I’ve been driving my Mazda MX5 and it’s not been quite right. In order to go straight I’ve had to hold the steering wheel as if I was turning. So I went to see Lee who has some high tech laser wheel alignment kit to see what he could do. The car went up on the ramp, special mirrors were attached to the wheels and the diagnostics started. Then Lee went through the problems displayed on the computer screen. Just about everything needed adjustment (I’m not sure I understood what all track, toe, camber and caster meant). In particular the back wheels were pointing one way and the front the other. This meant that to go forwards I was actually going slightly sideways with the steering wheel turned a little. Whilst not unsafe it was not ideal and not within the cars recommended settings. Fortunately half an hour later the car was fixed and it’s a much better drive.
Similarly we can be out of alignment with what we know we should be. Perhaps where rubbing up against our values or neglecting some skills we have. Maybe what we spend our time on is not comfortable for us because it doesn’t match our personalities. This will create a bit of extra wear and effort to keep going. Alternatively we can check things out and diagnose where we are not aligned. Once diagnosed then the necessary small adjustments can be made. Unlike cars the work might take more than half and hour to do but like cars it’s something that we should do regularly for the best outcomes.
To perform an accurate diagnosis you should identify your values and when you are acting against them. This can mean asking ourselves tough questions and being honest about what you’re spending your time on and who you are spending your time with. A similar approach will then be needed to look at your personality and then your skills or what you care enough about to be good at.
The process of adjustment should be one of making a change and then rechecking. It might not be that you need to make a massive wholesale change. Look for something that is small but might have a big positive impact and subsequent carry over into more positive steps forward. One degree of adjustment can mean ending much closer to where you want to be down the line as we diverge from the unadjusted route. It may be that you’re doing things because you always have and haven’t made an effort to fix a bad habit. It could be anything from watching too much TV through to not learning a new skill that might help with our work (now or for that talked about career change). Look for opportunities to replace something you don’t value with something you do value.
Fundamentally if you don’t know what you’re about it’s time to find out otherwise any change of direction in life will be purely random. Having said that a few random and creative changes can be useful experiments to test out and discover who you are more clearly.
Lastly, I could have pretended that the wheels were perfectly aligned, held the steering wheel straight and carried on driving – in a circle!
What adjustments have you been making?
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