How old are you right now? 25, 35, 45, Older?
No matter your age, now is the perfect time to re-boot your life. I’m sure you recognize the term re-boot if you’ve ever used a computer. Every now and then your computer has a glitch that prevents it from working. You consider calling a computer tech but quickly remember the $45 you spent for basic instructions the last time!
Perhaps the service call went something like this:
Tech: “Ma’am, would you please turn your computer off?"
Caller: "It’s turned off."
Tech: "Thank you. Now, we’re going to wait a few minutes…"
Tech: "Ma’am, please turn your computer back on now."
Caller: "Okay… My computer is turned back on, and it’s booting up."
Tech: "Did that fix the problem?"
Caller: "Yes, it looks like it did."
Tech: "Great! What is the full name on your credit card?”
Wouldn’t it be great if life worked the same way? Well it can, minus the $45 charge!
Take a moment to assess your life — what is working, what isn’t, what changes can be made today, etc. Like the computer that needed a fresh start before being able to function again, you too may be in need of a re-boot.
Another example is PepsiCo North America Beverages. This company is re-evaluating its beverage portfolio to identify ways to become more profitable and productive. They have implemented an enterprise-wide innovation that could cause them to not only succeed, but lead, the beverage industry. To pull off their re-boot, they are examining products, packaging and programs to find areas that will make the most critical difference to their future growth.
PepsiCo North America Beverages is also changing their perspective on how the industry works to make them more competitive in a changing environment. That alone should be interesting to you because PepsiCo is doing quite well, however they want to do better, hence the idea of a re-boot. Even if you’re doing quite well right now, it still may be a great time for a re-boot.
“But my life is too big and has too much going on for me to re-boot.” I hear comments like this all the time. Here’s my thinking, if a multi-million dollar corporation like PepsiCo North America can re-boot, I’m sure you can shut down long enough to get your affairs moving in a more profitable and productive direction.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably already completed several life re-boots.
Since I graduated from college, I’ve been:
• A military officer
• A corporate executive
• A consultant
• A professional speaker
• And now, an entrepreneur
In this article, I want to cover some of the things I do with clients that come to me needing a fresh start. A re-boot.
1. Visualize the life you want to live.
To jump start your visualization, pick a role model and do some research on his or her lifestyle. Look through magazines, get information on his or her home and work life. Watch Biography shows on TV, etc. Based on what you discover, what are the up and down sides of this person’s life? Now it should be easier to create a visual of how you want to live your life.
Remember, you don’t have to mimic every aspect of your role model’s life; you can modify it. I was fortunate enough to discover some things in my role model’s life that were not acceptable to him so I made sure those issues weren’t present in my visual.
While you’re generating your picture, don’t miss opportunities to add to your vision. I constantly add to my vision through my dream book — a notebook with photos of things I want in my life. I review the book several times each week and it always amazes me when something in the book shows up in my life. Seemingly without any effort on my part.
While you’re visualizing, doo a passion check. One of my mentors told me years ago, “Do what you love or be prepared to always get beat by someone doing exactly the same thing you do but loving it.”
In other words, where do your passions lie? What activity could you do on a daily basis that would keep you constantly jazzed up? So often we spend our lives doing things that bring us no joy at all. How can you add some great joy to your life? Visualize your life with great joy.
2. Get a picture of what your life looks like right now.
Different from your dream book, get a journal and start writing down what your life looks like right now. Write the good and the not-so-good and record what you want to keep and what you’d like to get rid of. Be honest with yourself and be careful not to overlook parts of your life that may be hard to confront. Once you have this record, you’re ready to start planning your escape from where you are and your arrival to where you want to be.
As you write, consider your life in four (4) areas:
• Spiritual Development –Spiritual Development is working on your inner person. Your closeness to God. So ask some of the following questions. Are you as close to Deity as you’d like to be? Are you calm, centered and as much at peace as you’d like?
• Personal Development –Personal Development are the activities aimed at improving your job or career related skills. So ask yourself these questions. Do you have all the training that you need to progress in your career?
• Service Achievement – Service Achievement is what you do for others. Your charitable acts of kindness that make the world a better place. Ask yourself these questions. Are you doing as much for others as you could be doing? Do you sometimes feel that you could be doing more to make the world a better place?
• Personal Achievement – Personal Achievement is what you do in your career. It’s your Monday through Friday work. Ask yourself these questions. Have you progressed in your career as much as you’d like? Is there a promotion in there with your name on it?
Develop a picture of your life in these (4) areas. Now, you have a picture of where you are and where you are going. You next step is ‘bridging the gap’.
3. Determine what you need to do to ‘bridge the gap’.
Bridging the gap means looking for actions you can take to move from where you are right now and where you want to be. It takes a lot of thinking so enlist the help of your peers, colleagues, friends, family members and work together to tackle this step. Make sure you pick individuals whose opinion you respect. Be open to the opinions and suggestions of others. Write down everything you hear and review it all later.
4. Avoid talking yourself off the ledge — just jump!
The very idea of re-booting can be scary. Remember that original example of turning the computer off and then on again? Sounds simple to do, but my biggest worry when I’m about to do it is am I going to lose some of my data when I turn it off?
Don’t worry, this fresh start isn’t exactly like a computer. As you start moving forward, if you find you don’t like the new life, you can always make course corrections and try the process again. and if necessary go back to the previous life whenever you want.
Let’s revisit the PepsiCo example and introduce one of their competitors, Coke. Years ago, Coke came out with ‘New Coke’ that was supposed to be a replacement for the original formula. They were surprised when people were wedded to the original taste and didn’t want to make the switch. Coke’s response was simple, “My bad. Here’s the original Coke back.”
If needed, you can always simply go back. Strangely enough though, I’ve never found anyone that went back to his or her old life. Even Coke came out with additional versions after they pulled new-Coke. Don’t talk yourself out of it. Just jump into your reboot of life. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? You’ll take some actions that just didn’t work. Well even then, you’re better off. You have discovered some actions that won’t get the job done and that discovery alone is worth the risk. So go after the life you want and wait a good long while before you wave your white surrender flag.
About the Author:
Art Jackson is a professional speaker, executive coach and the President of Eagles Nest Performance Management, Inc. He is a recognized expert in the areas of leadership, performance improvement and interpersonal skills. Art is the originator of the Purpose Centered Leadership(TM) system that has been used to improve performance in many facets of public and private life.
Click on the following link to learn more about: Art Jackson