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A Reset

by Jason Nemrow last modified 2018-03-29 15:42

I used to be a computer tech, fixing Windows workstations. You learn quickly that whatever goes wrong, one of your first remedies should be to restart the computer. Nine times out of ten, this will fix your computer problem and you can go on with what you were doing without old clutter getting in the way. My users learned this "trick" so well that I received fewer and fewer calls for help over time, got bored with the lack of work to do, and found other employment that was more interesting and challenging.

Do you feel your life is not working out well? Does it seem like opposition has grown to the point that you feel you are simply on a bad road, at least not a good one for you right now? Don't be afraid to "reset" things as needed. Steve Jobs said this:

"I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

"During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the world's first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together."

Getting fired is a pretty big reboot of life, but look at what Steve did as an encore! I prefer to change jobs under better conditions, but that just means that you get to choose when the reset happens and it may not be so jarring.

It can be hard to know the difference between times when garden-variety opposition must be endured and when you need to make a big change and "reset" things. Perhaps there is some indicator for that, but I haven't found it outside of the Psychic Proximity Principle. Steve Jobs gave us this interesting advice in his speech:

"...for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."

Fear of having to make a big change is another obstacle that we put between ourselves and our potential. We hold onto our weaknesses and bad habits of inaction like they are old, reliable friends, but you must know that such rationalizations steal away the energy needed to grow and progress. It often takes a big "reset" to shake us out of our complacency and get us moving forward again.


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