3 Reasons Why Wearing a Pencil Behind Your Ear Can Benefit Your Life

New studies suggest that wearing a pencil behind the ear leads to higher conscientiousness. Here are some theories about how a seemingly trivial strategy can cause real and measurable improvements in one’s life.

  1. Access the pen-behind-the-ear version of yourself. Why do costume parties seem to be more fun than others? Costumes make it easier to shed our personas, leaving room for the behaviours and mannerisms associated with the specific character represented by the costume worn. A Pencil behind the ear is more abstract than a typical costume. And so its influence on our fluid (albeit viscous) personas will be more abstract, subtle and broad. For example, you can be the ‘you’ who is still tech-dependent but slightly more aesthetically aware; still immaculately presented but not insecure because it gets in the way of your pen-behind-the-ear-like industriousness; still charmingly wayward but more dutiful in relation to your personal success and wellbeing because you feel like a 21st Century Knight upholding a solemn vow to serve your cause. Costumes are not just for parties – nobody makes these rules. Wield a pencil by holstering one.
  2. Non-obnoxious conversation starter. Approachability is one visual cue you will send to others. The pencil’s association with academia sends a message that you are likely to know something of value, which increases people’s willingness to start up a dialogue with you. Not only is this good for you and those you interact with, it is intrinsically good because most people have something valuable to offer in an exchange characterised by real listening and receptivity. More social interactions will increase your confidence and charisma, which has implications for personal, romantic and professional betterments. Say, if somebody desirable inquires about the quirky pencil-do, respond with the truth. Explain your interest in the subtle affects daily pencil-wearing is having on your life. Share your gratitude for the conversation with this charming somebody made possible by said pencil-do. You will come across honest, creative and adventurous. Soon you will be wearing that pencil like a feather in your cap.
  3. The trickle-down effect. As outlined above, mere pencil-wearing can get you astonishingly far, but bring the practical utility of a pencil into play and the world is your oyster. You are more likely to succeed in reaching goals if you actively record your progress. You can better regulate your emotions if you write down what you feel and why. You can learn about, and even develop your personality if you make a daily or weekly journal. By no means do you need to take these up right away. In fact I advise against it. My pitch to you is simply to wear a pencil behind your ear for a while. As far as self-improvement strategies go, it is passive, low-risk and works the same way making your bed in the morning works – it will give you confidence to succeed in completing the next task (and the next).

Warning: The wearing of two pencils (one behind each ear) has been linked to strong adverse social effects.