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#372: Tweaking Our Lives

Sunday, July 11, 2010

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." George Bernard Shaw

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I spend part of my life editing books, web sites, resumes, business forms and other written materials. Some need major overhauls; others only a few tweaks here and there. Like what we do when we change our profile pages on SP and other social networking sites, putting in new colors and new pictures to create a different us to present to others.

We can not go back and make changes in our past actions, thoughts and words but we can look forward to the future and see where we need to tweak our lives. There are always aspects of our lives and ourselves we can improve on. Maybe it is being too negative in our thinking or getting a confrontational tone in our voice when we disagree with someone. Maybe it's our body language or our appearance. There are many areas open for improvement if we are honest with ourselves.

Sometimes we need only a small adjustment here and there to smooth out a perceived problem. As an example, I am often told I speak too fast so I try to be conscious of that and slow down the pace when I talk with others.

But tweaking is not only for improving areas that need improvement. It is also for reinforcing those attributes we possess that are our strong points. We all have them. Others likely compliment us on them frequently. Be it our mechanical ability, our willingness to volunteer or other skills, we should reinforce these strengths to their fullest extent.

A wise magazine editor once told me that it is easier to smooth out an article already written than it is to create the article from scratch. The hard work in lives has already been done -- we have already been made. Now it is time to tackle the rough edges that cause frustration or irritation in others, or within ourselves.

Make a list today of anything about yourself you don't like or that others have chided you for and do as Benjamin Franklin did when he wanted to improve. He concentrated on one area for 30 days, until the new habit had become ingrained, then he moved on to another area.

This technique is not only for improving our personalities. Want to learn to cook for instance? Spend 30 days trying recipes. Take a class on cooking. Ask a friend to show you how to make various dishes. You'll be amazed at your improvement in only 30 days.

Seeing a rough-edged manuscript become smoother and easier to read is satisfying, but not as satisfying as knowing I have smoothed off a rough edge of my personality or that I have developed desired skills. Editing, for me, is fun. Tweaking our lives for more personal satisfaction should be, too.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I need a lot of tweaking... lol!

    I keep praying everyday! Perhaps I am focusing on too much at once... but when the heck do I find time to focus on it all at different times... lol!

    I know... pessimistic!

    But each day I wake up saying, today is going to be a good day! I am going to be patient. Kind. The kids are going to get along... clean up after themselves... use nice voices... not destroy, make horrible messes, or fight, yell and scream... and every day they do... and I lose my cool! I HATE LOSING MY COOL! It's a nasty cycle... I don't know how to break free... lol!
    3883 days ago
    Maybe if I try to do this in tweaks rather than overhauls.....

    It's a thought. Thanks.
    3885 days ago
    So much to think about.....so many little tweaks to do.....

    Thank you!
    3885 days ago
  • ALIZA77
    great idea i'll try it. thanks lou
    3885 days ago
    Part of that tweaking comes from the friction described as iron sharpening iron in the bible. I am so thankful for the tweaks that occur in my life through my SparkFamily. Thank you, Lou.
    3886 days ago
  • LESLIES537
    Great advice Lou! (as always!) Hmm...Let's see what's first on my 'to be tweaked' list.... emoticon emoticon
    3886 days ago
    I have a lot of tweaking to do yet!!!

    3886 days ago
    Tweaking is something my life really needs! Thanks for the reminder Lou! I totally loved your blog. emoticon
    3886 days ago
    I liked this blog, Lou... especially the part about the cooking. My oldest daughter, Heather, never ever cooked while growing up. When she got married, though, she decided to learn, and she still does the new recipe every day at least 6 days a week! emoticon She is a wonderful cook!
    3886 days ago
    Thank you for this encouragement, my life needs a major overhaul and I am working on it . I too love how Benjamin Franklin went about working on self improvement. He was such a interesting character. Thanks for reminding me of Ben. Sometimes I attempt to work on too many things at one time and get very frustrated. Have a good week Lou.
    3886 days ago
  • no profile photo YW84FRIDAY
    I sure have a lot of tweaking to do... emoticon
    3887 days ago
  • ANNIE924
    Thank you for the suggestions. This is sound advice.

    3887 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    My life can definitely use some tweaking. Thanks for making me think about this.

    You are GOOD!
    3887 days ago
    That's good stuff! Thank you so much Lou for sharing! God bless & enjoy Sunday! Dee
    3887 days ago
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