I attended the Delivering Happiness Book Tour at 7:30 am in downtown Phoenix, about an hour away with traffic and parking. It was a feat to wake up at 5 am. My eyes were open but my brain was behind on the memo to function. I had to ask my daughter to help with the coffee machine because I couldn’t get it to close and brew coffee. I felt more alert after breakfast, then got ready in record time because I didn’t want to miss a minute of the talk.
After arriving at the venue we were given stickers with a space to write our name and the instruction to write something weird that makes you happy. My mind momentarily went blank then I wrote, “random experiments to change my life” and stuck it on. Every week I experiment with different experiments or personal challenges. An example is to eat salad for dinner three nights in a row or go to Zumba three days and run 2.5 miles on yoga days for two weeks. Then challenge myself to go to three weight training classes and write for 30 minutes a day on the iPhone about lessons learned or links to useful business tools. These experiments build into larger dreams and are less intimidating when I schedule them into my calendar.
When the time arrived to get my newly purchased Delivering Happiness book signed by Tony Hsieh, he asked me what was the latest experiment I attempted. I told him waking up early was an experiment that crashed and burned in less than 2 days. I set my alarm early but reset my count the day after I oversleep. He asked me if I was left or right handed and he said, “try brushing your teeth with the other hand for 30 days, it’s an easy challenge to start.” I challenge you to try this experiment with me.
At my first attempt, I had to use two hands to turn on my electric toothbrush. I thought to myself, did I turn on the toothbrush one-handed with my other hand? I finally had to hold the top part of the brush with my right hand and slide the switch with my left thumb to turn it on.
As I brushed my teeth I was very aware of which tooth the brush was on and when I moved onto the next tooth because it was more deliberate. I consciously kept track of which teeth were done so none would be skipped. I automatically switched back to my right hand when I went to rinse. The goal for the next day or so is to turn the toothbrush on one-handed on my left hand. Funny, how I never thought about before.
I will post this weekend from the fabulous Las Vegas on my progress. If you take the challenge post your thoughts in the comments after your first attempt to brush your teeth using the opposite hand. How many days did it take to make it feel effortless?
Update: November 3 – 14
Day 3 was much better, I was able to power on the toothbrush with my left hand and wasn’t using every fiber of my being to concentrate on brushing my teeth without stabbing myself. I also told myself to only use my left hand to touch my toothbrush so I can continue on with the challenge in Vegas. After coming home from a night of dancing in Vegas, I thought oh wow, I haven’t actually thought about brushing my teeth with a manual toothbrush. Luckily, having a few days of practice using my electric toothbrush helped. I wanted to do a victory dance in the bathroom after I finished brushing my teeth but since none of my friends knew about the toothbrush experiment, I had to refrain. I could have blamed it on the alcohol, then of course not jumping around the bathroom was a better solution.