We can look at our lives as a work-flow or a process that generates, encourages and sustains meaningful and productive outcomes. The condition of our lives and the pace at which we live are indicators of the standards that we have been applying to the daily process. To ensure that our lives maintain a balanced and rhythmic flow that feeds and accommodates our responsibilities, relationships, leisure pursuits and dreams, we should regularly re-calibrate our lives. When we check our standards, make any necessary adjustments and re-apply them, we correct and improve our life process. Frequently, to accommodate new perspectives, information, skills and goals, we have to adopt and apply some new standards.
Let us look at the re-calibration process.
The Assessment – Much of who we think we are, what we say we want and what we do are colored by other people’s standards. So our lives convulse with exterior perceptions and expectations. Those convulsions can be very disturbing.
Unless we stop for a full assessment of our life standards, we may one day find our individuality, creativity and dreams lying wasted in the gutter. A regular assessment can reveal the truth about the standards that control our life process.
In the world at large and within the small circle of our individual lives, we encounter many empty vessels, making a lot of noise. We should cultivate the practice of assessing what we hear (in church, at work or in the wider society) by checking it against established truth before accepting and using it.
When last did you assess the standards by which you live? If it’s been a while, begin doing so. It can make all the difference between a smooth life flow and one that is plagued with clogs, spits and crashes.
The Amendments – Not all the standards we accept and apply to our lives are bad, inappropriate or questionable. Some are the bedrock of who we are. Some are the driving principles behind our perspectives, our focus and our actions. We should retain them.
Then there are the other standards that cause us grief. They trouble our minds, thwart our good intentions and trip up our best efforts while we are busy about our daily business. Those are the standards that should command our attention, when we decide to re-calibrate our lives.
So, what standards have been dictating who you should be, what you should think, how you should act, what aspirations you should have? Do they encourage authenticity, compassion and passion in your life? Discard the inefficient and unproductive standards and make the necessary amendments to those that can be salvaged with some tweaking.
The Adoption – Some standards work well all through our lives. Under the “One Size Fits All” label, they ingratiate themselves into every experience, every season, every failure, every accomplishment and very success. Our spiritual beliefs, life values, family and friends and significant life lessons are some of those “fit for life” standards.
Others, however, have a very short lifespan. They serve one purpose, grow weak at the first sign of pressure or they simply shrivel and die in the face of a change of pace. Such one-time, one-use standards should be replaced with new, more relevant standards.
When we set out to adopt new standards we must know the processes they will have to accommodate. So we will look for standards that come with high recommendations and an impressive history. We can also develop standards from lessons we learned from earlier experiences.
What new standards can you bring to the table?
The Application – No doubt, change is scary. It can throw us off kilter. It can make us a bit uneasy, even queasy. Nevertheless, change is good and often necessary, if we are to manage our daily lives and make sense of the hiccups we encounter along the path of our life process.
Even after we have assessed the standards by which we live, work and play, even after we have made amendments we believe are necessary and adopted new standards to add to our life process, we might still be wondering and wavering. That is normal when change is drastic and guaranteed to kick us out of our comfort zones of faulty thinking, irrational feelings and inefficient, unproductive and unfocused actions.
Are you fearful of applying new or amended standards, even though you know they are necessary? Ease the stress and kick-start the application process in stages. Re-apply the must-have standards – your faith, family values, work ethics, civic-mindedness, etc., add the amended standards and follow with the adopted ones that will bring new purpose and focus to your life process. Allow each application to work itself into your life flow. Don’t be impatient or lose hope. Positive results will begin to surface soon enough.
It is a great feeling when our lives are running at a comfortable and progressive pace. It is satisfying to know that the standards by which we gauge and live our lives are generating positive results. Nevertheless, every now and then, we should flick the off switch and re-calibrate our lives. Are you ready to re-calibrate yours?