Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Mystical Game of Self-Improvement

A friend (who will remain anonymous) and I have decided to venture down an interesting path of potential self-improvement. My friend's idea; a good one, I thought, so I elected to play along.

Some background. In theory, it is said, it takes something like three weeks of continuous work on changing something about oneself for the change to stick (frankly, I think it's a lengthier period of time). Anyway, my friend said (and I am paraphrasing), "If I chose to change something I don't like about myself each week for a year, that's fifty-two things. Hopefully, after a year, some number of them will have stuck".

To make it a game with RULES, each thing will be assigned a card from a normal deck of playing cards with changes pertaining to relationships being a Heart, to activities a Club, to Sins (I take this to mean anything from bad habits to character flaws) a Spade and money-related items a Diamond (one of my additions since having studied the Tarot, I know that Diamonds = Pentacles = money).

Finally, the lower cards, such as 2s, 3s, 4s, etc., would be for fairly simple/easy changes; conversely, the face cards would be for much more difficult things with the Ace being an almost impossible feat (but one, by definition, likely the most worth the ultimate effort). So, as an example, an attempt to always enter checks, withdrawals and deposits into the checkbook might be assigned the two or three of Diamonds; conversely, a desire to give 10% of one's income to charity might be the Queen of Diamonds.

In mulling over how I might attack this, I got to thinking I'd be likely to start off picking things that either were not that hard OR that I was already doing (such as the checkbook example above). I'd likely continue in this vein until all I had left were the toughies and then I might give up out of sheer frustration. I thought what I might do is, each week on the appointed day, draw a playing card out of the deck and then decide what change it represented. Of course, each week, I'd have to make sure I removed the cards I'd already used and then there is the potential problem of not being able to come up with anything for that card.

Mr. B suggested that I sit down BEFORE starting the game and come up with the change represented by each of the fifty-two cards. Not a bad idea, except, I'm not sure, frankly, that I can conjure up fifty-two things I want to change about myself right now. As with many things in life, this type of effort can be pretty fluid and subject to, well, change. Something I think I want to work on in September of 2011 in the activities area may not be pertinent by the time I might draw that card four or five months later.

Am I over thinking this maybe? Probably!

In the end, I've decided to tie my game to the Tarot. Why? Well, first, because I have a real cool Tarot deck that's been gathering dust, but, mostly because each of the fifty-six minor arcana cards, which roughly correspond to a normal deck of playing cards but with four extra face cards (the Pages), pertain to something in particular (generally speaking as nothing in the Tarot is terribly particular), thus, will provide a bit more guidance/structure as to WHAT to focus on. Arguably, this doesn't work quite as well with the lower cards being assigned easier changes but I suppose I can modify it somewhat to making those change on the lighter side. And, if I end up doing pretty well with this, I can tackle the 22 additional cards of the major arcana; the real heavy hitters, such as The Chariot, Justice, Strength, The Tower and Death. And yes, I realize dear friend, that I've just added half a year to my game!

In the true spirit of reality show TV, I'm going to take this one step further and chronicle my game right here on Mrs. B's Brilliant Blog. Hey, it's not as if I've been writing much about anything these days, anyway, so, as my friend pointed out, this will also serve as fodder.

On Monday October 3rd I'll draw my first card and the game will be a foot.

Mrs. B


Mr. B said...

Well, maybe a chronicle here is as good as the list I suggested. I'm interested to see how this is going to play out. Will you post the habit to be changed on the first day?


Mrs. B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. B said...

Yes, I think that I will. BTW, it may not necessarily be changing (or eliminating) a habit. It might also be doing something completely new, such as 6:48.

Which opens up the playing field some.