Makeovers are all the rage. House makeovers, career makeovers, body makeovers, hair, skin, nails, teeth, you name it we can make it over. What’s truly inspiring about the Franklin Makeover is that you don’t need to spend a dime and you will increase productivity, resources, happiness, and gain all that your heart desires.
Forget the hair…let’s see if Franklin’s makeover glosses over real change or gets straight to the root of the problem.
I started my 13 week makeover thinking about and looking for examples of specialized knowledge. Giving yourself a Franklin Makeover requires some effort and attention. The first day of being on the lookout for “specialized knowledge”, the first of my 13 virtues, my attention wandered to the point of not seeing a single example all day long. Day 2 – ditto. Day 3 – again, nothing. OK… I needed to double my efforts (that wouldn’t be hard since my effort so far was next to nil). If I was going to catch someone in the act of using specialized knowledge I had to remember to put my attention there. Day 4 I actually wrote down “Specialized Knowledge” on a card and carried it with me. With each encounter, phone call, and interaction I began to SEE specialized knowledge in ACTION! It was so cool and it was everywhere!
As soon as I put my attention on “specialized knowledge” I began to see it everywhere. The bank teller who had specialized training to deposit my checks in a timely and efficient manner, the cell phone operator who helped me fix a problem I was having, the cashier I asked for information on how to find what I was looking for. Everywhere I turned I was seeing people with specialized knowledge. You know what happened? I began to appreciate each person for the gift of their knowledge and how I was benefiting from that knowledge. I also saw where I was gifting my expertise to others and how I play an integral part in the circles I hang with. By the end of the week I was saying “thank you” more often and being specific in how I was thanking each person. I truly felt more gratitude which put me in a better mood, which in turn allowed me freedom to express my specialized knowledge in ways that were appropriate.
On week two of the Franklin Makeover I looked for kindness. Again, because this is not a habit for me yet, it took great effort for me to remember to look for kindness and to acknowledge it. After a few days I again had a better outlook on humanity as I saw how kind people were to each other.
My list of virtues goes on with “enthusiasm”, “self-discipline”, and this week (week 18) “pleasing personality”.
I had a harder time seeing “pleasing personality” as I was looking for genuine pleasantness from people, not people trying hard to “please” other people for the sake of “fitting in” or “brown nosing”. As I contemplate those people who I genuinely like to be around I realized that those are the folks who have the most pleasing personalities. They are genuine with me. When I started noticing how they respond to others I could see that they possessed self-discipline and kindness in their word choices and what they chose to talk about. Rarely did they talk about themselves, they seemed to always be edifying others. You could say they were “positive” in nature and their enthusiasm for life was evident.
So far, I like the person I am becoming with this makeover. I know that what I see in others I possess myself. What I choose to focus on I also tend to do more of myself. Where I see a kind act I exhibit more kindness myself, where I see self-discipline in others I am inspired to practice more self-discipline in myself.
This realization got me thinking about Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world” and I’d like to add an addendum to that, which is…
“In order to be the change, you must first see the change you wish to be in the world”.
Open your attention to what is already around you and the world changes.