time when some of us migrated to the elegant ink (fountain) pen.

So, what does your choice of writing tool say about you? Can you change this at all? Well, I have a theory that I would like to share with you. 


Confidence, I did it my way

Taking into consideration the various situations that call for the wielding of craft specific implements, these observations that follow I have found to be true.  To me, a person writing with a pencil is a little unsure of what they will produce and would like to have the option to erase errors. A person who chooses to write with a ballpoint pen, however, is one who is more confident of what they are doing and not so worried about making mistakes. At the same time, they are also of the mind that believes in the functional and looks for quick solutions. After all, no writing tool can be more functional than a ballpoint pen – easily accessible, cheap, durable and disposable – environment notwithstanding.

The ink pen, also referred to as a fountain pen, on the other hand is usually wielded by a person who has a flare for life. Usually confident of their work and is proud of what they produce. Interestingly enough they seeks the same appreciation in others whose work they rely on in support of their effort. He writes with a flourish and exudes a sense of dignity.

Small choices make significant impacts

You too can transform from a person who writes with a pencil to someone who chooses to write with a fountain pen. The key is self-confidence. Self-confidence or the lack of it is essentially the result of how we perceive our capabilities and ourselves. This self-perception affects the way we assess situations and deal with them. Most human beings behave in ways that only go to strengthen their self-perception. As a result, many of us are unaware of our true potential.

One person that I think is an epitome of a fountain pen wielder is May Kay Ash, the founder of the famous Mary Kay cosmetic empire. She once wrote:

Aerodynamically the bumblebee should not be able to fly, but the bumblebee does not know that so it goes on flying anyway. 

Success in life is determined largely by what we believe we can do. This means that the first step to being successful in our personal or professional lives is to develop a realistic perception of our abilities. 

So, are you ready to teach yourself to write with a fountain pen? You have already taken the first step. You now know that it is only your belief in the extent of your abilities that is standing in your way.

Unbridle your limitations

Here are some of the next steps that you should take. Remember to give yourself the time to master each step before moving on to the next.

  1. Try something new. Challenge yourself. Break out of your comfort zone. You never know what you will learn and how much you will grow as an individual.
  2. What is the worst that can happen? This is a great question to ask yourself when you feel anxious or face your fears. You will realize that more often than not things are not as bad as you imagined them to be.
  3. Set yourself achievable goals. Break these goals down into weekly or even daily goals. Reward yourself for each small goal that you achieve.
  4. Build a stock of positive memories. These could be of happy times, of achievements, of praise from others or times when you felt proud of yourself. These are the memories you will need to boost your confidence when you face your fears or take on challenges. Use these memories to understand that you have much more potential than you thought you had. 
  5. Remember that what was true in the past need not be the reality in the present. People can learn to adapt. You can learn to adapt. 
  6. Dress well. Looking well will make you feel better about yourself almost instantaneously.
  7. Work on your social skills. Good communication skills are key to getting good responses from others. The good news is that these skills can be learned by anyone by attending your local Toastmasters club.
  8. Have a role model. Have a bunch of role models. Some call them mentors who inspire you, usually the kind of personality that will not let you slide.  Alas a close friend, member of your family and usually not a celebrity simply will not do.
  9. Stop comparing yourself to others. The only person you need to be better than is your past self. Take the perspective of a world athlete; they compete against their best efforts only.
  10. Work on your relationships. This is something that will make life better for everyone. All human beings are social animals and good relationships offer a great high.

So, get ready to stop depending on an eraser. You have the ability within you to flourish the most exotic quill. Leave the mark that you write in ink.



Thank you for reading this article.

Did you find this article interesting? Then subscribe for FREE to The Managing Change NewsReel Newsletter. A monthly perspective on world issues relating to managing life’s changes. Taking into account how we engage with ourselves (You the Id), peering into the Family with all its social dynamics. We will include past and current stories on the shifting landscape of Business and Careers with a realistic look at global issues over time and their impact into the future. Feel free to provide your perspective on any of the issues and topics I touch on as the true value of any exchange in interpersonal conversations is found in the differences we express.

Be seeing you!
Ronald M. Allen

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