Oklahoma City man issues character-building challenge

Tom Pace, founder and CEO of PaceButler Corporation, is challenging people to go 10 consecutive days without lying, complaining or gossiping for a chance to win a $10,000 cash prize.
by Carla Hinton Published: July 31, 2012

Ten days without gossiping, lying or complaining.

For some people this might pose a difficult challenge, while others might find it easy to go almost two weeks without making a complaint, telling a lie or gossiping about something or someone.

Tom Pace, founder and CEO of PaceButler, said he read “A Complaint Free World” by Will Bowen and decided he would see if he could refrain from complaining for a certain time period. The idea intrigued him so that he added gossiping and lying to his list of no-no's.

Now the Oklahoma City executive has started a new initiative, the “3 Point Commitment,” which challenges individuals to go 10 consecutive days without gossiping, lying or complaining. Those that successfully complete the challenge will have their names placed in a drawing for $10,000 cash on Sept. 7.

Pace said about 1,000 people are participating in the character-building initiative. He said his goal is to change the world one person at a time, starting with himself.

“This is the most rewarding character exercise I've ever done because I want to think about my words before I say them,” he said. “Since I've been doing this, I've had more energy and I've been more positive. To go completely complaint free, gossip free and lie free, it really takes maturity.”

He said when people change their behavior for the better, it affects everyone around them. Although he has only gone seven consecutive days twice thus far without gossiping, lying or complaining, Pace said he is sure he will successfully complete the challenge.

Many of Pace's employees at Oklahoma City-based PaceButler have taken up the challenge, wearing the yellow wristbands Pace created to serve as reminders of the three prohibited behaviors.

PaceButler employee Timothy Harlin, 24, said he started the challenge in February and he hasn't quite gotten to 10 consecutive days without gossiping, lying or complaining. But he said he knows he'll get there — he's made it all the way to eight days before he had to start over again.

“l just see the value in improving myself through it,” Harlin said.

Meanwhile, Pace said the initiative goes beyond the workplace. Many people who found about the challenge through word-of-mouth are now participating.

Pruddy Gorrell, a leader at Pace's church, United Methodist Church of the Servant, said her Sunday school class of 20- and 30-somethings decided to take the challenge after she told them about it. Gorrell, wife of the church's senior pastor, the Rev. Robert Gorrell, said she completed the challenge, but still wears her yellow wristband as a reminder to keep up the good work.

by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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