Personal growth is a process, the process of making adjustments.

Photo by the author. NSRA Nationals, 2011.

While home with my family over Christmas a few years ago we went bowling one afternoon. It proved to be an interesting experience at the lanes. My brother bowled the best game I’ve ever seen him bowl (220’s) and I surprised myself by barely getting over a one hundred in my first ten frames. I wondered if anyone would believe I bowled in the 180’s my previous time out. Fortunately, I found my mark and got the swing of things with a 191 and a 183 in the second and third games.

During the second game my brother — who happens to be a psychologist — turned, smiled and said, “Adjustments,” as he lifted the ball up to his chest. He laid it down smooth with a perfect arc, and bowled another strike. I agreed with him, that it was a matter of making adjustments, finding your mark, laying the ball on the spot on the lane, observing the results and adjusting accordingly.

In the third game, he again smiled and made the same remark. I realized then that he was not speaking of bowling, but offering a piece of wisdom, as if to say, “This is what life is, the making of adjustments.” He only spoke the one word, but I heard with clarity his admonition. When life isn’t working, we need to evaluate and adjust accordingly.

In the old days people periodically brought their cars to a mechanic to have adjustments made so they would run better. They called it a tune-up. The tune-up would help the engine to run the way it was intended. In the same way, our lives need periodic tune-ups or adjustments, to help us accomplish the purposes for which we were created.

The word adjustment is an interesting one. It means “to bring into agreement.” On many levels we need to apply this word to the various compartments of our lives. The more our aims and actions are in alignment with reality and truth, and not some myth we have about ourselves, the more successful we are likely to be in our relationships and in our careers.

Originally published at

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon

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