According to the Chinese Zodiac, it’s the Year of the Monkey. And therefore, I’m forced to wear red at all times.
This is because you “supposedly” have more bad stuff happen to you when it’s your year. And since I was born in the Year of the Monkey, I have to wear at least some bit of clothing that is red at all times “to protect myself.”
It’s kind of like St. Patrick’s Day but a year-long, Chinese version.
Honestly, I’m not a superstitious guy at all. I believe in data and science.
But this doesn’t mean I disagree with all superstitions. China has had thousands of years to perfect their weird, super-bitter-tasting medicine and acupuncture healing. Perhaps there is some truth to their idea of “the worse it tastes, the more likely it will heal you.”
Thousands of years of history versus these Cherry-flavored American children’s pills. Your pick (having said that, I hate bitter stuff so I would prefer the flavored pills if I knew they were equally as healing).
It’s funny though. Because I experienced a lot more bad events than usual these last two weeks:
I recently ran into a deer, destroyed parts of my car, had my backup car’s engine fail on me, and had my car flooded.
But I still choose to look at these as minor setbacks because I was not hurt and I am still healthy. Plus, I’m not going to say this “proves” this Chinese superstition because it could just be confirmation bias at play.
So what’s the point of this story?
There’s one random point and a second point that will benefit you.
First, the dumb one:
I will be wearing red at all times (most likely a piece of fabric as a bracelet or anklet).
I am doing this because I believe in this. I am because my family does and they say you should not argue with thousands of years of tradition.
Also, because it’s kind of cool and there’s no downside.
If anything, there’s an upside. Some studies have shown that red is the best color of clothing you can wear to increase your attractiveness (because it implies you have higher status).
Quick note: I went down a rabbit hole of research to find if these studies about red were trustworthy enough. It seems it is not statistically relevant enough to be confirmed.
Second… (and this is the reason that might help you.)
It’s because it’s a good way to practice forming habits and setting reminders for yourself. I will put a reminder on this piece of cloth each time I wear it. It’s probably going to be, “Are you moving closer or farther away from your goals?” but I am still deciding because I want something more specific.
Each time I see the red cloth on my wrist, it will jolt me back into doing something productive if I am not and realign me towards my long-term goals.
Also, it’s a good chance to practice what I learned in the book The Power of Habits. Basically, the book says that you should have a trigger (red bracelet), a routine (work towards your goals), and a reward (haven’t decided on it, but Brian Tracy suggested a healthy snack).
Basically, I am using a red ribbon as a reminder to:
- Form a productive new habit.
- Act as a reminder to reward myself when I do the habit.
- Keep myself aligned with my biggest goals and avoid distraction.
- Reinforce the positive behaviour. (I tried to research if the positive or negative reinforcement works better out of curiosity. But all I could find were articles that only had opinions or had something to sell you based on what they said. Let me know if you find a good study.)
In conclusion, I have turned a neutral event (you must wear red) into a positive one.
I challenge you to do the same thing. Maybe you can follow along with me in this challenge even if this isn’t your Zodiac year. Cut a piece of red fabric and wrap it around your arm.
Set a routine and reward for your red bracelet. Start making it a habit to wear at all times.
Let me know if you do, I’d be excited to hear about it.
P.S. There is a lazier way of doing this “Red challenge.” Just choose a color and tell yourself that each time you see this color, you remind yourself to do something. That way, you don’t have to wear a bracelet or anklet.
It’s up to you how you do it, but I recommend the actual bracelet because it’s more physical and keeps you going. But either is better than nothing.