Monday, February 13, 2012

Tinker's Delight

"It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all." Edward de Bono

I am a tinkerer. I like to tinker with things. I own a small videography business and have packed, unpacked, repacked, configured, and reconfigured my equipment countless times. The goal is always the same: to improve what I have. I want to be able to set up more quickly; I want to be able to produce videos in high definition and with excellent audio; and I want people to know when they call on me for service, that they will get more than their money’s worth.

What I strive to do in my vocational life is simply to be the best I can be with what I have in hand, and to improve my business through continuing education, upgrading equipment, and paying attention to what people need on every job I do.

I have found that most of the time the results are good. My single dissatisfaction rests with my inability to repackage my equipment in a way that lightens my load. I simply need to haul as much as I’ve got in order to do what needs to be done. It simply takes what it takes – nothing more and nothing less.

Everything I have is something I need to have for when the occasion calls for it. Many things I have packed aren’t needed for any particular job, but when I DO need it, I can’t put the work on hold while I “run home to get it.” I have to have it “within reach” or it is no good having it at all.

Developing a spiritual life is something like operating a business. It takes an investment of time and education to first get into it; one generally benefits from having a mentor or guide along the way to help answer questions or point out potential solutions; and it takes a willingness to tinker with what we do and how we do it so that, over time we become better at what we do.

What we cannot afford to do in developing our spirituality is to stop tinkering. Life doesn’t stop. Life continues to change. Yesterday’s answers do not always meet today’s needs, and what works well today may not work so well tomorrow.

And so we tinker; we play; we learn; we try; we fail; we falter; we stumble; and we move forward.

I find a life of tinkering to be quite fun. I enjoy the challenge of finding solutions to problems. There are times when things are going well that I certainly don’t want to mess with them; that much is obvious. However, I find that when things are going well, I tend to become complacent, so that when something needs attention, it is easier to miss the signs that problems are looming.

So it helps me keep my head in the game to tinker. I like knowing what worked well yesterday, but only in-so-far as it can help me know how I might do better today and tomorrow.

If you find yourself in a bit of a rut in life, try something new. Move your furniture; change the decorations around your home; tackle that bird’s nest behind the desk. Nothing in life will stop working just because you decided to organize your cables. And if it does – what then?

Call a friend. Life is more fun when you tackle a job with someone who can join you in the adventure. At least that’s what I think in this, our world.